A review blog

Felaheen by Jon Courtenay Grimwood

The novel “Felaheen” by Jon Courtenay Grimwood was published for the first time in 2003. It’s the third novel in the Arabesk trilogy and is the sequel to “Effendi”.

Ashraf (Raf) al-Mansur is in a complex situation after having renounced important positions in El Iskandryia (Alexandria of Egypt), in the Ottoman Empire. As if this weren’t enough, an attempt is made to kill the Emir of Tunis, who is officially Raf’s father even if he never met him.

The head of the Emir’s security asks Raf to help her find out attempted assassination’s perpetrator but he doesn’t believe that he’s really his father and doesn’t want to get involved. However, he ends up being attracted to the events in Tunis but investigates them his own way and that forces him to deal with himself by exploring his identity’s various faces.

Orion by Ben Bova

The novel “Orion” by Ben Bova was published for the first time in 1984. It’s the first book in the Orion series.

John O’Ryan is aware of the fact that he has extraordinary skills but doesn’t know their origin. His life doesn’t seem exceptional but one day ends up in the middle of what looks like a terrorist attack. With him a beautiful woman who caught his attention is involved and ends up killed not in the attack but in the strange events that follow it.

Determined to understand more about it, John O’Ryan starts investigating and finally finds someone who reveals his true identity. He’s not a normal human being but Orion, the champion of all humanity, whose destiny is to save it by fighting Ahriman the Dark One, who wants to destroy it, through time. The woman who charmed him is more than a human and acts alongside Ormazd the Golden One, Orion’s creator.

Purgatory by Mike Resnick (Italian edition)

The novel “Purgatory” by Mike Resnick was published for the first time in 1993. It’s the second book in the Galactic Comedy series and follows “Paradise”.

On the planet Karimon there’s a native species of sentient reptiles that reached the equivalent of the Earth’s Stone Age. The arrival of human beings on Karimon quickly disrupts that civilization, especially because the strong presence of precious minerals attracts many potential exploiters putting the planet at the center of considerable economic interests.

Jalanopi is the king of the Tulabetes, the strongest nation on the planet Karimon, but he has no hope of stopping the arrival of human beings with their advanced weapons. His only hope is to put humans against another alien species interested in the planet’s resources to obtain weapons and agreements that ensure the natives’ survival.

Terminal Mind by David Walton

The novel “Terminal Mind” by David Walton was published for the first time in 2008. It won the Philip K. Dick Award.

Mark McGovern is the son of a wealthy politician so his life is far more comfortable than the average, yet his best friend is Darin Kinsley, who belongs to a social class with which the rich generally avoid personal relationships. The situation for the two of them becomes complicated when they release a super-virus called a “slicer” into the net.

That event has a series of important consequences and ramifications that add tension in Philadelphia, one of the city-states that emerged from the fragmentation of the old USA. A political and social situation that was already unstable is likely to become explosive and the attempts to destroy the slicer make disturbing truths slowly emerge.

Doctor Who - Planet of Giants

“Planet of Giants” is the first adventure of the second season of “Doctor Who” classic series, which aired in 1964. It follows “The Reign of Terror” and it’s a three parts adventure written by Louis Marks and directed by Mervyn Pinfield and Douglas Camfield.

Something’s wrong in the Tardis and the doors open during its journey. The First Doctor (William Hartnell) and Susan (Carole Ann Ford) try to locate the fault but everything seems fine. The rematerialization seems correct and the journey apparently ends without other hitches.

Together with Ian (William Russell) and Barbara (Jacqueline Hill), the Doctor and Susan leave the Tardis and start exploring the surroundings. Initially they think they have arrived on another planet where giant insects and worms live but soon realize they’re on Earth and they have somehow shrunk.