Tag: Topics

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.

 


Charles Bukowski – Absence of the Hero | Review

Title: Absence of the Hero

Author: Charles Bukowski

Type: Fiction/Non-Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 276

Rating: 3.5/5

 

 

I never know how to categorise Bukowski’s prose because it’s technically semiautobiographical and therefore counts as both fiction and non-fiction. I also always feel like it’s important to say that Bukowski’s work always makes me think about separating the art from the artist. He wasn’t the best of guys, but his work is interesting.

Absence of the Hero isn’t my favourite of Bukowski’s collections, but mainly because it doesn’t really feel cohesive. It’s like it doesn’t know what it’s trying to be, and while I enjoyed the majority of the essays and short stories in here, there was no real cohesion and I didn’t understand why they picked those particular stories over others.

Absence of the Hero isn’t my favourite of Bukowski’s collections, but mainly because it doesn’t really feel cohesive. It’s like it doesn’t know what it’s trying to be, and while I enjoyed the majority of the essays and short stories in here, there was no real cohesion and I didn’t understand why they picked those particular stories over others.

I also tend to prefer Bukowski’s poetry over his prose and so maybe that has something to do with it. Still, I’d recommend picking up something like Ham On Rye or Post Office if you’re new to him, and saving this until you’re a seasoned fan. And by that point, you’ll probably have read half of the stories that are in the collection anyway.

And yet despite all of that, I enjoyed it. Bukowski’s writing always gets me thinking, and I particularly like the way that he tackles complex topics with simple language. The work here is pretty typical of Bukowski’s work overall, but I don’t think it’s the best introduction. Go ahead and make of that what you will, but do be sure to check out some of Bukowski’s work if you haven’t already. He’s a genius.

 

 

Click here to buy Absence of the Hero.