Sunday, February 16, 2020

Book review: THE MACHINE STOPS by E.M. Forster

THE MACHINE STOPS (1909) by E.M. Forster

E.M. Forster (better known for novels like A PASSAGE TO INDIA) wrote THE MACHINE STOPS as a reaction/response to H.G. Wells' novel THE TIME MACHINE.

This story/novella, set in the far future, is stunningly prescient. Forster depicted a version of the Internet and social media (in 1909!), and robots that take care of all human needs.

THE MACHINE STOPS is a dystopian vision of humans becoming subservient to technology - the "Machine" of the title - and it feels relevant today. It is also well written.

Strongly recommended reading. (A Public Domain audiobook version is available on Librivox.org.)

There are several TV/movie versions of this story - for example in the classic BBC series OUT OF THE UNKNOWN, and a recent adaptation.

#emforster #themachinestops #apassagetoindia #bookstagram #bookreviews #bookreview #review #reviews #sciencefiction #scifi #classics #fiction #literature #internet #socialmedia #twitter #future #dystopia #dystopianfiction #technology

HOTET UNDER HAVET - mer bilder

Ett smakprov på mina illustrationer från KG Johanssons mellanåldersbok
HOTET UNDER HAVET : STADEN UNDER JORDEN DEL 3.




Bokserien STADEN UNDER JORDEN finns på biblioteket och säljes på Bokus.com.


#aryngve #boktips #lästips #böcker #bokstagram #bokomslag #barnböcker #ungdomsböcker #boktipset #stadenunderjorden #mellanåldersbok #boktipsbarn #illustration #illustrationer #grafiskdesign #grafiskdesigner #illustratör

PRECINCT 20: DEAD STRANGE extended trailer

Extended "music video" trailer for my book PRECINCT 20: DEAD STRANGE (available on Amazon):
 
 

Monday, February 03, 2020

Book review: THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU by H. G. Wells

THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU (1896) by H. G. Wells

In THE TIME MACHINE, H.G. Wells speculated about human evolution reaching into the distant future.

But in THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU, he took Darwin's discovery directly into the present (the story takes place in the 1880s) - and the result is a tale somewhere in the borderland between science fiction and horror.

Darwin's theory of evolution made a profound impact on Western society, and was met with a furious opposition from the religious establishment. The opposition lost, and the ancient notion that humans were fundamentally apart from other animals - that only humans had a "soul" - shattered forever.

In THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU, the protagonist literally and existentially struggles with the consequences of this (to him) new reality, where the "boundary" between human and animal is blurred.

There are some truly profound scenes in this novel that are simultaneously science fiction, horror, satire and allegory. In that respect it may be the best novel Wells ever wrote. Read it and you'll see what I mean.

Recommended as an unforgettable classic of science fiction, horror and psychological literature.

FOOTNOTE:
I have a cynical anticipation that some people are going to wilfully misinterpret this novel as a work about simplistic "racism." (That is, to assume that the "beast people" of the story are nothing more than symbols for non-Western or non-"white" peoples.)


But that would be to profoundly miss the point. Evolution is for everybody. Or, to quote the novel: "None escape!"


#hgwells #theislandofdrmoreau #theislandofdoctormoreau #thetimemachine #classics #literature #reviews #review #novel #novels #bookstagram #bookreview #bookreviews #bookcover #bookcovers #bookstagrammers #bookbloggers #beautifulbooks #scifi #sciencefiction #horror #satire #evolution #darwin #charlesdarwin #madscientist

Sunday, February 02, 2020

Book review: THE FALL OF HYPERION by Dan Simmons



THE FALL OF HYPERION (1990) by Dan Simmons

I have read and very much enjoyed the author's previous novel HYPERION (see my review). But it ended abruptly - so I had to read this sequel and see what would happen next...

THE FALL OF HYPERION is very long and has many parallel plot threads with different characters. The author uses repeated "reminders" to keep the reader on track, which is helpful in this case.

Even so, this novel is probably longer than it had to be.

