The magnificent Modesty Blaise

(Forgetfully and foolishly I seem to have written up this pod twice: here in Sept 2015, and here in January 2015. There are slight differences, but they're mostly the same. Sorry about that.) Today’s letter in the Really Like This Book's podcast scripts catch-up is O, and today’s author is the little-known cartoon strip writer, … Continue reading The magnificent Modesty Blaise

The glory of unmarried freedom in Paris, in Elaine Dundy’s The Dud Avocado

I used to own Elaine Dundy's The Dud Avocado in my twenties, but I don’t think I ever read it properly, and it disappeared from sight in a house move. Oh how foolish I was, because – now that I’ve paid it proper attention  - this stunning classic is superbly written and fizzing with good-natured life. I … Continue reading The glory of unmarried freedom in Paris, in Elaine Dundy’s The Dud Avocado

Sex, death and love (in that order) in James Tiptree Jr’s Her Smoke Rose Up Forever

The short stories of Her Smoke Rose Up Forever are grim and powerful reading, committing the reader to new worlds and leaving unsettling characters in the mind. They are about love, sex and death in the future, across species and time. In the original Introduction to the 1990 edition John Clute writes passionately about the … Continue reading Sex, death and love (in that order) in James Tiptree Jr’s Her Smoke Rose Up Forever

John Wyndham’s Trouble with Lichen

Trouble With Lichen is John Wyndham's most explicit exploration of the uselessness of modern women’s lives. When I reread it, for what must have been the 50th time, I was surprised to see that it was first published in 1960. It reads at least a decade older than that, maybe even fifteen years, since it shares many of the plot points … Continue reading John Wyndham’s Trouble with Lichen

Flying with the brain ships in Anne McCaffrey’s The Ship Who Sang

I'm having a private Anne McCaffrey festival today, since I'm simultaneously posting a review of her son's memoir of her, Dragonholder, over on Vulpes Libris. This post draws a line under the mini-series of podcast scripts about gentlemanly thrillers that ended here last week, and begins a new series on feminist science fiction. It also follows up … Continue reading Flying with the brain ships in Anne McCaffrey’s The Ship Who Sang