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Alan Poulter

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Understanding space and time [short fiction] by Alastair Reynolds

Evolution's shore by Ian McDonald

No enemy but time by Michael Bishop

Queen city jazz by Kathleen Ann. Goonan

White Mars, or, The mind set free : a 21st-century utopia by Brian Wilson Aldiss

Bear trap [short fiction] by Charles Stross

Diving after the Moon [short fiction] by Rachel Swirsky

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Member: AlanPoulter

CollectionsYour library (1,674)

Reviews1,142 reviews

Tagsscience fiction (1,376), short fiction (996), fantasy (255), alien contact (126), near future (124), space exploration (117), free fiction (110), fiction magazines (94), romance (80), alternate reality (74) — see all tags

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Recommendations62 recommendations

About meStarted out as a librarian - I worked at the British Library as a Cataloguer and the Science Museum as Deputy Systems Manager. Got into academia as a lecturer in library and information studies at Leeds Polytechnic, then went to Loughborough University, then back to Leeds Metropolitan. I am now at Strathclyde University in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences, where I lecture on information management and librianship courses. I am a member of CILIP (the professional association for librarians in the UK).

Outside of work I read mainly science fiction (but will stray outside the genre) and play boardgames/wargames. I was a member of the International Gamers Awards Historical Simulations Committee. I am a member of the British Science Fiction Association joining a long, long time ago....

About my libraryI buy all my science fiction from the very wonderful Transreal, located at 46 Candlemaker Row, Edinburgh. It features in Ken Macleod's novel The Restoration game.

My SF Library paperback to buy want list (01/08/14)

