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Unorthodox Engineers (Dobson science fiction) Paperback – 1 Nov 1979

4.6 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 214 pages
  • Publisher: Dobson Books Ltd; 1st edition (Nov. 1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0234720727
  • ISBN-13: 978-0234720721
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 13.2 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,690,213 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Colin Kapp (1928 - 2007)

Born in 1928, Colin Kapp was both a British SF author and a worker in electronics, later becoming a freelance consultant in electroplating. His writing career began with the publication of 'Life Plan' in New Worlds in November 1958. Kapp is best known for his stories about the Unorthodox Engineers, which gained a modest cult following. He passed away in 2007.

For more information see www.sf-encyclopedia.com/entry/kapp_colin

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
A very rare and precious book, this one, and long out of print; nobody is selling their copy! Colin Kapp was one of the best hard-science SF short-story writers of the lot; sadly, he died just a couple of years ago.
This collection of little gems poses intriguing puzzles to the Engineers who are exploring new planets and new technologies. Morals are carefully hidden, but still there, like in The Subways of Tazoo where a wonderful technology wipes out its alien creators because they were too dependant on it and did not see the consequences of adopting it. The Engineers, of course, always solve the riddle.
The clever bit is that people remember these highly original little stories for years afterwards, and they are often quoted in other books!
I just wish there were more like these.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book has been on my wish list for years. I loved the weird and wonderful places these guys went to in order to solve problems that no-one else could. When it arrived I read it straight through. A great read for any SF fan.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I got this in Kindle (not my favourite format) viewing on a Tesco Hudl because of the horrendous price on the print version.
I got it because I was reminded of "The Subways of Tazoo" in SFX magazine (recommended!) and I recalled "The Pen and the Dark" vaguely from my college days.
What can I say? The stories are brief and to the point, and it's interesting to see how unorthodox engineering problems need unorthodox engineering solutions.

Yes, I'd recommend it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I came across the UE far too many years ago! By today's standards its wildly dated but, there's the charm. I intend to get a lot more of these older stories. If you read them many years ago, they still have that sense of mystery and wonder. If you have stumbled on this for the first time.... Enjoy!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The late, great, Colin Kapp, taking a humorous look at lateral thinking in unusual engineering problems - starting nearly decade before de Bono coined the term...

Under-plotted and under-characterised .... or stripped back to a basic premise and unexpected resolution.

You'll either love it or hate it.

I loved it as a kid, and love it now.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I looked for this book for years, having read it 30 years ago. It is funny, clever and just brilliant. Classic style of short story set in the technology of the space age. Read it and be prepared to laugh out loud!
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Format: Paperback
Just, really, to echo the first reviewer. I read these stories in my teens in the New Writings in SF series and sourced this book for my own teenaged sons 30 years later. We are all still fans of these intriguing, well-written and memorable tales. If you are a fan of science or sf or engineering or just good yarns - and can find this book - buy it. (p.s. I'm a female English teacher - this IS relevant as some might think engineering sf is just for males on the obsessive end of the spectrum!)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An obscure, but enjoyable read, Colin Kapp's "The Unorthodox Engineers" is, make no mistake, hard science fiction. For all the mentions of hyperdrives and aliens, the real focus here is on two things: The eponymous UE Cadre and the odd engineering problems they face, from a rogue planet where gravity shifts completely once every seven minutes, to a nickel-iron asteroid worn smooth by a miniature singularity.

It's very well written, and although the characters are not the most fleshed out, the clever foreshadowing of eventual solutions and the charm of the writing definitely wins me over on this one, and I would agree that this is, indeed, an SF Masterwork. Well, technically five... :)
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