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Natasha Bernal

Journalist

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science fiction

1000 before 30 #46: Flowers for Algernon – Daniel Keyes

A study on how human experiments can both enlighten and devastate their subjects. What would you do if you knew you were going to lose your mind? This is one of the saddest yet most beautiful stories I have ever... Continue Reading →

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1000 before 30 #40: The Day of the Triffids — by John Wyndham

The end of the world is here. Unfortunately for our intrepid protagonist Bill Masen, he seems to have missed it. A mysterious comet seems to have left everyone who watched it permanently blind. As chaos reigns and desperate people begin... Continue Reading →

1000 before 30 #37 Transition – Iain Banks

Iain Banks' whirlwind narrative transcends time and space as rogue agents trying to escape an all-powerful organisation jump through parallel universes to survive. It takes around four chapters to get into an average Banks book (whether science fiction or normal... Continue Reading →

1000 before 30 #26: The Man in the High Castle – Philip K Dick

What would have happened if the Nazis had won World War II? The Nazis have set up a spaceport on the Moon, while the Japanese and the Germans have divided the world to suit their agendas. In the meantime, a burgeoning... Continue Reading →

1000 before 30 #23: Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury

"It was a pleasure to burn". This is how Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 ('the temperature needed to set a book on fire') starts off. And it only gets better. Look into the future. There are houses with television projected onto... Continue Reading →

1000 before 30 #19 The Book of Strange New Things – Michel Faber

In which Michel Faber single-handedly attempted to quash, nay exterminate, my love of literature on aliens. My friend Teresa instigated my re-exploration of Faber's work following a disappointing attempt with 'The Crimson Petal and the White'. The Book of Strange New... Continue Reading →

1000 before 30 #7: The Circle – by Dave Eggers

'The Circle' by Dave Eggars, portrayed as a satyrical commentary on the early internet age, fails systematically to hit any of the right notes with predictable and lacklustre plot-twists. Look, I'm not meaning to say that The Circle wasn't an... Continue Reading →

1000 before 30 #6: Insurgent – by Veronica Roth

The second part of this fantasy/Sci-Fi trilogy is a bittersweet read. Although Ross tries to engage with her distinctive narrative and action sequences, it's hard to gain back the ground lost with the death of many of her secondary characters,... Continue Reading →

1000 before 30 #5: Slaughterhouse 5 – by Kurt Vonnegut

Another cracking classic, this time from the sci-fi master himself. Scrawny soldier Billy is an unlikely target for alien species Tralfamadore, who pluck him out of World War II and decide to take him back to their planet to put... Continue Reading →

1000 before 30 #4: Divergent – by Veronica Roth

I know, I indulged. Sue me. For today's literary review, I jumped in this year's best example of popcorn literature. It's an uncomplicated, adventure/love Sci-Fi story, with an initially awkward and weak female lead who finds her feet and starts kicking ass,... Continue Reading →

1000 before 30 #3: The Scarlet Plague – by Jack London

Another classic, this time set in a post-apocalyptic California. Everyone worthwhile has been wiped out after a mysterious disease swept throughout the world in the year 2013. Now just 60 years later, the primitive, pathetic shadow of the human race still... Continue Reading →

1000 before 30 #2: The King in Yellow – by Robert William Chambers

One of the classics of our time, this novella is one of the most disturbing pieces of work that I've  ever have the chance to get my hands on. This is the second in the series of 2015 reviewed novels... Continue Reading →

1000 before 30 #1: The First Science Fiction Megapack – by Robert Silverberg, Samuel Delaney, Marion Bradley, Fredric Brown, Philip K Dick and Harry Harrison

The Science Fiction megapack of short stories is the first post to kick off my 1000 books before 30 (see the explanatory blog post here). It also happens to be the first thing I read in 2015. With 25 classic Sci-Fi... Continue Reading →

1000 books before 30 – kickstarting a literary marathon

I have to have read 1000 books by the time I turn 30. That is to say, on 8 April 2019, I will have read one thousand (ONE THOUSAND!) significant pieces of literature in my lifetime. At almost 26, my time... Continue Reading →

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