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  1. #1
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    Default A sci-fi book review

    Hello,

    Would you be so kind as to have a look at my review and share your comments? It's supposed to be at the CPE level...

    Here it comes :)

    Who says "impossible"?

    Despite the achievements of Stanislaw Lem and Italo Calvino whose works received rave reviews, many high-brow readers look down on those who indulge themselves with science fiction. The problem with most sci-fi stories is that they seem too far-fetched to be taken seriously, with all the aliens, future state-of-the-art technologies that often seem ridiculous, and the characters from the future invented to amaze rather than make us sympathize with them. Moreover, the plot often seems to develop only in order to stuff the potential movie adaptations with special effects.
    Having said that, we should avoid such stereotypical assesment of all science fiction publications. The fact that there are hundreds of dumbing-down sitcoms does not imply that nothing shown on TV can be valuable. The same has to be stated about science fiction stories.
    If you are looking for moving, memorable reading, why not try some of Connie Willis' fiction? Don't let the sci-fi label mislead you - it is not hackneyed images of the future that her writing is all about. Willis' "Impossible Things" collection is indeed set in the future, but it is not the kind of future that we are used to after watching Hollywood blockbusters. On the contrary, when you start turning pages of her stories, you will find their plots both brilliantly creative and moving. Some of them seem only hilarious (e.g. the future of menstruation pictured in "Even the Queen"), but when one thinks it over, they give a genuine insight in the problems of the mankind (in this very case, the impact of the feminist movement on women's lives).
    How come? Connie Willis is certainly a virtuoso of imagination. Basing on our today's, common problems, she considers their implications and developes stories which no one else would probably think of, but which are on the other hand so realistic that readers will consider them highly believable. After reading "Impossible things" I doubt anything is impossible. Maybe one thing only - that you will regret reading Willis's stories.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: A sci-fi book review

    Despite the achievements of Stanislaw Lem and Italo Calvino whose works received rave reviews, many highbrow readers look down on those who indulge themselves with science fiction. The problem with most sci-fi stories is that they seem too far-fetched to be taken seriously, with all the aliens, future state-of-the-art technologies that often seem ridiculous, and the characters from the future invented to amaze rather than make us sympathize with them (This sentence is too long. You want to keep it short to maintain clarity).

    Besides, the plot often develop only to stuff the potential movie adaptations with special effects.
    Having said that, we should avoid such stereotypical assesment of all science fiction publications. The fact there are hundreds of "dumbing-down" sitcoms does not imply that nothing shown on television can be valuable. The same should be stated about science fiction stories.
    If you are looking for moving, memorable reading, why not try some of Connie Willis's fiction? Don't let the sci-fi label mislead you - it is not hackneyed images of the future that her writing is all about. Willis's "Impossible Things" collection is indeed set in the future, but it is not the future that we are used to after watching
    Hollywood blockbusters. On the contrary, when you start turning pages of her stories, you will find the plots both brilliantly creative and moving. Some of them seem only hilarious (for example the future of menstruation pictured in "Even the Queen"), but when one thinks it over, they give a genuine insight in the problems of the human race (in this case, the impact of the feminist movement on women's lives).
    How come? Connie Willis is a virtuoso of imagination. Her stories are based on everyday problems. Her stories are so practical that readers will consider them believable. After reading "Impossible Things," I doubt anything is impossible.

    You used the apostrophe after the last name and that is used to show plural form. To show possess you use it after the name followed by an 's'

    Chao
    Last edited by sexilexi; 22-May-2007 at 18:19. Reason: the word possess should be possession

  3. #3
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    Default Re: A sci-fi book review

    Hi, Sexilexi!

    Thanks a lot for your help!:)

    I agree with most of your remarks, I will improve my wrting on their basis. I have only one doubt, about these "s's". I was taught that we don't follow the apostrophe with an "s" in case the word finished with an s, not only in plural... Was I wrong?

    Take care!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: A sci-fi book review

    Hi,
    There are only 2 uses for the apostrophe ('). The first one is to show omission and the second is to show posession.

    In your case, we are showing possession. Some words look and sound funny when you addd an apostrophe. Some educators allow you to use the apostrophe after the (s') instead of adding the apostrophe and another 's'.

    Here is an example:-

    Jonathan's hat.

    The princess's beautiful gown.

    Jesus' straw house.

    Either way, if your instructor permits it then you can use it either way. Once you chose which way you will use the apostrophe, you must be consistent throughout your paper.
    Ciao

  5. #5
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    Default Re: A sci-fi book review

    Thanks a lot:)

    One more question? Do you think it's really a review? Somebody told me I failed to include more information about the plot and it's more an article about sci-fi than a review. What do you think about it?

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: A sci-fi book review

    I agree with that person; it takes three paragraphs to get the the subject, which might be fine in a newspaper column, but I think you should get to grips with the matter under review earlier.

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    Default Re: A sci-fi book review

    Thanks for reading and sharing your opinion:)

    I should have got to Willis' story earlier, I agree... But my problem is I always feel 300-250 words is not enough to get to the point ;)
    But I need to work on it in order to pass this terrible CPE writing that's awaiting me on June 14th...

    Greetings!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: A sci-fi book review

    Quote Originally Posted by skoczna View Post
    Thanks for reading and sharing your opinion:)

    I should have got to Willis' story earlier, I agree... But my problem is I always feel 300-250 words is not enough to get to the point ;)
    But I need to work on it in order to pass this terrible CPE writing that's awaiting me on June 14th...

    Greetings!

    That's not long! Best of luck.

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