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Reviews Written by
Richard Alibon

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Carpet Diem: Or...How to Save the World by Accident
Carpet Diem: Or...How to Save the World by Accident
Price: £1.94

3.0 out of 5 stars Good idea but interminable in the telling, 20 July 2016
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Like so many modern novels, it just goes on and on like a soap opera. A good, original idea for a story but the telling becomes interminable. There is no concept of the satisfaction to be had from neat plot structure.


ASSORTED CACTI - A NICE MIXTURE OF CACTI SEEDS - 30 SEEDS
ASSORTED CACTI - A NICE MIXTURE OF CACTI SEEDS - 30 SEEDS
Offered by (UK DISPATCH) Warehouse Deals Direct ltd
Price: £1.35

5.0 out of 5 stars They grew!, 3 Jun. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
No problem with delivery. Postage a bit steep considering the weight. Looked like a pinch of dust with about two or three identifiable seeds in it but I planted all the dust anyway, according to the instructions. Very pleased about 1 week later to see three baby cacti appearing, even though the packet said allow up to 2 months, so perhaps more will grow up. I used Levingtons cactus compost, also from Amazon.


Date Night on Union Station (EarthCent Ambassador Book 1)
Date Night on Union Station (EarthCent Ambassador Book 1)
Price: £0.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Very Funny, 15 May 2016
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This is the first free/reduced-price Kindle sci-fi I’ve read that was actually GOOD and made me eager to get the next one by this author. A series of hilarious mis-matched dates set on an inter-species space station run by a type of benevolent robot dictatorship, that made you want to keep reading to see what happened next (although you knew by chapter three that Joe and Kelly would be each other’s final and successful dates). Very well written humorous sci-fi with a Hitchhiker-like quality and actually made me laugh out loud in parts.


Emphyrio (S.F. MASTERWORKS)
Emphyrio (S.F. MASTERWORKS)
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 13 May 2016
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A well-constructed plot, and a very well-written story - possibly his best. No noticeable typos in the Kindle edition either.


How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe
How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe
Price: £4.68

2.0 out of 5 stars Promising Start, Wanted to Kill Myself by the End, 4 May 2016
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This is a rather unevenly written novel, as if the author had a good idea and then wasted it.

The protagonist lives in diegetic space like Thursday Next in the Jasper fforde novels, but it is less convincingly described. The novel starts off almost in a humorous vein with lots of intriguing ideas, but later degenerates into a lengthy and depressing discussion of the relationship between the protagonist and his father (I almost wrote the author and his father because I am sure the book is pseudo-biographical). The ending, when it finally comes, is rather incomprehensible as the author tries to explain how the protagonist escapes from a time loop, except you can’t escape from a time loop. But he does find his father, for what it’s worth.

The kindle version is not worth the relatively high price.


The Doors Of His Face, The Lamps Of His Mouth
The Doors Of His Face, The Lamps Of His Mouth
Price: £5.66

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 8 April 2016
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Excellent set of stories of various lengths, including the brilliant A Rose for Ecclesiastes. I was sorry to finish the book, it was so enjoyable to read.


The Last Defender of Camelot
The Last Defender of Camelot
Price: £5.71

4.0 out of 5 stars Missing Text, 30 Mar. 2016
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These stories are mainly about AI and mind transfer, in which Zelazny seems to have a particular interest. The stories are excellent but the Kindle edition gets only 4 stars from me because chunks of text are missing in several places, which is especially disappointing because of the relatively high price of the Kindle edition.


The Universe Maker
The Universe Maker
Price: £2.49

3.0 out of 5 stars Confused, 20 Mar. 2016
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I enjoyed reading Van Vogt as a teenager, but now re-reading with a more critical adult attitude I realise that this is what these books were - pulp science fiction for teenagers. One of the things that spoiled this book for me was the fact that the many strange Vogtian ideas were not clearly explained and indeed often glossed over in a line or too despite being central to the development of the plot. Also, the grandiose universe-changing humanitarian schemes didn't fit too well into the character of a womanising ex-soldier. Like the curate's egg, it was good in parts, but I can't bring myself to give it more than 2 stars. OK then, 3 considering the time when it was written. But that's it.


Earth's Last Citadel
Earth's Last Citadel
Price: £2.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Just an Adventure Story, 17 Mar. 2016
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An adventure yarn, nothing more, nothing less. For Alan Drake read Allan Quartermain, for Old Africa, read Old Earth. Readable, but not one of his best.


Highway of Eternity
Highway of Eternity
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The Puppetmaster, 14 Mar. 2016
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This one could equally well have been called The Puppetmaster. It's basically about the search for the meaning of the universe, but by a host of alien races among the stars, not just Earthmen. It centres around a group of time refugees from Earth's far future, whose efforts to escape an oppressive race called The Infinites (who want to turn all life forms into motes of pure intelligence) lead them into a variety of extremely alien worlds, each of which could have formed the basis of it's own novel. Rich with ideas, well-written, possibly the Master's masterpiece. I won't spoil it for you by telling you the ending!


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