Just finished reading The Two-Timers, a Bob Shaw novel from 1968. It has brought back a lot of memories. There was a time when I would devour every Bob Shaw book I could lay my hands on, indeed I thought I had read them all until finding this one, in a second-hand book shop in Seahouses, Northumberland. I wandered in there on a wet day, a couple of years ago, while on holiday. It cost me just 60p. (Mind you, the original cover price was 25p, so it has appreciated in value over the years.)
I wondered if a Bob Shaw novel could still do it for me. Was the magic real or was it just the best of a narrow crop of reading matter that was drawing me in at the time.And the answer is: magic? - oh yes, indeed! Okay, it isn't one of his blockbusters (like Orbitsville or The Ragged Astronauts) and the settings and attitudes feel a little dated, but then that's because it was contemporary at the time of writing. This isn't a futuristic novel, it is firmly set in the quaint present of 1968, and the world of 43 years ago certainly feels like a different place. But the SF ideas in here had all the entertainment value I remember from those days when, to me, a new Bob Shaw was a big event. At a time when I was also reading a lot of Asimov and Arthur C Clarke, a Bob Shaw novel had its emphasis on realistic characters and driving plot, and I found his books riveting.
We lost Bob Shaw in 1996. Imagine what wonders he'd be giving us today if he were still around.
Saturday, 1 October 2011
My short story, “The Last Fisherman of Habitat 37” is to appear in the new FISH anthology by Dagan books. Check out this link for the full table of contents... http://daganbooks.com/2011/10/01/official-table-of-contents-for-fish/
…and isn’t the cover illustration, by Galen Dala, just fabulous?