The Cranky Old Reader

I'm a Goodreads refugee, looking for a new home. Old books for children, science fiction, fantasy, mysteries, and humor are my main areas of interest. I've little interest in books that were written after 1975 or so, and prefer books that are older still. There are, however, a few still-living authors that I respect.

The Getaway Special

The Getaway Special - Jerry Oltion The Getaway Special never quite seems to settle on what it's going to be. A wacky interstellar comedy, Ron Goulart-style? An edge-of-the-seat novel of nuclear brinkmanship, a la Failsafe in a science fiction setting? A nuts-n-bolts quasi-realistic "here's how we built the spaceship" story, perhaps reminiscent of some of Heinlein's work?It's neither fish nor fowl. That said, it's edible - I mean, readable.It's the story of a self-proclaimed "mad scientist" (a cutesy designation which threatens to become actively annoying) and a space shuttle pilot as the venture across the galaxy. At first, there's an interesting semi-realistic tone; it's neat to imagine what would happen if FTL travel suddenly became cheap and easy. Of course, The Great Explosion (which is NOT what I meant by a wacky Goulart comedy, by the way). But it isn't long before it turns into what promises to be an interesting description of how to make a spaceship at home. Alas, this too gets a relatively sketchy treatment (although not before reminding me of Gilpin's Space and [b:Tom Paine Maru|1565860|TOM PAINE MARU (Del Rey Books (Paperback))|L. Neil Smith||1558443] by L. Neil Smith. They, and all the other books I've mentioned above, are (I'm sorry to say) more interesting than The Getaway Special.)

Currently reading

Basic Roleplaying: The Chaosium d100 system (Basic Roleplaying)
Sam Johnson, Charlie Krank
A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster
Rebecca Solnit