Gibson’s SF Special – Dare I listen?

Books This year’s festive episode of the “Security Now!” podcast with Leo Laporte and Steve Gibson will represent a departure from the usual fare of IT security. And not for the first time. In the past we have had “specials” providing platforms for Steve’s various hobby horses, ranging from “the miraculous benefits of having enough Vitamin D in your body” to “how to build a device to infuriate dogs with” to “the future of super-capacitor batteries”.

This year, Steve’s self-indulgence will feature his favourite Science Fiction books. Steve has been peppering past episodes with his SF recommendations and now he is getting to devote a whole episode to them. Leo likes his SF so has been a good foil for Steve in the past. The irony is that Tom Merritt, who occasionally fills in for Leo as co-host on the show, is far more into SF even than Leo and even hosts the popular Sword & Laser podcast with Veronica Belmont. Leo keeps pointing this out to Steve but the latter would not dream of talking SF with anyone else.

It may be just as well. Tom’s reaction might not have been to Steve’s liking. Not that I know what Steve is recommending. His sci-fi special has now been downloaded onto my phone but I have yet to listen to it. I will do, I’m sure, but with some trepidation. To date his recommendations have ranged from lacklustre to downright abominable, whereas Leo’s own choices (mostly incorporated in adverts on other shows) have been excellent.

Steve’s record to date:

Gibraltar Earth by Michael McCollum.

Brilliant idea. Awful execution. The writing is very amateurish, to the extent of being cringe-making. Sorry but there it is.

Fallen Dragon by Peter F Hamilton

I did start this and the writing is of far better quality than McCollum’s but it is very cliched stuff. I did try some other Hamilton and have so far found little that is original or gripping. It seems like pretty routine stuff. I’ve not totally given up on Hamilton but the indications to date are not encouraging.

On Basilisk Station by David Weber

This is the first book in the Honor Harrington series, an SF homage to the (Midshipman) Horatio Hornblower books by C.S. Forester. Unreadably bad. Painfully so.

Maybe Steve will surprise me this time. Let’s hope so.


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