The story makes more sense if you bear in mind that HYPERION was inspired by a medieval book (Chaucer's CANTERBURY TALES), and that the medieval worldview was profoundly religious and Christian.

In both Chaucer's medieval universe and in Simmons' future galactic civilization, gods are real - and they are engaged in a kind of cosmic football game where the human (and non-human) characters are merely players (or possibly more?).

Frequently, the text wanders into religious mysticism and metaphysics - but that's inevitable, given the theme of the books.
.
HYPERION and THE FALL OF HYPERION are, I think, really about the future of Christianity, in a space opera setting. To what degree this "works" for you depends on how much you can mentally keep apart the fictional religions of the story and real-life religion.
(I struggled a bit with that.)

The characters are well written and you care for them. There are some good plot twists (and one that I saw coming). The novel ends with enough plot threads wrapped up to make a satisfying whole.

All in all, THE FALL OF HYPERION is quite enjoyable and well crafted - though "your mileage may vary," as the phrase goes.

Recommended for lovers of epic stories, space opera and metaphysical speculation.


#dansimmons #thefallofhyperion #hyperion #hyperioncantos #bookstagram #bookreview #bookreviews #bookcover #bookcovers #bookstagrammers #bookbloggers #reviews #books #literature #sciencefiction #scifi #spaceopera #adventure #bookphotography #book #johnkeats #metaphysics #religion #christianity #artificialintelligence #ai #poetry #novel #novels #bookseries

Book review: THE MAN WHO WAS THURSDAY by G.K. Chesterton

THE MAN WHO WAS THURSDAY: A Nightmare (1908) by G. K. Chesterton

Chesterton is most famous for his "Father Brown" detective stories - which I have enjoyed. This novel, however, is structured more like a thriller.

The surface plot is about secret police infiltrating an Anarchist cabal that's plotting terrorist attacks. But it turns out the Anarchist menace is not what it seems...

I recall reading THE MAN WHO WAS THURSDAY when I was younger - and it made a better impression on me then, even though it mystified me... or rather I was impressed because I didn't quite understand it.

Now, when I read it as a more mature man, I understand it perfectly. It is a tract on behalf of the Catholic Church (which Chesterton converted to), pretending to be a thriller.


(The title ought to be simply "Join Us: A Tract".)

Chesterton not only tries to make this tract "entertaining" by cloaking the message in genre fiction, he also dumbs it down until it becomes patronizing. It is embarrassing to see an obviously intelligent writer dumb himself down for the sake of propaganda.

For example: in one passage, the characters are in need of a torchlight for their car. Someone brings a lantern that emits a cross-shaped light...

But that's not allegorical enough for Chesterton! He describes in sentimental terms how the lantern was delivered by a good man, and spells out in the text that the sight of the characters using that lantern seems like an allegory. (You know, in case the readers were too stupid to "get it.")

Not heavy-handed enough? How about the protagonist actually SAYING "the infallibility of the Pope" without irony? Or how about when Chesterton writes that a suspicious character looks "Jewish"? Groan. (There isn't room here for the issue of Chesterton's anti-Semitic tendencies, but they are duly noted.)

If you're a Christian - or if you dislike being condescended to - please avoid this book.
(Or read the "Father Brown" stories instead.)

#bookstagram #bokstagram #bookstagrammer #bookreview #bookreviews #bookcover #bookcovers #bookbloggers #reviews #books #literature #classics #review #gkchesterton #chesterton #themanwhowasthursday #religion #christianity

Allt vad jag har skrivit genom åren...

 
Jag har skrivit historier sedan jag gick i skolan. Jag började med noveller, och det tog lång tid innan jag var redo att skriva en hel roman.

Sedan 2004 har olika förlag gett ut mina romaner och antologier/tidskrifter där mina noveller ingår.

