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Arbie's Unoriginally Titled Book Blog

It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.

Currently reading

Nonlinear Time Series Analysis
Thomas Schreiber, Holger Kantz
Progress: 29/320 pages
The Politics of Neurodiversity: Why Public Policy Matters
Dana Lee Baker
Progress: 9/239 pages
Ursula K. Le Guin: Hainish Novels and Stories, Vol. 1: Rocannon's World / Planet of Exile / City of Illusions / The Left Hand of Darkness / The Dispossessed / Stories (The Library of America)
Brian Attebery, Ursula K. Le Guin
Progress: 440/1100 pages
Life and Letters of Charles Darwin - Volume 1: By Charles Darwin - Illustrated
Charles Darwin
Progress: 332/346 pages
Basics of Plasma Astrophysics
Claudio Chiuderi, Marco Velli
Progress: 58/250 pages
Ursula K. Le Guin: The Complete Orsinia: Malafrena / Stories and Songs (The Library of America)
Brian Attebery, Ursula K. Le Guin
Progress: 359/700 pages
A Student's Guide to Lagrangians and Hamiltonians
Patrick Hamill
Progress: 7/180 pages
Complete Poems, 1904-1962
E.E. Cummings
Progress: 110/1102 pages
The Complete Plays and Poems
E.D. Pendry, J.C. Maxwell, Christopher Marlowe
She Stoops to Conquer and Other Comedies (Oxford World's Classics)
Henry Fielding, David Garrick, Oliver Goldsmith
Progress: 76/448 pages

Frankenstein Unbound, Brian Aldiss

Frankenstein Unbound - Brian W. Aldiss

My first experience of Brian Aldiss was the short story collection, The Moment of Eclipse. I thought it was fantastic, the only such collection I had ever come across that could rival Ray Bradbury's The Illustrated Man for short story telling genius. Naturally I looked for more Aldiss.


I found the Heliconia books, the first of which I liked and the subsequent ones not so much. In desultory fashion I've read one or two more of the novels in the intervening decades and this will probably be my last, because all of them have been weak in one or more ways. I will, however, seek out more short stories, as some writers are just so much stronger in that form or vice versa.


Here we have an initial set up of a future in which cis lunar nuclear warfare has caused random tears in space-time. Of course our protagonist gets caught up in these and meets up not only with Byron and the Shelleys but with Frankenstein and his Creature (called Monster here - grrrr!).


It's fairly clear what's happened if you are paying any attention but the real question is why? By which I mean, what is the author trying to get at with all this?


Some things are clear; anti-nuclear war stance (familiar from Helliconia Summer), general but irrational and incoherent anti-scientific stance (familiar from HARM) but still, what is the point of that "ending" which is more of an abrupt halt than a plot resolution? 


The whole thing comes over as an incoherent mess.