Peter Ackroyd - Hawksmoor
Brian Aldiss - Hothouse, Non-Stop
Nina Allan - The silver wind, Stardust: The Ruby Castle Stories
Roger MacBride Allen - The Ring of Charon
John Barnes - Directive 51
Neal Barret - Slightly Off Center: Eleven Extraordinarily Exhilarating Tales Through Darkest America, Dawn's Uncertain Light
Stephen Baxter - Reality Dust/Making History,
Vacuum diagrams, Proxima
Iain M. Banks - The Hydrogen Sonata
Ned Beauman - The Teleportation Accident
Gregory Benford & Larry Niven- Bowl of Heaven/Shipstar
Robert Jackson Bennett - American Elsewhere
Lauren Beukes - Moxyland
Michael Bishop - Brittle innings
Ryan Boudinot - Blueprints of the Afterlife
Lois McMaster Bujold - Mirror
James L. Cambias - A Darkling Sea,
Raphael Carter - The Fortunate Fall,
C. J. Cherryh - Alternate Realities
Ernest Cline - Ready Player One
James S. A. Corey - Leviathan Wakes
Paul Cornell - Something more, British summertime
Moira Crone - The Not Yet
Julie E. Czerneda - Survival
Samuel R. Delany - Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders
Candas Jane Dorsey - Black Wine
To EnJoe - Self Reference ENGINE
Kelley Eskridge - Solitaire
Neil Ferguson - Putting Out, Double Helix Fall
Jeffrey Ford - Memoranda, Beyond
Karen Joy Fowler - What I didn's see
Mary Gentle - Left to His Own Devices
Lisa Goldstein - Uncertain Places
Kathleen Ann Goonan - Mississippi Blues, Light Music
Daryl Gregory - Devil's alphabet, Raising Stony Mayhall
James Gunn - This Fortress World
Paula Guran - After The End: Recent Apocalypses
Sarah Hall - Carhullan army
Mark Hodder - Burton and Swinburne in the Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack
Nick Harkaway - Gone-away world, Angelmaker
Simon Ings - Wolves,
Alexander Jablokov - Carve the Sky, A Deeper Sea, Nimbus, Deepdrive
Kameron Hurley - God's war
Wolfgang Jeschke - The Last Day of Creation
Gwyneth Jones - Universe of things
Graham Joyce - The silent land
Stephen King - 11.22.63
David Kowalski - The company of the dead
Fritz Leiber - The big time, The wanderer
Paul Levinson - The Plot to Save Socrates,
Unburning Alexandria
M. J. Locke - Up Against It
Paul Mcauley - The Secret of Life,
Reality Dust/Making History, Stories From The Quiet War (ebooks)
Wil McCarthy - Murder in the Solid State, Love Minus Eighty
Ian MacDonald - Hopeland, Luna
Michael A. McCollum - A Greater Infinity
Maureen F McHugh - After the Apocalypse
David Masson – The Caltraps of Time
Aliens: Recent Encounters, edited by Alex Dally MacFarland
John Meaney - Paradox
China Mieville - Railsea
Walter M. Miller Jr - Dark Benediction
David Mitchell - The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet
Michael Moorcock - Behold the man and other stories, The black corridor, Byzantium Endures, The ice schooner
John Morressy (Del Whitby trilogy) Starbrat, Nail Down the Stars (aka Stardrift), Under a Calculating Star
Linda Nagata - The Bohr Maker
Kim Newman - Anno Dracula, The Hound of the Durbervilles
Kevin O’Donnell - Mayflies
Charles Oberndorf - Foragers
Félix J. Palma - The Map of Time
Stephen Palmer - Memory seed
K. J. Parker - The Hammer
Garth Powell - The recollection
Tim Powers - Strange Itineraries, The Bible Repairman
Robrt Reed - The memory of sky
Keith Roberts - The inner wheel
Robots: The Recent A.I.
Justina Robson - Heliotrope
Mary Rosenblum - Chimera
Lucius Shepard - Barnacle Bill the Spacer and Other Stories/Beast of the Heartland, and Other Stories, Lucius Shepard - The Dragon Griaule
John Sladek - The Complete Roderick
Brian Francis Slattery - Lost Everything
Cordwainer Smith - The Rediscovery of Man
James Smythe - The Explorer
Brian Stableford - The Realms of Tartarus, Fountains of youth, Dark Ararat, Omega expedition, Designer Genes, The Undead, Les Fleurs du Mal and Swan Songs: The Complete Hooded Swan Collection
Neal Stephenson - Quicksilver, Confusion, System of the world, Reamde
Boris and Arkady Strugatsky - Monday begins on Saturday
Sherry S. Tepper - Grass
Walter Tevis - Mockingbird
Ian Tregillis - Bitter Seeds
E.C. Tubb - The Best Science Fiction of E.C. Tubb
Jack Vance - The Blue world, Lyonesse, The Dragon Masters, The Jack Vance Treasury, The Eyes of the Overworld, Cugel’s Saga, Rhialto the Marvelous
Ian Whates - Solaris 1.5 (July 2012 ebook)
Liz Williams/Tanith Lee - A glass of shadow
Connie Willis - Blackout, All clear
Ben Winters - The last policeman
Gene Wolfe - On Blue's waters/In Green's jungles, Return to the Whorl, Pirate Freedom
Jack Womack - Going going gone
Roger Zelazny - Lord of light