Om vi inte inkluderar böcker/noveller som jag har gett ut på egen hand (eller enbart lagt ut på min webbsajt), så är dessa titlar som följer:

Romaner (finns på biblioteket eller på Bokus.com):


  • Terra Hexa (Wela Förlag, 2004) 
  • Terra Hexa II (Wela Förlag, 2006)

  • Terra Hexa 3 (Wela Förlag, 2007)

  • Supermobilen (Wela Förlag, 2011)

  • Sagopyjamasen (Wela Förlag, 2012)

  • Vaernen den fördömde (Wela Förlag, 2012)

  • Hundra tusen pirater (Wela Förlag, 2013)
  • Darc Ages - De mörka tidevarven - Första boken: Uppvaknandet (Wela Förlag, 2016)
  • Darc Ages - De mörka tidevarven - Andra boken: Ödemarkens barn (Wela Förlag, 2016)
  • Darc Ages - De mörka tidevarven - Tredje boken: Slaget om framtiden (Wela Förlag, 2016)
  • Monster i massor (Wela Förlag, 2016)
  • Darc Ages - De mörka tidevarven - Fjärde boken: Maskernas stad (Wela Förlag, 2017)
  • Rex Omega (TiraTiger Förlag, 2019)

    Novellsamlingar:

  • Fruktans fysik (Wela Förlag, 2014)
    Fotnot: Denna novellsamling drogs senare in för att frigöra ljudboksrättigheterna till materialet.

    Publicerade noveller/långnoveller (OBS: Denna lista är inkomplett):
    1. "Grisham's World" (Denna satiriska novell om ett samhälle styrt av advokater publicerades i tidskriften The #12 Gauge Review)

    2. "Custom Job"
    3. "I Feel Super, Thanks For Asking"
    4. "By the Nose"
    5. "The War"("Kriget")
    6. "Sins of Our Fathers"
    7. "Physical Terror"("Fruktans fysik")
    8. "The Face In the Door"
    9. "K.C. And the Sunshine World"
    10. "See"(i en kinesisk SF-tidskrift)
    11. "Lonely Planets"
    12. "A Funny Thing Happened On the Way To Valhalla"
    13. "Telephone Conversations" ("Telefonsamtal")
    14. "Landscape With Sententers" ("Landskap med sententrer")
    15. "Nightmare Number Six"
    16. "Mannen som föll ut"
    17. "Quadrillennium" ("Quadrillennium")
    18. "Super-Size Security"(I det brittiska skräckmagasinet Murky Depths)
    19. "Stupid!" (i en kinesisk SF-tidskrift)
    20. "6 superkorta"
    21. "Insider" ("Insider")
    22. "Serverad"
    23. "Avagana"
    24. "Historien om P"
    25. "A Man Called Mister Brown" (in Spacewesterns.com)
    Min egenutgivning finns på Amazon.



    Monday, December 16, 2019

    Boksläpp: HOTET UNDER HAVET - Staden under jorden del 3

    Nu har den äntligen kommit ut i nätbokhandlarna:
    HOTET UNDER HAVET - Staden under jorden del 3

    En spännande lättläst bok för mellanåldern, med högaktuellt tema.
    KG Johansson har skrivit texten, och jag har illustrerat boken med över 40 bilder.

    Presentation av boken på Bokus.com:

    I en dröm får Fia en vision av en jordbävning. Det är i själva verket vännen Jim från staden Salvo långt under jordytan som kontaktar henne med hjälp av robothunden Robban. Datorerna som styr Salvo har fastnat i ett inbördes gräl, när ett beslut omedelbart måste fattas för att rädda livet på elva tusen människor.

    Staden under jorden är en lättläst bokserie för barn på ett mycket gammalt tema: en hemlig värld under jorden. I seriens nya tredje del, Hotet från havet, tas samma tema upp men nu får också klimatkrisen en plats tillsammans med robotar och avancerad teknik. Boken är skriven och tecknad med glimten i ögat - och vem tycker inte om hemliga världar, dinosaurier, talande apor och datorer med mycket mänskliga personligheter?


    Fråga efter de här böckerna på biblioteket!

