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Yeldarb's sci-fi book review thread

 
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Morbid Pickle
Snatch Jack McGribbles




Joined: 08 Jul 2007
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Location: sixth planet of the Hoth system

Post Post subject: Yeldarb's sci-fi book review thread  Reply with quote

So the other day I went to the book store and checked out their sci-fi section. They had a lot of retro stuff (50's-70's) for a dollar each, so I snagged a few of them. I grabbed the ones with the cooler titles or concepts, stuff like BRITAIN IN THE YEAR 2000, CONQUEST OF EARTH, and CAPTAIN GALAXY  VS THE EVIL SPACE WARLORD DESTRUCTICA FROM THE PLANET X. Okay, I made that last one up, but the others seem pretty cool too. I've decided that I am going to write a review on each one of them. I've stayed away from reviewing any of the classics that I have, because everyone has notions about what they are and what they should be already. Plus, I'm sure there's more than enough reviews of Asimov and Wells. By the way, possible spoiler alert.


The Day They H-Bombed Los Angeles

When I started reading this one, I had some preconceived notions about it. Its title, the short intro page that mentions something about zombies, and the fact that it was written in 1961, at the height of the Cold War, made me think I had a pretty good idea about what the basic plot was going to be. The Cold War had finally become hot, the Soviets decided to end the American “threat” once and for all, and dropped bombs on Los Angeles. The effects of the radiation, never fully researched or properly studied, turned people into zombies, and a small band of survivors was left to fight for their lives. It would make a political statement, something about the futility of war and the horrors that are unleashed by hatred and racism, and inspire a little fear of government.
Though I was right about the last point, there was more to it than that. For some reason, I had neglected to attempt to predict the sci part of this sci-fi book I had taken out of my pile of sci-fi books I bought in the sci-fi section of a bookstore. Though the Commies and the Red Menace are mentioned in libris far more times than I care to count, it seems as though they have nothing to do with the story. In fact, it seems that they are only mentioned in order to give the feeling of how an average American would probably have reacted to a nuclear strike at that time. The zombies also had nothing to do with the nuclear strike either; in fact the strike was an attempt to eradicate the threat. Though it seems unlikely, there is actually an underlying message of trust in the government. The one character, a “g-man,” expresses doubt in the significance of the missions he was given, only to find out that they were of the utmost importance.
The zombies themselves are nothing like the Romero-esque ones popularized in film these days. They are closer to the traditional Haitian zombie from Voodoo. There is even a bokor-like character, a female, named only as “the tiger-woman”. This offers an interesting dichotomy between the female-led zombies and the survivors, led by the male Tom Watkins. They start off as “slouchies” at first, with the infection, a “mad protein molecule” (whatever that means), eating away at their humanity and causing them so much pain that they slouch over to ease it, and eventually are indestinguishable from unaffected humans except under a microscope.
One of the things that bothered me about the book was the chauvinistic overtones to it. The female characters were very obviously used as plot devices and had little character depth to them, with the exception of Rena, the glamorous, spoiled movie star type who is humbled by her experiences. They are subservient to the stronger male characters, and in more than one instance are told in so many words to get back in the kitchen. The female characters are always in need of being rescued, and are more often than not seen preparing food for the men. In fact, the idea of arming the women in order to help fight off the zombies does not occur to them until the book is almost over. However, these moments are not overly rampant, and did not detract from my enjoyment of it too much.
The ending left a little to be desired, as it seemed that things wrapped up a little too quickly, and the book could have been developed on more. Overall, however, it was an enjoyable read and definitely worth looking into. If anyone wants to borrow it, I'm done with it for now.

Next on the list: BLADES OF MARS

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Post Posted: Mon May 25, 2009 7:48 am 
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Morbid Pickle
Snatch Jack McGribbles




Joined: 08 Jul 2007
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Location: sixth planet of the Hoth system

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also doesnt Yeldarb sound like the name of an evil space warlord? Or maybe just Yeldar, idk

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Post Posted: Mon May 25, 2009 7:49 am 
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PL
Big Dix Lagoon




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game was too easy

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Post Posted: Mon May 25, 2009 12:14 pm 
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Morbid Pickle
Snatch Jack McGribbles




Joined: 08 Jul 2007
Posts: 4078


Location: sixth planet of the Hoth system

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ya im dum i put it in the rong sekshun

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Post Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 1:50 pm 
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sandyjohn123





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William John
Post Posted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 10:38 am 
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