Showing posts with the label Influences

Reading journal: Wyatt’s Hurricane by Desmond Bagley

Genre: Action/Adventure Published: 1966 Read: January 2018 A story about a hurricane and a revolution on a Caribbean island. There is a large cast of secondary characters, some little more than stereotypes, but the main characters are strong and interesting. Dave Wyatt is a meteorologist specialising in hurricanes, and a man of principle. He fights his way through obstacles to save the population and the girl he loves. Great descriptions of the hurricane and its impact on the island, and of the chaos of war and the aftermath of disaster. Recommended.

Reading journal: The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin

Genre: Speculative fiction Published: 1969 Read: January 2018 Part of my re-reading program, made especially sad by the death of the author just this month. I read this in 1973 as a young woman. Now, 45 years later, I’m not the same person, and this is not the same book. Back then I raced through the story, desperate to find out what would happen. This time, I knew what would happen, and instead saw layers and depths to the work that I missed first time around. Genly Ai is the first Envoy to the planet Winter, come there to start the process of bringing the planet into humanity’s Ekumen, an organisation that coordinates trade and cultural exchange between 80 human planets. But the people of Winter are not like the rest of humanity. Instead of two genders, each person is both male and female within themselves. Genly, a male, struggles to adapt to this difference. Only after great hardship and sorrow can he find love and friendship, and succeed in his mission, but he is c

Book review: When Eight Bells Toll by Alistair MacLean

This is the first in a series of blog posts about authors and books who have influenced my writing. When Eight Bells Toll was published in 1966. The main character is Philip Calvert, a government agent investigating the disappearance of ships in waters surrounding Britain. It’s a great story about big time corporate crooks, piracy, kidnapping and salvage. Calvert eventually eliminates his enemy, solves the puzzle, and gets the girl, happy endings all round, apart from all the people who were killed along the way. Why I liked this book: Setting The cold, wet, stormy, rough waters of western Scotland, appalling weather, and the boats and ships, are so well described it's like being there. The weather and the sea are additional enemies to confront and overcome. Main character Calvert is a courageous man taking on the bad guys, mostly single-handed, for a good cause. He is easy to admire and to empathise with. Pace There’s no unnecessary prose. Anything that's the