Twelve Tomorrows edited by Stephen Cass
Brian Aldiss - Finches of Mars
The Best of Kage Baker
Other Seasons: The Best of Neal Barrett, Jr.
Stephen Baxter - Last And First Contacts: v. 2: Imaginings, Proxima and Ultima, Universes
Paolo Bacigalupi - The Water Knife
Lauren Beukes - The Shining Girls
Michael Bishop - The Door Gunner
James Blaylock - The Aylesford Skull
Liu Cixin - The Three-Body Problem
Paul Di Filippo - After the Collapse
Jeffrey Ford - Crackpot Palace
Karen Joy Fowler - We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
Ioanna Bourazopoulou - What Lot's Wife Saw
Neil Gaiman - The ocean at the end of the lane
Nicola Griffith - Cold Wind
Kathleen Ann Goonan - This shared dream, Angels and you dogs
James Gunn - Transcendental
Elizabeth Hand - Errantry
Michael Flynn - On the Razor's Edge, Captive Dreams
Paula Guran - After The End: Recent Apocalypses
Leigh Kennedy - Wind angels
Rich Horton - Space opera [2013 collection?]
Wolfgang Jeschke - The Cusanus Game
Torsten Krol - The secret book of sacred things
Tantih Lee - Space is just a starry, starry night
Yoon Ha Lee - Conservation of Shadows
Ian Mcdonald - Luna, Hopeland
Ian R. MacLeod - Breathmoss, Song of time, Summer isles, Journeys, Wake Up and Dream, The Reparateur of Strasbourg
Snodgrass and Other Illusions
Ken MacLeod - Descent
Paul Mcauley - Little machines, Stories from the Quiet War (Kindle), A Very British History: The Best Science Fiction Stories of Paul McAuley, 1985-2011
Aliens: Recent Encounters edited by Alex Dally MacFarland
Jamil Nasir - Tunnel Out of Death
The Cassandra Project - Jack McDevitt and Mike Resnick
Ruth Ozeki - A Tale for the Time Being
Paul Park - All Those Vanished Engines
Tim Powers - American Fantastic Tales, Salvage and Demolition
Leonard Richardson - Constellation Games
Kit Reed - The Story Until Now, Son of Destruction
Robert Reed - Eater-of-Bone and Other Novellas, The memory of sky, The great ship
Alastair Reynolds - Deep Navigation, Troika, On the Steel Breeze
Twenty Trillion Leagues Under the Sea - Adam Roberts
Kim Stanley Robinson - Shaman
Rudy Rucker - Turing & Burroughs
Geoff Ryman - Paradise Tales
Karl Schroeder - Lockstep
Lucius Shepard – Five Autobiographies and a Fiction
James Smythe - The Explorer, The machine
Bruce Sterling - Caryatids, Gothic High-Tech
Jonathan Strahan - Godlike Machines, Edge of Infinity. Reach for Infinity
Charles Stross - Scratch monkey, Rhesus chart
Rachel Swirsky - How the World Became Quiet
Lavie Tidhar - Martian sands (ebook), The Violent Century
Catherynne M. Valente - Deathless Edge of Infinity
Jeff VanderMeer - Acceptance
Howard Waldrop - Horse of a Different Color
Walter Jon Williams - Green leopard plague, The Boolean Gate
Jo Walton - Lifelode, My real children
Ian Watson - Saving for a Sunny Day
Peter Watts - Echopraxia
Andy Weir - The Martian
Robert Charles Wilson - Burning Paradise
Gene Wolfe - The Land Across

Groups18th-19th Century Britain, 50-Something Library Thingers, Anarchism, Atwoodians, Banned Books, BBC Radio 3 Listeners, Best of British, Bits for Brits, Board Game Geeks, Book reviewersshow all groups

Favorite authorsBrian W. Aldiss, Isaac Asimov, Margaret Atwood, Paolo Bacigalupi, J. G. Ballard, Iain Banks, Stephen Baxter, Barrington J. Bayley, Elizabeth Bear, Greg Bear, Chris Beckett, Gregory Benford, Alfred Bester, Michael Bishop, Terry Bisson, James P. Blaylock, James Blish, John Boyd, Damien Broderick, Eric Brown, John Brunner, Algis Budrys, Octavia E. Butler, Richard Calder, C. J. Cherryh, Ted Chiang, John Christopher, Arthur C. Clarke, David G. Compton, Michael G. Coney, John Crowley, Tony Daniel, Jack Dann, Samuel R. Delany, Bradley Denton, Philip K. Dick, Thomas M. Disch, Jacek Dukaj, Greg Egan, Harlan Ellison, Christopher Evans, Philip José Farmer, Neil Ferguson, Michael Flynn, Jeffrey Ford, Daniel F. Galouye, Mary Gentle, William Gibson, Kathleen Ann Goonan, Richard Grant, Colin Greenland, Russell M. Griffin, Ursula K. Le Guin, Joe Haldeman, Harry Harrison, M. John Harrison, Robert A. Heinlein, Frank Herbert, Robert Holdstock, Barry Hughart, Kij Johnson, Gwyneth Jones, Walter M. Miller, Jr., Richard Kadrey, Daniel Keyes, Garry Kilworth, C. M. Kornbluth, Nancy Kress, Jay Lake, Stanisław Lem, Jonathan Lethem, Ian R. MacLeod, Ken MacLeod, Phillip Mann, Wil McCarthy, Jack McDevitt, Ian McDonald, Sean McMullen, Pat Murphy, Jamil Nasir, Kim Newman, George Orwell, Alexei Panshin, Paul Park, Marge Piercy, Frederik Pohl, Tim Powers, Christopher Priest, Hannu Rajaniemi, David Redd, Robert Reed, Alastair Reynolds, Adam Roberts, Keith Roberts, Kim Stanley Robinson, Justina Robson, Rudy Rucker, Mary Doria Russell, Joanna Russ, Richard Paul Russo, Geoff Ryman, Hilbert Schenck, Karl Schroeder, Bob Shaw, Robert Sheckley, Lucius Shepard, Lewis Shiner, Robert Silverberg, Dan Simmons, John Sladek, Norman Spinrad, Brian Stableford, Neal Stephenson, Bruce Sterling, Charles Stross, Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, Theodore Sturgeon, Tricia Sullivan, Michael Swanwick, Rachel Swirsky, Lavie Tidhar, Wilson Tucker, George Turner, Catherynne M. Valente, A. E. van Vogt, John Varley, Vernor Vinge, Howard Waldrop, Jo Walton, Ian Watson, Peter Watts, Stanley G. Weinbaum, H. G. Wells, Scott Westerfeld, Liz Williams, Walter Jon Williams, Connie Willis, Robert Charles Wilson, Gene Wolfe, Jack Womack, John Wyndham, E. Lily Yu, Roger Zelazny, David Zindell (Shared favorites)


