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The Lunatics of Terra by John Sladek: Reviews/Comments

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Adam Roberts at Infinity Plus, February 2006: "It is excellent stuff: a slim volume at 140 pages but so full of ideas and wit as to appear much longer. [...] The allusive power of comedy and the intellectual (and, often, emotional) open-handedness of SF make, here, a powerful mix. Very highly recommended indeed."

Edward James in Vector 122, October 1984: "the standard is as high as ever. [...] The humour, is, of course, still there, in almost every story. Sladek is the greatest humorist in SF, as has often been said, and it is worth pondering why. He has that delight in the weirdnesses of the English language which characterises all the best Anglo-American comic writers, and, which comes to much the same thing, a great feeling for the English language, which enables him to produce marvellous parodies of SF writers such as those in The Steam-Driven Boy. He has an imagination which can see the ludicrous potential of any situation. He can turn out one-liners as fine as any in the New Yorker school of humour (which has been influential in so much so-called SF humour) (some of the best come in the afterwords which follow each story). But what gives his humour intensity and staying power is his vision of the world and of human nature, which is just as black as that of Swift or Voltaire (as we have seen from Sladek's own robot Candide, Roderick). [...]

"Comic, yes; work of great artistry and even genius, no doubt; and if you want to cheer yourself up afterwards, read some P.G. Wodehouse."

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