The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Douglas Adams (SF-Comedy)
so long ago, in a galaxy not so far away (this one, actually), ordinary English guy Arthur Dent hitched a lift on a Vogon
spaceship thanks to his pal Ford Prefect from Betelgeuse seconds before the Earth’s total destruction. Improbable? Yes.
Impossible? Perhaps…not. Anyway, they meet some weird characters (such as the depressed robot Marvin or the planet designer
Slartibartfast) and embark on an incredibly inventive and very funny adventure: they take part in a quest to find the lost
planet of Magrathea. Yes, this is Douglas Adams’ cult novel’s story. It has been made into a radio show, a TV
show, this novel, and now a film: all are recommended. What is a Vogon? Who is Zaphod Beeblebrox? What does a slightly confused
sperm-whale and a pot of petunias have in common? Those are all questions which can only be answered by reading the brilliant
bestseller The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It’s great fun to read, very British and quite clever indeed.
It can be seen as a sci-fi comedy/ spoof with a little philosophy thrown in. ‘Life, don’t talk to me about life...’
A Series of Unfortunate Events
by Lemony Snicket (Children)
This delightful series of novels for children refuses
to be like most children's books in which they all live happily ever after. From the start, the writer warns us that if we
don't like stories in which bad things happen to defenseless children we should stop reading the book now! The novels tell
the story of the Baudelaire children who lose their parents and are sent to live with their evil and gloomy Count Olaf who
also has a theatre group. The 3 children realise that all the count is after is the money that their parents have left them.
Dark, funny and cleverly written.
The Queen Of The Damned
by Anne Rice (Horror)
Superior to the film in every single way, this vampire horror novel is the 3rd part of Anne Rice's brilliant Vampire Chronicles (Interview With
The Vampire and The Vampire Lestat being the 2 previous parts).
After 6000 years, Akasha, mother of all vampires and Queen of the Damned has risen from her sleep to let
loose the powers of the night. Her plans must be stopped and it is up to the evil vampire Lestat to do that because it is
he who challenged her power by waking her from her sleep.
This book is about 560 pages long and worth every word! We are sent back to Ancient Egypt, we meet all the
old vampires: Armand, Lestat, Louis, Khayman... and learn all about how it all began.
Brilliant, horryfing and sensual, this is a definite must-read.
Our Friends From Frolix 8
Philip K. Dick (SF/ Fantasy)
Appleton is a regular guy (an Old Man), he’s not a telepath, he’s not an Unusual, he’s not a New Man. He
has a son and a wife but his life is lost in stagnation. The government is run by Willis Gram, a New Man with telepathic abilities
and problems in his private life which he doesn’t mind sorting out at the same time as his professional ones. Sorting
out his ex-wife and murdering a political rival is all the same to him: he is negligent
and selfish to say the least. An underground group of rebellious Old Men is growing and all of them are awaiting Thors Provoni’s
return. The latter left Earth to search space for help to bring back to his planet and overthrow the New Men’s dictatorship
(the concentration camps on Luna and on Earth have become intolerable). Cordon, a colleague of Provoni, is captured and brutally
executed by Gram, after that, Nick Appleton decides to be part of the rebellion, even though he is aware that it means his
old life is officially over. He meets young, feisty Charlotte Boyer, aka Charley, a black marketer of revolutionary propaganda
(Cordon’s writings mostly). After a fight with her drunk boyfriend Donnie (alcohol is illegal) she escapes with Nick
and the latter starts to fall in love with her. They are eventually captured by Gram who seems pretty interested in the young
girl himself. When a message from Thors Provoni is received, saying that he is coming back to Earth with an alien friend of
his, things obviously start to get a little crazy. Provoni is coming back after 10 years of absence. But what is his slimy
alien friend’s plan? Will they overthrow Gram’s government? How will they proceed? Our Friends From Frolix 8 is
another fascinating gem from genius sci-fi writer Philip K Dick. It may not be his very best work but is pretty impressive
and gripping stuff nevertheless. So many things are happening at the same time and it’s all quite unpredictable. There
are some excellent characters, Willis Gram being the best and funniest. And the love story taking place in the middle of the
political madness is very entertaining. Unlike Eye in the Sky’s slightly flat ending, the whole third act of Our Friends
From Frolix 8 is very satisfying: fast, moving and constantly surprising. Overall, this sci-fi novel takes a few pages to
get into but once you’re in, you’re in. You genuinely care about the characters and become just as anxious as
all the Old Men to know what Provoni’s return will bring. Recommended.
in the Sky
by Philip K. Dick (SF/ Fantasy)
When Jack Hamilton, whose wife
Marsha is suspected of being a Communist, is caught in a big lab accident along with 7 other people (including his wife),
his life changes forever. When he and the others wake up after the explosion, they find themselves in a sort of parallel world
where a kind of Old Testament morality reigns: instant plagues occur, there are immediate damnations for people who are disrespectful
to the vengeful “God” in whom everyone believes in, and all potential infidels are destroyed. Jack and the rest
will have to find a way to escape this dangerous fantasy to return to the real world. But unfortunately for them that won’t
be a piece of cake to achieve since they soon find out that there isn’t only one parallel world to getaway from and
every world they witness is worse and more insane than the previous one. Eye in the Sky is a terrifically inventive science
fiction fantasy novel and contains many twists and turns. Philip K. Dick’s imagination is as impressive as ever and
his black sense of humour is very present in Eye in the Sky: Jack Hamilton is a grumpy, sarcastic loser and his various reactions
towards all the insane events he witnesses are a delight to read. This novel is a bit more lighthearted than some of Dick’s
masterpieces (Ubik, Time Out of Joint) and is therefore very entertaining indeed. The conclusion may lack a big final twist
(even though the writer teases us till the very end) but it’s such an original, funny and thrilling ride that it would
be silly to complain about it. Cleverly written with some brilliant ideas, it’s well worth a read.