Dreams of the Space Age – Ian Sales

A slim volume of short stories, all very Space Age. I’ve banged on about Ian’s Apollo Quartet before (and this is me imploring you to read again, they’re excellent) but his Space Age stuff is genuinely among the best of that I’ve read. These stories don’t, perhaps, have the ambition of the novellas, but they’re none the worse for it.

No duds here, but my personal favourite is Our Glorious Socialist Future Among The Stars, where Yuri Gagarin leads an expedition to Mars. It’s a fun story, but the politics are a little more interesting than one tends to find in SF (imo).

Excellent stuff again.

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Plan D – Simon Urban

I went into this wanting to enjoy it more than I did. It’s an alt-timeline Berlin where, instead of the fall of the Berlin Wall and DDR in 1989, there was, instead, the ‘revitalization’ which sought to maintain East Germany.

This setting was interesting enough and the police procedural/political thriller well enough plotted, but I lost interest due to an element of male-gaze which,
though I think it was part of the point, I ended up bouncing off a few times.

Not terrible, but far from essential.