Also onBoardGameGeek

Real nameAlan Poulter


Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/AlanPoulter (profile)
/catalog/AlanPoulter (library)

Member sinceFeb 19, 2009

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Thanks much for finding my library to be of interest; yours is quite well stocked with plenty of books I'd like to get my greedy mitts on, too.

I see you live in Edinburgh. I went to an Ian Rankin book signing a few weeks ago, and found him pleasant and entertaining. I just started his newest Rebus/Fox book last night, so soon I'll know the city better than you, or at least the A9 (yeah, right!).

Take it easy,

Hey, thanks for accepting my friend's request. I think I saw your LT in the Book Reviewers group while browsing.
Did you read Beast Of The Heartland? That one is on paperback, and new-ish. Some great stories in the collection too.
I only just started it, but it's good so far. It's about the hobo lifestyle and riding the rails, jumping freight cars and that sort of thing. The bit I've read is part of an essay about it, about some crime syndicate of hobos that is rumored to exist and the culture he found while living the life for a bit. The book is a mix of non-fiction and fiction but I've not got into the fiction yet, so it's quite a bit different from the other books of his I've read.
yes, Megan Lindholm is the author of "A Touch of Lavender"
Hi, Alan,

Thank you for letting me know your review is up. I don't think I'll be reading New Model Army.

Sounds like someone was trying to immitate Ken MacLeod and failed miserably.

I liked your Yellow Blue Tibia review too.

I just happened upon the group Catalogers Who Librarything and i noticed your post there about your experience at the British Library with using PRECIS. I made a reply there but since that group has been dormant forgive me if i repeat what I replied to you there.

I think PRECIS was an excellent system. True, it had a learning curve, but was probably the most intelligently design subject analysis system, incorporating the most cutting edge thinking about subject analysis. I like that it really made the whole subject analysis process a single whole process, producing subject retrieval points both alphabetically and systematically (i.e., via classification). It's too bad the Library of Congress didn't adopt the system.

How has work on your paper about resurrecting the ideas behind PRECIS progessed? I would be very interested in reading it when it is ready. Are you saying you see a possible revival either of PRECIS or of a system based on the thinking behind PRECIS?

To me, the ideal subject analysis system would be one incorporating PRECIS or something similar, with Bliss as the classification system?

I would be interested in hearing your ideas at your convenience.

Interesting libraries shout-out appreciated. It looks like most of the books we have in common are SF, of which you have a nice collection.
Hi Alan,
In answer to your question regarding Interzone, I have enetered all the ones I have. I wish I had more, but that is what I have. Thanks for adding me to your list of interesting libraries!

Yours is definitely an "interesting library". I've already gleaned a couple of additions to my to-read pile. Thanks for having such great (and similar) taste. :)
Hi. I haven't been with LT for that long and you were the first person to add me as an "interesting library".