    Här är några exempel på illustrationer från de tidigare böckerna i serien:



    Thursday, December 12, 2019

    Book review: THE FIRST MEN IN THE MOON by H. G. Wells

    THE FIRST MEN IN THE MOON (1901) by H. G. Wells

    A novel that's over 100 years old...about a visit to the Moon... depicting lunar life on a Moon with an atmosphere. Is it really still worth reading?

    The answer is yes. In fact this novel is imaginative, humorous, lighthearted and even satirical.

    It also contains interesting surprises:

    - The characters make a direct reference to Jules Verne's novel FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON -- a "meta-commentary."

    - The narrative, written as a firsthand account of "true events," mixes fantastic events with mundane details of life in the 1890s.

    - The narrator is a greedy opportunist - he tags along on the expedition to the Moon only to strike it rich. In one scene, he gets intoxicated and babbles about the duty to seize control of the Moon as "the White Man's Burden." This is obviously Wells making fun of British imperialism.

    - The depiction of life on the Moon, even though it is outdated, is still impressive and imaginative. It has been an influence on later stories about aliens.

    - There are several ironic twists in the story to keep the excitement up.


    (For example: the two men who travel to the Moon bring lots of provisions and prepare for various difficulties they might face... but once they land on the Moon, it becomes obvious that they forgot to bring a map.)

    - Wells even considered the psychological effects of space travel - in a wonderful scene he depicts a kind of "space madness"!

    I enjoyed THE FIRST MEN IN THE MOON, a surprisingly entertaining adventure. Recommended as a classic.

    NOTE: The book has been filmed several times. The 2010 BBC adaptation received mostly good reviews.


    You can listen to the free Librivox audiobook version HERE.


    #bookstagram #bookreview #bookreviews #bookcover #bookcovers #bookstagrammers #bookbloggers #reviews #books #literature #sciencefiction #classics #hgwells #thefirstmeninthemoon #themoon #spacetravel


    Tuesday, December 10, 2019

    Kommer snart: HOTET UNDER HAVET (mellanåldersbok)

    STADEN UNDER JORDEN och fortsättningen UNDER UNDERJORDEN är skrivna av KG Johansson och illustrade av mig.

    De här lättlästa, spännande mellanåldersböckerna finns på biblioteket och på Bokus.com .

    Den tredje boken i serien, HOTET UNDER HAVET, kommer snart ut!
    För mer information, se förlagets webbsida:
    www.welaforlag.se


    Friday, December 06, 2019

    Book review: HYPERION by Dan Simmons

    HYPERION (1989) by Dan Simmons

    This one took some time to finish - because it's really not one story but several interconnected tales, set in the same world.

    The setting is a future interstellar empire called The Hegemony of Man. It is beset by war, corruption, power struggles - and a mysterious, murderous being called the Shrike.

    A group of diverse characters travel to the planet Hyperion to find the Shrike, in the desperate hope that it might somehow resolve the crises that threaten the Hegemony. (A very slim hope, partly based on a future religion.)

    On their journey, each of the travelers tell their tale of how and why they joined this "pilgrimage" to Hyperion. These tales make up the main body of the book.

    As I came to the end of HYPERION, I realized that it wasn't a complete novel but actually the very long Prologue to a novel. But now the author has got me hooked, so I guess I'll have to plow through the whole series to see how it ends. (Damn you, Simmons!)

    Despite a few flaws (you'll notice them), and the fact that it's not a complete novel, HYPERION is an excellent first part of an epic space opera series. It builds and builds to a tense climax - and then abruptly ends just before the anticipated climax can occur.

    If this had been a badly written book, the author couldn't have gotten away with that.

    It also contains some very graphic scenes of sex and gruesome violence. I recommend HYPERION for adult, patient readers who enjoy big books with great amounts of plot, characters, worldbuilding - and sequels.


    Fans of DUNE should find a lot to like here.

    (Disclaimer: I haven't read the sequels yet, so I cannot say anything about them or what they add to/subtract from this first book.)

    #bookstagram #bookreview #bookreviews #review #bookcover #bookcovers #bookstagrammers #bookbloggers #reviews #books #literature #sciencefiction #scifi #spaceopera #hyperion #dansimmons #hyperioncantos