Friday, February 04, 2011

Wreath of Stars The late Bob Shaw remembered - Dave Langford

"After a period of professional quiet in the early 1980s, Bob made a popular come-back with his biggest sf project: the trilogy of The Ragged Astronauts (1986; British SF Award winner; Hugo shortlist), The Wooden Spaceships (1988) and The Fugitive Worlds (1989), set in a universe of audaciously daft physics where pi has an unfamiliar value, twin planets can share an atmosphere, interplanetary balloon flight is feasible, and the gravitational constant is 'whatever it needs to be to make my solar system work'. Things looked good as the 1990s began. There seemed every reason to expect sf gatherings to be gladdened for the foreseeable future by Bob's familiar bearded, heavy-eyed face: 'Cartoons of me look like Ming the Merciless,' he would complain without rancour."

4 out of 5