August 2nd, 2018

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The Two Jasons, by Dave Stone

Second paragraph of third chapter:
I'd realised it was a cage early on, of course. All that business of me not getting out of the doors and stuff was sort of a clue. The question now was of who or what was doing it, and there was only one obvious answer.
This novel is rooted in two earlier works - Stone’s original introduction of the character of Jason Kane in Death and Diplomacy, and Philip Purser-Hallard’s story “Sex Secrets of the Robot Replicants” from the anthology A Life Worth Living (which I read last year but don’t seem to have reviewed). The Death and Diplomacy sections are rewritten from Jason’s point of view, which is nice because they were already the best bits of a decent enough novel. The concept lifted from the short story is that there are a load of short-lived Jason clones out there, originally created to help him with his xenoporn career but now roaming the universe. I was not sure if the whole thing really hung together, but it fills in the gaps in our knowledge of one of the key characters of Bernice Summerfield’s career. You can get it here.

Next up in this series: Nobody's Children, by Kate Orman, Jonathan Blum and Philip Purser-Hallard.
rebus

Maigret Loses His Temper, by Georges Simenon

Second paragraph of third chapter:
Elle était grande et mince, du calibre des girls de music-hall. Traversant la rue en courant, sur ses talons trop hauts, elle pénétrait dans un petit bar où elle allait sans doute boire un café et manger des croissants. She was tall and slim, with the build of a music-hall dancer. Running across the street on extremely high heels, she went into a little bar where she was probably going to have a cup of coffee and some croissants.

I had never previously read any of the works of Georges Simenon, one of the best-known writers of my adopted country (though actually his famously active career took off only after he moved to Paris, aged 19, in 1922). I really enjoyed this police procedural, set in the Parisian underworld, where honour and dishonour are sometimes to be found in unexpected places - the murdered night-club owner’s family are initially suspect because of being foreign,Collapse ) A short book which punches well above its weight. You can get it here. There has not been an English dramatisation, as far as I can tell, but here’s a version in French from 1983 (though black and white), starring Jean Richard.

This was my top unread book acquired in 2012. Next on that pile is The Laertian Gamble, a Star Trek tie-in novel by Robert Sheckley.
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