The Currents of Space: “It’s a rather complicated story”

The Currents of Space by Isaac Asimov

The Currents of Space, the third entry in Isaac Asimov’s loosely linked GALACTIC EMPIRE trilogy, is a prequel of sorts to book 1, 1950’s Pebble in the Sky, and a sequel of sorts to book 2, 1951’s The Stars, Like Dust, and if you by any chance find that statement a tad confusing, trust me, that is the very least of the complexities that this book dishes out!

The Currents of Space originally appeared serially in the October - December 1952 issues of John W. Campbell’s Read More

Cugel’s Saga: Who could imagine such protean depravity?

Cugel's Saga (aka The Skybreak Spatterlight) by Jack Vance

Cugel “the clever” is one of the scummiest, nastiest, lowliest rogues in all of fantasy literature. He’s got no morals and no respect for women, he’s often a coward, he’s not good looking, nor is he particularly good with a sword. In the words of one of Cugel’s acquaintances, “who could imagine such protean depravity?” The answer, apparently, is Jack Vance. And that's why Cugel is one of my favorite “heroes” — because he belongs to Jack Vance.

Cugel’s Saga, book 3 of The Dying Earth and the direct sequel to The Eyes of the Overworld, begins ironically — with Cugel again fallen afoul of Iucounu, the Laughing Magician, who has now banished Cugel across the dying earth to exactly the same pl... Read More

The Horse and His Boy: Odd one out

The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis

In many ways The Horse and his Boy is the odd one out in the context of the Narnia series — unlike the other books, this one is set completely in the fantasy world rather than describing the movements of children from this world into that. Although two children are still used as the main protagonists, the entire tone, setting and atmosphere of this book is a little different — here we are simply meant to take this other-world for granted, rather than journey into it from hum-drum life.

Though written and published as the fifth book, chronologically it is third in the series (or if you want to get really technical second-and-a-bit) considering it takes place whilst Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy are kings and queens of Narnia — grownup, but before they return as children to their own world. C.S. Lewis once more brings a wonderful fantasy adventure to children's literature, adding in a touch ... Read More