Academic Exercises – K.J. Parker

A collection of short stories by K.J. Parker, mostly loosely tied to an academic context in generally shared universe, along with a few technical essays.

3.5 stars
In brief: While he is following a formula, he's following it really well.

The Dispossessed – Ursula K. Le Guin

Hainish Cycle #1

A determined but awkward physicist from the anarchic communal world of Anarres returns to Urras, the sister planet from which his idealistic ancestors fled. Hoping to find freedom from tradition and habit, he finds a rich world with a host of flaws beneath the surface.

4.5 stars
In brief: A remarkable achievement, and well-deserving its status as a classic.

Red Orc’s Rage – Philip Jose Farmer

World of Tiers #6

Jim Grimson is a troubled young boy with a difficult home life. Eventually finding himself in group therapy, he’s encouraged to imagine himself as a character in Philip Jose Farmer’s World of Tiers series. Immersing himself in the experience, he develops a seeming ability to inhabit the character Red Orc at various stages in his life.

1.5 stars
In brief: A fun project for the author, but dull for the rest of us.