Temporarily Out of Radio Contact

I have taken a break from posting classic SF book reviews – the plan is to post more, but I can’t commit to any specific time. The initial batch of podcasts continues to be available and you are welcome to check them out.

Thanks for your interest – happy science fiction reading!


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The Mote in God’s Eye, Niven & Pournelle, 1974



One of our imperial ships finds an alien civilization, the Moties, on the edge of explored space. It seems the two species can benefit from sharing their knowledge and colonizing amongst each other. But our first contact team feels the Moties have a chequered past that they aren’t telling us about.


0:30 Plot summary

18:45 Review (some spoilers)

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Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury, 1953

Fahrenheit 451 cover


This is a modern, ordinary existence. You can count onĀ  authorities to protect you & your property from harm. Except if you possess one item that’s banned & universally loathed…books. In that case, you should expect the firemen to come and burn everything you own.

0:30 Plot Summary
12:55 Review (some spoilers)
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The Puppet Masters, Robert A. Heinlein, 1951

The Puppet Masters

A UFO is sighted, and one by one, Americans are being turned into mindless slaves. It’s up to a trio of special government agents to figure out how to stop this menace. In the process, they must avoid being turned into hosts themselves, by the parasites known as “the slugs.”

0:25 Plot summary
11:00 Review (some spoilers)
Posted in Robert A. Heinlein, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Rocket Ship Galileo, Robert A. Heinlein, 1947

Rocket Ship Galileo

Three high school students who share a passion about space are visited by a man who can help them actually go to outer space. Through their wits, some available rocket hardware and teamwork, they build their dream ship for going to the moon. Of course, something awaits them on the moon that they could never have dreamed of.
0:15 Summary
7:00 Review (spoilers)
Posted in Robert A. Heinlein, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

The Chrysalids, John Wyndham, 1955

Set in a future where strange events are changing mankind. Society has resisted these mutations, ostracizing people who have them…until some children are born with a mutation no one detects. Is man undergoing a new evolution? As implied in the book’s title, are they presently in the cocoon that a caterpillar enters to become a butterfly? Wyndham, the father of the “cozy catastrophy” subgenre, is best-known for The Chrysalids. Is it a classic that’s worth reading?

0:25 Summary
8:45 Review (spoilers)
Posted in John Wyndham | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Tunnel in the Sky, Robert A. Heinlein, 1955

Tunnel in the Sky
17 year old Rod Walker’s last high school course, Off-world Survival, has an exam in which he must survive in an unknown environment for a few days. Can he survive when it appears his lifeline home is gone? If you fail in this kind of test, the consequence is far worse than an “F.”

0:25 Summary
7:10 Review (spoilers)
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Brain Wave, Poul Anderson, 1954

Brain Wave, Poul Anderson

A sudden rise in intelligence for all creatures on Earth results in a transfigured humanity reaching for the stars, leaving behind our earth to the less intelligent humans and animal lifeforms.

0:25 Summary
5:15 Review (spoilers)


You may find similarities in the book to this Monty Python sketch (especially from the 1 minute mark onwards!)

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Lest Darkness Fall, L. Sprague de Camp, 1939

lest darkness fall by L. Sprague de Camp

It’s 1938 and during a trip to his favourite city of Rome, graduate student Martin Padway is hurtled back through time to 6th century Rome – just before the Dark Ages. With his knowledge of 1,500 years worth of human advancements, he sets out to preserve Roman civilization…and in so doing, change the course of history.

0:25 Summary
6:50 Review (spoilers)
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Wolfbane, Pohl/Kornbluth, 1959

The Earth has been ripped from the Sun by a runaway planet, whose inhabitants have their own plans for Earth’s resources. Humankind is dying out, but there are those who defy convention and refuse to give in.

0:25 Summary
5:25 Review (spoilers)
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