Review: BIPOHL by Frederik Pohl

“How long the party lasted Forrester did not know. He remembered a long harangue in which the drunken ballet dancer was trying to explain to him that the accent was Martian, not German; something to do with six-hundred-millibar oxyhelium air, which got them out of the habit of hearing certain frequencies.”
~Frederik Pohl, The Age of the Pussyfoot

Plot summary

The Age of the Pussyfoot: Charles Forrester was out of the deepfreeze. It had taken several centuries to bring him back to life. But what a life it was! The 26th Century offered pleasure at the flip of a button – everything from gourmet food to stupendous sex right there for the asking. And for a rich man like Forrester, the possibilities of delight were endless. Of course, everything else was endless too. But by the time Forrester realized that he had had enough of a good thing – even too much! – he realized that he would somehow have to kill himself if he were ever to survive! It was the Age of the Pussyfoot.

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Review: The Grump’s Finland by Tuomas Kyrö

“Namely when you don’t wash the porridge plate, the substance solidifies. It becomes world’s hardest matter that should be sold to NASA in the United States. Nothing would penetrate it, nothing would stick to it and in the end one could eat bits and pieces from the rocket.”
~Tuomas Kyrö, Mielensäpahoittajan Suomi

Plot summary

“Hundred stories of independent Finland, hundred stories from the Grump. The Finnish nation took a leap from the swamp to the sushi bar in a second and it does not matter that the other foot is still in the swamp. From the perspective of the Grump, we witness an agrarian and mobile phone centered Finland, male and female dominated, at least moderately. Finland where in the early phase of national birth, the Jäger infantrymen went cross-country skiing to Germany and in the contemporary period refugees walked over to Finland.

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Review: The Explorer by James Smythe

“One of the first things I did when I realized that I was never going to make it home – when I was the only crew member left, all the others stuffed into their sleeping chambers like rigid, vacuum-packed action figures – was to write up a list of everybody I would never see again…”
~James Smythe, The Explorer

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Review: The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon

“Everything in my life that I value has been gained at the cost of not saying what I really think and saying what they want me to say.”
~Elizabeth Moon, The Speed of Dark

Plot summary

“In the near future, disease will be a condition of the past. Most genetic defects will be removed at birth; the remaining during infancy. Unfortunately, there will be a generation left behind. For members of that missed generation, small advances will be made. Through various programs, they will be taught to get along in the world despite their differences. They will be made active and contributing members of society. But they will never be normal.

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Art review: Korakrit Arunanondchai and Maija Blåfield at Kiasma

“What will happen now in the world?”
~Maija Blåfield to Marcel Bloemendal

I had withdrawal symptoms. It had been over a month since my last visit to an art exhibition, so something had to be done about it. Working two straight weeks in a row were also the final draw in my need for some relaxation and artsy experiences.

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Review: It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis

“More and more, as I think about history,” he pondered, “I am convinced that everything that is worth while in the world has been accomplished by the free, inquiring, critical spirit, and that the preservation of this spirit is more important than any social system whatsoever. But the men of ritual and the men of barbarism are capable of shutting up the men of science and of silencing them forever.”
~Sinclair Lewis, It Can’t Happen Here

Plot summary

“In 1936, the American electorate votes a populist presidential candidate into the White House, where he rewrites the Constitution and declares Congress obsolete – thereby ushering fascism into the United States. The story follows dissenting newspaperman Doremus Jessup as he works against the government.” More on Goodreads

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Review: Chasing Utopia and Dystopia at Worldcon 75

“Utopia lies at the horizon.
When I draw nearer by two steps,
it retreats two steps.
If I proceed ten steps forward, it
swiftly slips ten steps ahead.
No matter how far I go, I can never reach it.
What, then, is the purpose of utopia?
It is to cause us to advance.”
~Eduardo Galeano

What is the boundary between dystopia and utopia? Well, it might not be so easy to make a distinction between them. At a discussion on Beyond the Dystopia at Worldcon 75 in Helsinki, the panelists – Juliet Kemp, Joe Abercrombie, Tom D. Wright, Vincent Docherty and Taiyo Fujii – covered various topics related to dystopia and utopia.

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