Charles Platt was a seminal figure in science fiction from the 1960s (New Worlds days, in London) through the early 1990s, as a writer, editor, and witness to the scene (mostly in America, to which he emigrated in 1970). Loose Canon (2001) collects a bunch of his essays that appeared in various venues such as Interzone, Science Fiction Eye, The New York Review of Science Fiction, as well as some zines published by Platt himself. In a simple sense, the book exemplifies his disillusion with the science fiction sphere as place for literary experimentation as well as technological optimism. Thus it often reads angry, bitter, and cynical, but it always reads true. One may not always agree with Platt, but his views are always cogent and worth reading.