"Did you know that showing pubic hair is illegal under Japanese
Little Known Fact
MORE LITERARY OUTPUT REVIEWED
by Michael Noyce
As promised, I have returned in an attempt to persuade you that
perhaps you might like to read some rather spiffin' books.
Interested? Right then, let's get cracking.
"Johnny and the Dead" by Terry Pratchett
This Terry Pratchett offering sees the return of his latest
character, twelve-year-old Johnny Maxwell and his friends
Wobbler, Big-Mac and Yo-less.
Johnny always seems to see things that other 'ordinary' folk
can't, the dead for instance, but Johnny can. Of course his
friends think he's gone quite out of his mind again, especially
when he starts talking to nothing but air - air that's suddenly
turn a few degrees colder. But Johnny really can see and talk to
the dead, and they're aren't too happy when they learn the
Council has sold their cemetery to a multinational company who
intend to build on it. It falls to Johnny (being the only living
person they can communicate with) to halt the Council's plans.
Another excellent book with jokes and humour every turn of the
page (almost), especially when it comes to the dialog between the
characters and the antics of the dead. I've (sort of) said it
before about Terry's books, and I'm going to say it again, I just
love the idiosyncrasies and interaction of his characters -
there's a bit of all of us in them. If I had to make a single
negative point about this book it would have to be the ending.
Personally I found it quite lame and a bit of a cliché, but on
the whole this is another great book from Terry's warped
imagination that's guaranteed to make you laugh.
"Johnny and the Dead" by Terry Pratchett. Published by Corgi
Books. ISBN 0-552-52740-8. £3.99.
Quite a while ago, there was a TV programme about Terry and
"Johnny and the Dead" (his latest book at the time). I can't
remember much about what he said apart from him saying that even
though the characters in this story are the same as the ones in
"Only You Can Save Mankind", it is not a sequel of sorts. Even
so, I would strongly advise you to read "One You Can Save
"Warrior of Mars" The Martian Trilogy by Michael Moorcock
"Warrior of Mars" is a book that I'd read sometime ago, but it's
one of those rare books that I find myself returning to time and
again without it losing any of its magic.
Michael Kane was a physicist who had invented a matter
transmitter and volunteered to be the first human guinea-pig.
When the transmitter was activated Kane thought he would be
transported from one part of the lab to another. What he didn't
expect was to find himself transported to another planet! The
planet Mars! However the Mars that he found himself on was very
different to the Mars we know today. Instead of the barren red
planes and mountains he finds a lush beautiful planet with
strange and wondrous creatures, a great civilisation lead by the
beautiful Princess Shizala at war against an army of blue giants
(naturally!) led by a mysterious evil woman. Michael Kane found
himself caught up in the battle to save his now adopted home
against these invaders, needing all his skills and courage to
survive and claim the hand of Shizala.
However, Just as suddenly as he had arrived, the machine that
had bought him to this new world returned him to Earth, where
people who heard his story thought him mad. But Michael Kane was
to return to Mars again for even more strange and exciting
adventures beyond his wildest dreams and fears.
"Warrior of Mars" is a fast moving story throughout that quickly
draws you into the mysterious and fascinating, almost believable
world created by Michael Moorcock. All the ingredients of a
great story are present, a struggle between good and evil,
romance, treachery, mystery, all expertly woven together to
produce an excellent story with many unexpected twists and turns.
Very highly recommended.
"Warrior of Mars" The Martian Trilogy by Michael Moorcock.
Published by New English Library. ISBN 0-450-05895-6. £5.99.
"The Earthsea Quartet" by Ursula Le Guin
I originally read "The Earthsea Trilogy" (as it was then) about
five years ago when I found it in the school library (I have
since bought all three volumes) whilst looking for something
different to read. It was the first fantasy story I'd ever read
and I've been hooked to the genre ever since. However, a chance
visit to a bookshop a few months ago led to the unexpected
discovery of the forth and final book in the series, and so three
books became four.
Unfortunately, due to that fact that I had to work a twenty five
hour day in order to finish my final end of term projects on
time, I haven't had enough time to read all four volumes.
Therefore, this review is based on what I can remember from
before and what I've read again.
The story is set in the mysterious Earthsea Archipelago and
centres around a boy called Ged, the son of a village
bronzesmith, whose mother had died whilst he was just a baby.
His first encounter with magic was an accident when he overheard
the words spoken by his aunt, a witch herself. He soon learnt
the basic art of magic and when his village was attacked by an
all conquering army he was able to defeat them using what he had
learned. It was enough for people to see that he possessed great
power and was sent to school of wizards in a far off island to
learn the art of magic. So began the story of Sparrowhawk the
greatest Achmage the Earthsea had ever seen.
Each volume represents a different stage in Ged's life, from an
ignorant and headstrong young boy to a tired wise old man,
following each of his greatest adventures and quests.
I can say without a doubt that "The Earthsea Quartet" is the
best fantasy story I've ever read. Ursula Le Guin has created an
imaginative story, with incredible depth and scale, which makes
it a timeless classic that every fantasy fan should read - and
even those who aren't.
"The Earthsea Quartet" is available in two forms. An all-in-one
volume (details below) or as four individual volumes: "A Wizard
of Earthsea", "The Tomes of Atuan", "The Farthest Shore", and
"Tehanu - The Last Book of Earthsea", all published by Roc and
available for under £5.00 each.
"The Earthsea Quartet" by Ursula Le Guin. Published by Penguin.
ISBN 0-14-015427-2. £8.99
Well, I have rather a lot of books still waiting to be read,
hopefully before the next ST NEWS deadline approaches. This is
mainly a result of my friends learning that I'd started reviewing
books in ST NEWS and thus lending or recommending books they've
read - thanks to all of you! Right then, expect to read about
(takes a quick glance at the shelf to my right): Some stuff by
Robert Rankin in the form of "The Armageddon Trilogy", as well as
"Virtual Light" by William Gibson, of "Neuromancer" fame, "Flying
Dutch" by Tom Holt, and Stephen Lawhead's new epic trilogy, "Song
Until next we meet...
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.