Profile for M. P. Garde > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by M. P. Garde
Top Reviewer Ranking: 857,321
Helpful Votes: 55

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
M. P. Garde (Warley, West Midlands United Kingdom)
(REAL NAME)   

Show:  
Page: 1
pixel
The Drowned Cities: Number 2 in series (Ship Breaker)
The Drowned Cities: Number 2 in series (Ship Breaker)
by Paolo Bacigalupi
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointingly Average, 1 Jun 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have to agree with many of the things that the previous reviewer has written. I have read three previous books by Paolo Bacigalupi, Pump Six, The Wind Up Girl and Shipbreaker. Each book is excellent and I expected the same from The Drowned Cities. Unfortunatly, although it is a good read it is not on the same level as Shipbreaker, which is set in the same timeline/world. The book is just to long, and I feel that the story could have been told in half the length. I didnt really feel anything for the characters and by the end of the book I didnt care what was happening to them. I have given it 3 stars as I think the writing is pretty good, but it lacks a real story. Hopefully with his next book Paolo Bacigalupi can revert to his previous form.


Stories From The Quiet War
Stories From The Quiet War
Price: £0.93

2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Stories good - Kindle format bad, 11 Jan 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
When I saw this for the price I thought that it was a bargain for 5 of Paul Mcauleys stories of the Quiet War.I have read some of his novels and short stories before and enjoyed them so I decided to buy this kindle book and I am sure that the stories will be good. But, I will have to read them in the order that they come as I am not able to select the story that I want to read. The stories are stand alone tales and do not have to be read in any order but this is what I will have to do as it is not possible to select the story that I would like to read first as kindle will not allow you to do this. Shame I didnt know this beforehand as I probably wouldnt have bothered to buy the book.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 1, 2012 1:05 PM GMT


City (S.F. MASTERWORKS)
City (S.F. MASTERWORKS)
by Clifford D. Simak
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not a classic., 23 Aug 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Simak is one of the grandmasters of SF, but unfortunately to appreciate him at his best in novel form then read Way Station. City is not a novel but is a "fix up". A themed series of stories have been taken and linked material has been used to create a "novel". Sometimes this works, see van Vogt and "The voyage of the Space Beagle", and sometimes it doesnt work,as in this case. Some of the stories are good such as "City", "Desertion" and "Huddling Place", but some are just merely average. The other problem with the stories is that they become increasingly more unbelievable. Now I know that SF is about the fantastic, but it should also be credible and possible,and Simak, instead of working out what the impact of intelligent dogs can have on society goes off at different tangents and makes the stories more like fantasy.So we have stories where men create dogs that can think and talk, which is great as an idea, but then he introduces mutants (Joe), intelligent ants and other dimensions (Cobbies). Gollancz have also fallen short of what they have produced here. You would think that after such a long period of time after these stories were written that this would be the definitive version of City, but it isnt. Simak wrote 9 City tales, of which there are only 8 in this book. The ninth tale is "Epilog" and was written in 1973. Gwyneth Jones,who writes the introduction to this book even comments that there are 9 tales, but the ninth tale does not appear. Why not? Does the cover tell us that Gwyneth Jones has written a new introduction. No, why not?
Gollancz have merely repackaged the book with a new introduction and have overlooked the opportunity to produce a definitive version of City. I believe that a complete version was produced by another publisher in 1980, but this is now out of print.


Ship Breaker: Number 1 in series
Ship Breaker: Number 1 in series
by Paolo Bacigalupi
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.54

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great book., 3 May 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Having bought the first two boooks by Bacigalupi, I ordered this immediately it became available on Amazon.His first book,Pump Six, is a powerful collection of science fiction stories,many of them based around a dystopian future.His second book, The Windup Girl, also takes place in a dystopian future. The setting for this new novel is the same kind of future with global warming,powerful multinational corporations,augmented humans,and massive differences between the rich and poor.The novel is what is termed as Young Adult fiction (YA) and is aimed at the younger market,but dont let this stop the older people amongst us (I am 54) from reading and enjoying it. I found the story and characters fascinating. The novel moves nicely with moments of tension,action,plot and character development. I feel the core of the novel is how Bacigalupi addresses the issues of trust,loyalty,love and family.
For me this is another success from a writer who is producing some very strong fiction and I hope he continues to do so.


Terminal World
Terminal World
by Alastair Reynolds
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £18.07

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not one of his best., 28 Mar 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Terminal World (Hardcover)
I have read all of Reynolds books to date and have found all them very good reads. Some of them,Revelation Space,Chasm City, Pushing Ice,Galactic North,are excellent;while others such as Century Rain,Absolution Gap and Zima Blue,fall short of excellent but are still very good. I knew from reading the early reviews that Terminal World was a new departure for Reynolds.Gollancz say that the book is a "snarling,drooling,crazy-eyed mongrel of a book,equal parts steampunk,western,planetary romance and far future SF".I admire the fact that Reynolds has produced this book but unfortunately for me it did not work as a novel. Its rich in ideas and Reynolds boundless imagination,but its too long (by at least 150 pages),it drags at times and becomes a bit of a slog in parts. It is a fasinating story but it has too many coincidences and the characters behave at times,and in ways,that do not make sense.There are unanswered questions at the end and some reviewers have said this could mean a sequel. I hope not.
Reynolds is currently working on his new sequence of books that takes us back into space. I look forward to reading these, as I believe this is where Reynolds strength lies.


