Tag: Notes

Isaac Asimov – The Science Fictional Solar System | Review

Title: The Science Fictional Solar System

Author: Isaac Asimov

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 324

Rating: 3.75/5

This book made me feel kind of old, purely due to the nature of it. It’s essentially a short story collection that’s themed around the solar system, with a short story for each of the planets as well as the sun. The reason I feel old is that it was published when Pluto was still a full planet, and I remember those days. I’m literally so old that the planets have changed.

I’ve got used to enjoying Asimov’s little introductory essays, and they’re just as fascinating here as they are elsewhere. He also prefaces each story with a few notes on how scientific research has changed since the stories were written and to analyse whether the short stories still held up with the latest scientific thinking.

There are some cracking authors here too, including a piece by Arthur C. Clarke. Asimov has a story in there himself, too. All of the stories had something different to offer, and in fact what was quite interesting was that they covered such a wide variety of topics while still retaining an overall cohesive feel. It’s difficult to do that, and Asimov was pretty harsh on himself when it came to his abilities as an editor, but I think he did a pretty solid job.

It’s also kind of cool because this was published in 1982, and a bunch of the stories were 30+ years old. That meant that the introductory essays were written pretty much in between when the stories were written and the modern day, making them a nice little bridge.

So overall then, I’d definitely recommend giving this book a go, especially if you’re into science fiction and you want to read a bunch of new authors. I certainly enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to reading more of Asimov’s stuff.

Learn  more about The Science Fictional Solar System.

 


William Shakespeare – Much Ado About Nothing | Review

Title: Much Ado About Nothing

Author: William Shakespeare

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 268

Rating: 4/5

I’m not sure how I hadn’t got to this play yet, but I’m glad I picked it up. I think it’s actually one of the easiest of Shakespeare’s plays to follow, and I flew through it because I have a weird edition. The left pages have the notes on and the right side has the play, but I didn’t need the notes except for the introductions to each scene to make sure that I knew what was going on.

One of the things that interested me here is that it focusses on a case of mistaken identity, which Shakespeare has done elsewhere. He does it well, and this play is a fantastic example of that. At the same time, it was much easier to understand and to follow the action than it was in The Comedy of Errors, which has some similarities.

But this also stands up on its own as a fantastic little play and something that’s going to stick with me for a while. There’s also a little bit of romance in there, presumably to give it some more mainstream appeal, and the humour is of the kind where I think anyone could enjoy it. That makes it a play for all the family, and I hope that at some point I get to see a performance of it.

We’ll see, though. That might have to wait until after all of the coronavirus stuff has blown over. But Shakespeare was quarantined too, I hear.

Learn more about Much Ado About Nothing.