Random Chaos

… the consequences of not concentrating …

The Man Who Japed**

By Philip K Dick After reading through the treacle of the first two published SF novels, The Man Who Japed is the first recognisably coherent Dickian work. More a novella than a full length piece, it’s very much in the style of his ‘literary’ works written around the same. TMWJ has one through story, no…

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The World Jones Made*

Philip K Dick And the project to read all Philip K Dick’s books in chronological order nearly ended with The World Jones Made. I owned a copy in the Seventies and never made it past the first page. I wish I hadn’t bothered. Ignore anyone trying to find hidden depths. TWJM is clearly two different…

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Solar Lottery*

by Philip K Dick Solar Lottery was the first full length novel by Philip K Dick’s to be published. Be under no illusions, this is hard going. The basic plot concerns an attempt to overthrow a world state were the Leader is elected by a lottery and is subject to constant assassination attempts. One of…

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#AugustProject

The post Lockdown period has proved the most stressful, like living outside the world. With the likelihood of a return to the total lockdown possible, it seems a good time to try and accept this is the reality for maybe another year. So, I’ve set up a number of projects to give a bit of…

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The Anarchy****

By William Dalrymple For reasons which become clear reading this timely history, Brits have closed out the history of India and our role in conquering it. We all know about the American War of Independence (coincidentally caused by dumping unsold Indian tea in Boston), but who has heard of the the Great Bengal Famine of…

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The 25 Page Rule

I used to read books I didn’t enjoy to the bitter end. Time, however, is running short. If it hasn’t caught my interest by 25 pages, it’s off to the charity shop or back to the library. A good sign of this is a reluctance to even pick the book up. Worse, finishing these books…

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This Is How You Lose the Time War****

By Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone Two adversaries, fighting an interminable war across time zones and multiverses, start leaving each other letters via increasingly bizarre and inventive methods. As their relationship grows beyond admiration to love, they face the increasing likelihood of discovery and betrayal. Verdict: A short SF novel written by two short story…

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61 Hours ***

Author Lee Childs With the double whammy that Lee Childs is to be a Booker judge just as he announces he’s handing on writing Jack Reacher to his brother, it seemed an appropriate time to read an earlier Reacher. 61 Hours, the fourteenth Reacher novel, came at the point Lee Child’s character began to attract…

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