The Windup Girl
The Windup Girl
by Paolo Bacigalupi
Edition: Hardcover

13 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This novel deserves an award, 8 Feb 2010
This review is from: The Windup Girl (Hardcover)
I have been reading science fiction now for around 35 years and I have to be the first one to admit that the genre has not produced many novels that rank in the annals of literary masterpieces. The genre has many great writers, from the father of science fiction, H G Wells,through John Wyndham, to the present day, such as Ursula K LeGuin.Like all genres, its readers have their own preferences and who they believe are the best writers. I have always seen science fiction as providing a "sense of wonder" and my preference has been for the Hard SF or Space Opera type of story. The proponents of this are Asimov,Heinlein,Clarke,Stephen Baxter, Alastair Reynolds etc.
Every so often however a new writer comes along that makes you realise that a major new talent has entered the field and I believe that Paolo Bacigalupi is one of those people. I bought his first short story collection, Pump Six, and was impressed by the power of the stories. The Windup Girl is his first novel and it is an extraordinary read. Its not Hard SF or Space Opera but it had me hooked from the first few pages. Its one of the best written novels that I have read for a long time and if the people who award the Hugo and Nebula awards have any sense then this will be their novel of the year.


Pump Six and Other Stories
Pump Six and Other Stories
by Paolo Bacigalupi
Edition: Hardcover

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dystopian Tales, 24 Jan 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is Paolo Bacigalupi's first book and it is one of the most memeorable short story collections that I can recall reading for many a year. Many of the stories are set in a dystopian future, a favourite venue for many of the classics of science fiction. Stories such as, The Fluted Girl,The People of Slag and Sand, Pop Squad stay in the mind long afterwards. Although the stories take place in a bleak future this does not mean thay all end in a grim, negative way. Many of them have a degree of hope and optimism mixed in. I have since read two other books by this guy,The Windup Girl, and Ship Breaker and if you like your stories at longer lenngth, then I can highly recommend these as well.


Diving Into the Wreck
Diving Into the Wreck
by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.31

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Adventure, 24 Jan 2010
This review is from: Diving Into the Wreck (Paperback)
This is the first full length book that I have read by Rusch. I have read a few of her short stories,mainly in the pages of Gardner Dozois' Years Best SF series and decided to try one of her latest books. The novel is what is sometimes referred to as a "fix up". A series of separate stories are put together to form a novel. This has been successfully done in the past with authors such as Asimov (The Foundation Trilogy) and A E van Vogt (The Voyage of the Space Beagle), and it is also successful in this instance. The first part (Diving into the Wreck) and the second part (The Room of Lost Souls) of the book appeared in Asimovs Science Fiction magazine.The third part (The Heart of the Machine) is new. The three segments make up a novel well worth reading. It reminds me of the Golden age adventure story that many a famous SF writer used to pen many years ago but without many of the stereotypes of that era. It is a bit like Alastair Reynolds but without the Hard Science. It has an easy,sparse prose and I found it an enjoyable read.


Coyote
Coyote
by Allen Steele
Edition: Hardcover

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard sf with character, 1 Jan 2004
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Coyote (Hardcover)
I first came across Allen Steele a few years ago with his early novels,Orbital Decay and Clarke County Space,both of which I enjoyed enormously.
Then in the May/June 2003 issue of Interzone I read a review by Nigel Brown of Allen Steele's newest novel,Coyote.The review was positive so I bought the book and I am glad I did.
The novel is what is called in sf circles a "fix-up".Which means that its made up of a number of shorter stories,the majority of which in this case appeared in Asimovs Science Fiction magazine.This shows as each chapter does not flow smoothly from the one to the next.However this is also one of the strong points of the book as each chapter can be seen as an episode in the story of the departure from Earth of a starship and its occupants,their journey through space and their discovery and eventual colonisation of a new world.For me this worked well,it gave me the feel of a venture that was believable with characters that you care about.
One of the most powerful chapters is "The Days Between",in which Leslie Gillis is woken from suspended animation three months after the voyage starts,and unable to re-enter sleep state he must spend the rest of his life,32 years and alone,on the ship.Allen Steele uses this story to convey the time and distance of the journey.There are no convenient warp drives or worm holes here for those who like near instantanious travel through space.He also portrays the despair and isolation that Gillis feels at times and we feel for the character.
Many critics have compared Allen Steele to Robert Heinlein for his story telling,and I would have to agree.Many of Heinlein's novels are tales of galactic adventure,well told with believable characters and situations,and Allen Steele has no difficulty in acheiving this as well.


Transfinite: The Essential A. E. Van Vogt
Transfinite: The Essential A. E. Van Vogt
by A. E. Van Vogt
Edition: Hardcover

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars classic tales, 31 Dec 2003
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Many years ago when I first started reading science fiction,A E van Vogt,along with other masters such as Asimov,Heinlein and Clarke,gave me that "sense of wonder" and excitment that has had me hooked to science fiction ever since.Now 25 years later I have started to re-read van Vogt and pick up on some of the stories I missed earlier.
This nicely produced volume from NESFA collects together 25 classic stories,such as The Enchanted Village,The Great Engine,Asylum and A Can of Paint.
Also included here are the three stories that made up the novel,The Voyage of the Space Beagle (another classic).They are Dark Destroyer,War of Nerves and Discord in Scarlet.
There are a couple of duds here,but there will be in any collection of two dozen stories or more.
I now intend to read a couple of his novels,starting with Slan.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 30, 2014 2:41 PM BST


Page: 1