The Time Machine, written by H.G. Wells in 1895, is one of the biggest classics in science fiction. Indeed, the term ‘time machine’ itself was coined originally by Wells, and Wells is often considered to be one of the grandfathers of science fiction. This novella tells the story of an inventor who invents a time machine and travels to the distant future.
Being such a huge classic within the genre, it is hard to read The Time Machine without being actively aware of its classic status. Indeed, my decision to read it now was due to my interest in becoming more familiar with the biggest names in the science fiction canon. I think this intense awareness of its status is both because of how notable the story is for the genre, but also because many elements of the novella are distinctly and strongly of its time.
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Two people can read a book, agree perfectly on why the book is good and why the book is bad, and yet still give drastically different star ratings.
That is one form of the argument I often heard from reviewers I read when they argued why they didn’t provide star ratings (or grades, or scores, etc). But, for a long time, I thought those people were simply looking for reasons to justify their lack of courage in putting forth their actual ideas about what they thought of a work. Maybe because they were afraid of upsetting their relationship with one publisher or another?
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Ursula K. Le Guin is, of course, an absolute legend within science fiction, and I have yet to find a book of hers that wasn’t at least great. That includes The Word for World is Forest (WWF), which tells the story of Terran’s attempt to run a lumber colony on the world of the Athsheans. This novella, first published in 1976 during the Vietnam War, forms a part of Le Guin’s Hainish novels.
Le Guin’s success in her art rests primarily on her mastery over three areas: world-building, writing, and ideological/thematic exploration. I will thus investigate each of those elements as they relate to WWF.
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Void Wraith and Eradication are the second and third books in indie author Chris Fox’s military science fiction trilogy beginning with Destroyer (review of which can be found here). These books continue the story of Nolan’s and the 14th fleet’s attempts to deal with the Void Wraith invasion.
I’ve decided to review these two books together, because the points I want to raise are essentially the same for both of them. The only difference between the two books is the degree to which those points apply to them.
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