It's a really good concept, it gives someone the chance to check out other people's collections who have similar tastes. You've written quite a few reviews which really help in deciding what I might like. I need another 24 hours in each day to fit in the amount of reading I like as well as everything else! :)

Thanks SO much for the recommendations on more current Space Opera books! I plan to do a little shopping this weekend, thanks to you! Yep, most of my books are old, but for the most part I find them more enjoyable then many current books. I guess I'm still trying to hold onto that sense of wonder we have as kids, and an ability to suspend belief sure doesn't hurt!

Take care,
Hi Alan

I've got Keith Roberts' Drek Yarman serial in Spectrum SF, just one (or several) of the many books I haven't got around to cataloguing yet. . . . about a thousand down and only seven or eight thousand to go.
Hi Alan,

Cheers for the Stephen Baxter recommendation. It was a good one - I'm quite a big fan of his (reading the Xeelee sequence at the moment). [Sorry for the delayed reply, i haven't logged in to LT for quite a while).

That's probably why my dear employers are attached to KM...

If you think some of the railway stuff I've been cataloguing is difficult, I'm just about three-quarters of the way through creating a bibliography of Austrian railways for the Austrian Railway Group, a body which I was briefly Chairman of. Apparantly, the only previous effort was done in the 1920s, and then only in German. I need to get access to a couple of private collections I know of, to tie up details of works I've only seen reference to in other books, and then I can start formatting the thing for publication.

I took my inspiration (and the classification scheme) from George Ottley's Bibliography of British Railway History, though I had to add types of railway that we don't have but the Austrians do (or did) and remove a couple that were unique to Britain.

Despite having asked for contributions, I suspect that critics will only emerge after publication...
Ah, well, I never did work as a librarian, except for ten months on a job creation scheme for Derbyshire Education Committee working on a new catalogue of audio-visual resources back in 1978-79.

Unfortunately, I fell foul of:

1) the library profession's over-promotion of itself, leading to the LA (as it was then) admitting to us that "there's been a 40% over-production of librarians for the past few years"
2) Derbyshire County Council's wierd unwritten policy of not appointing local people to professional posts (I saw this with teachers, too), whereas every other council DID favour locals when it came to handing out trainee librarian jobs
3) the same employer's cessation of giving traineee jobs to under-graduates the year I was going to apply
4) the election of the Thatcher Government in 1979 and
5) the invention of the personal computer and the internet.

(Chip on my shoulder? Where?)

So after six months working as a wages clerk in a furniture factory (I left because I was paid less than the maintenance man's lad), I saw an advert for local recruitment to the Civil Service, and was persuaded that here was an organisation that gave promotion to bright people and also sometimes employed librarians. Wrong on both counts. 30 years later, I wish I'd remembered my childhood dream of being an architect, or taken up photography as a career as I've turned out to be rather good at it.

Thanks for adding me to your "interesting libraries" list. I still lay claim to the title of 'librarian', even though I only ever did ten months' professional work! (Long story.) The Sacred Workplace has just decided to embrace the new mantra of "Knowledge Management", and I shall be involved in that - more by luck than judgement on their part, I have to say - and I shall be intrigued when I do the training set for October to see just how much the KM gurus have re-invented the wheel! Already I see that what you and I would call 'classification' is now called 'taxonomy' - it was the training topic 'faceted taxonomy' that gave it away....
The retro element seemed to be the lack of evolution in military tactics (somewhat reminiscient of England at war, I thought), although the reasons for this were well-explained in the novel.

I thought the third book was best of the trilogy. It ties up the trilogy quite well, doesn't simply go for the "happily ever after" ending, and the sub-plot within the third novel (religious cults and their perception in the far-future) was far more interesting than that in the first two novels.

For all of that, this is one of the best military-SF series' I have read.
Thanks for your comment, Alan. I noticed you because we have lots of favorite authors in common. I'll look forward to spending some time checking out your reviews and your collection.

Yep, I start with UK library sources for all my British books. Although obviously with stuff like the Postscripts sampler they rarely make it into libraries, or at least not very quickly.
If you look at someone's profile, there should be a link to click on the top right - interesting libraries, friends, private watch list, etc.
Hi Alan,

Yes, you have to combine them into the one work via the author page, although yours should have combined automatically I would have thought.

I combined them just then, so all good now.
I hadn't entered Pete Crowther in the author field so it didn't combine. I've done so and combined my book with the rest of the BSFA Postscript Sampler work. Cheers.
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