42 Word Retrospectives

The Peanuts Gang

The Peanuts Gang by Charles M. Schulz (Hodder & Stoughton, 1979) A slim volume showcasing one Sunday comic per A4 page. While Peanuts has more life in colour (the characters’ stock outfits evince a surprising number of variations!) the selection of strips is narrow and over-magnification leads to a dotty sort of pixilation.    

Protocol

Protocol by Timothy Zahn (Analog, September 2002) [Novelette] A seemingly effortless piece of SF world-building. Colonists cut off on a frontier settlement must comport themselves by unfathomable alien rules… at pain of death. But what happens if the rituals stop working? Unsatisfyingly, the story poses but doesn’t answer this question.    

The Fagin File

The Fagin File by Terrance Dicks (Blackie & Son, 1978) A slight, rather hurried volume, even by Dicks’s standards. The narrative chops about more than it did in the first Baker Street Irregulars mystery, and the investigation is something of a doddle. For a middle-grade adventure, though, the stakes are surprisingly adult.