Author Archives: pete

About pete

former academic scientist and presently a software engineer. Also, a science fiction and crime fiction book-blogger.

Quarry, by Max Allan Collins

Many of the novels of the Hard Case Crime series take place in the time between 1940 and 1970 (all of those rediscovered titles) or in the last decade (the debut printings of Charles Ardai’s books, among others). These have … Continue reading

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The Luck of Barry Lyndon, by William Thackeray

William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863) was, during his time, one of the prominent novelists of Victorian England and the primary competition to Charles Dickens. These days he is known mostly for the satirical Vanity Fair, but it was the fictional memoir The … Continue reading

Posted in books, literary fiction | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

The Rakehells of Heaven, by John Boyd

Satirizing our (Western) past of imposing religion onto new cultures is a familiar theme of SF, using spacecraft or time travel as a substitute for ships and covered wagons. One of my favorite stories in the Harry Harrison collection The Best … Continue reading

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U.S.A., by John Dos Passos

John Dos Passos (1896-1970) is not among the most celebrated names in American literature anymore, but several of his books had major cultural impact when they were published in the first half of the 20th Century. An ambulance driver during … Continue reading

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Man on the Run, by Charles Williams

I’ve been coming across several examples of the “man on the run from a murder scene” crime fiction trope lately: John Buchan’s The 39 Steps Ed McBain’s So Nude, So Dead Lawrence Block’s Sinner Man Lawrence Block’s After the First … Continue reading

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“The Purple Pileus” by H.G. Wells

A lot of good, even classic, science fiction stories are currently available for free as HTML, PDF or some e-reader format. I decided to feature some of these “freebee” pieces on a semi-regular basis this year.  Recently, I was trading … Continue reading

Posted in science fiction, short fiction | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Plunder of the Sun, by David Dodge

As I’ve been reading through the titles of the Hard Case Crime series of paperbacks, I’ve found most of them entertaining at minimum, and frequently highly satisfactory. Last October, I was convinced I came across a true classic in Charles … Continue reading

Posted in books, crime fiction | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments