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Month: September 2017

These are the Ways the World Ends: Environment

by Paul

Categories: Lists

Concluding our short series on the end of the world, we come to those stories in which the world rises up against humanity. That other apocalyptic horseman, Famine, is the invariable companion of War and Pestilence; but science fiction has expanded on this. It is not just that humanity is unable to find sufficient food, […]

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These are the Ways the World Ends: Pestilence

by Paul

Categories: Lists

This week we’re looking at the different ways that science fiction has looked at the end of the world, or at least the end of human civilisation. The three horsemen of the sf apocalypse are War, Pestilence and the Environment. Today, it’s the turn of … Pestilence One of the more powerful of contemporary novels […]

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These are the Ways the World Ends: War

by Paul

Categories: Lists

The darkness grew apace; a cold wind began to blow in freshening gusts from the east, and the showering white flakes in the air increased in number. From the edge of the sea came a ripple and whisper. Beyond these lifeless sounds the world was silent. So the world ends, as witnessed by the time […]

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Elsewhere

by Paul

Categories: Links

Let’s start our tout of the internet with a tour of the world. The more people recognise that science fiction is a truly global literature, the more we get articles directing us to different parts of the world.        Recently, for instance, we’ve had this survey of the current state of science fiction […]

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Rediscovering Kurt Vonnegut

by Paul

Categories: People

The story goes that early in his career, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., had a short story rejected by a magazine. His agent told him to put the story away and try again when he became famous, “which may take a little time” the agent added. Well it didn’t actually take that long, but Vonnegut never did […]

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Discovering the Award Winners: International Fantasy Award

by Paul

Categories: Awards

When we were putting together our historical list of the best sf (1950s here) I noticed how rarely the book we chose as the best of the year was one of that year’s award winners. And when we compiled our own lists of the best books of 2015 and 2016, the number one book on each […]

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Jerry Pournelle

by Paul

Categories: People

The death has been announced of Jerry Pournelle, aged 84. He was a contentious figure who, both in life and in his fiction, strongly advocated for the military, co-editing the long-running anthology series, There Will Be War. He believed in the (American) militarization of space, and was one of the science fiction writers whose thinking […]

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5 Alternate Histories of the Civil War

by Paul

Categories: Lists

It has been said that there are more books about Abraham Lincoln than about any other historical figure except Jesus. Mind you, the same thing has been said about Napoleon and about Hitler and probably about Stalin, so we should take that claim with a pinch of salt. Nevertheless, there are an awful lot of […]

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How to Build Your SF Reference Library: Classic Reviews

by Paul

Categories: Books

I know, it’s been a little while since we added to this feature, but there are always more books to add to the library. And this post takes us back, in a sense, to the early days of science fiction scholarship. The earliest sf scholarship was probably bibliographies, fans compiling detailed and complete lists of […]

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5 Australian sf writers you should be reading

by Paul

Categories: Books

Let’s face it, when you talk about sf it’s all too easy to limit the discussion to the usual suspects: mostly Americans, a few Brits, and the occasional Canadian (who has probably been mistaken for an American). But there’s a whole world of science fiction out there, which can too often slip by unnoticed. True, […]

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