Posted by Richo On May 20, 2011 2 COMMENTS

Welcome to the inaugural instalment of Dust Jacket, Nerd Culture Podcast’s biweekly review of the greatest Sci-Fi novels of all time. I’m your host, Richo. I’m joined by Luke Walker, the world’s harshest critic.

For our first review we’re turning our eye to Non-Stop, the 1958 novel by acclaimed British novelist Brian Aldiss.

The environment of Non-Stop is a Generation Ship, a starship travelling across such vast distances that whole generations will pass before it reaches its final destination. Something has plunged the ship into barbarism; the history of the vessel has been lost in time and buried in fable and metaphor, and most of the inhabitants have lost the knowledge that they’re even on a ship. The inhabitants gather in primitive tribes that roam the decks and corridors of the starship, meting out a harsh, simple existence and fending off the myriad threats that surround them.

One such inhabitant is Roy Complain, a hunter from the Greene Tribe dissatisfied with his lot in life. This dissatisfaction makes him open to manipulation by Marapper, who recruits him and several other followers on a journey to “Forwards”, the front section of the ship, where the priest believes he will find the “Control Room”, which will enable him to seize control of the ship.

A perilous journey ensues, each step revealing more of the nature, history and mystery of the generation ship. Slowly, Complain unravels the secrets of his world and those that inhabit it. Along the way he encounters mutants, scavengers, intelligent rats and giants, and even finds love in the form of Aur Vyann, an inhabitant of the more culturally advanced Forwards.


Coming Soon – August 2011

Posted by David On May 19, 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Coming Soon – July 2011

Posted by David On May 19, 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Coming Soon – June 2011

Posted by David On May 19, 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Welcome to Dust Jacket

Posted by Richo On May 18, 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Welcome to the introductory instalment of Dust Jacket, Nerd Culture Podcast’s official book review column.

Every 2 weeks, we’ll be taking a close look at a classic of Science Fiction literature, giving our thoughts and rankings. Our journey will take us through over 100 years of sci-fi stories, from the classic Victorian era tales of Verne and Wells to the most recent Hugo and Nebula Award winners. Along the way, we’ll be asking you to help contribute to our overall goal of creating the definitive list of Science Fiction novels.

Before we begin, a little introduction and explanation is in order. Consider this the Prologue edition, or Foreword, of Dust Jacket. I want to give you an idea of what you can expect each time you join us here in NCP’s Sci-Fi library.


About a year ago, it dawned on me that the one area that my nerd culture knowledge was seriously lacking was sci-fi literature. Asimov, Herbert, Heinlein, Clarke; these were no more than names on book covers to me. I’d read a few classics of the genre, but not anywhere near as many as I should have if I wanted to call myself a true nerd.

So I did what any self-respecting nerd would do; I jumped onto Google and typed in “top 100 sci-fi novels.” Fortunately, Google delivered, in the form of SciFi Lists – I soon found myself with a list of more than 200 of the genre’s best just waiting for my perusal! Now armed with the knowledge I needed, I set off on a literary journey through the myriad universes that sci-fi had to offer. It’s no small undertaking, but I’m off to a good start, and I want to share my Journey with you, the Nerd Culture Podcast community.


Every 2 weeks, I’ll be posting a new review of one of the classics of the genre. I’ll be joined by Luke Walker, Nerd Culture’s official World’s Harshest Critic. Together, we’ll debate the pros and cons of each novel, what we loved and hated, and whether the book deserves its status in the sci-fi canon. Fair warning: no book is sacred. We won’t be holding back in our praise, or condemnation, of any of the titles we review.


At the end of each review, both Luke and I will give the book a ranking out of 10. We’ll then use these ranking to begin compiling our own top 200. Each book will go onto Nerd Culture Podcast’s Greatest Sci-Fi Masterpieces Hall of Fame. We’re going to create our own definitive list…

…and we want you to help us!


Send in your comment, criticisms and, most importantly, your ranking. Rate each book on a scale of 0-10 and we’ll include your ranking in our overall tally. I’ll average out the votes to give us a greater picture of what the nerd culture community loves. We’ll continually update the list as each book is reviewed and each vote is tallied, with the goal of creating the greatest sci-fi literature list ever compiled!


Join us tomorrow for the inaugural Dust Jacket review, where we’ll be looking at Brian Aldiss’ 1958 classic Non-Stop.