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The greatest sf authors?

by Paul

There’s a post I’ve just come across (it seems to be a year old, but you know how these things disappear and resurface on the web) that claims to list “The Greatest Sci-Fi Authors of All Time“. It’s an interesting, if largely predictable list: Isaac Asimov, Philip K. Dick, Ursula K. Le Guin, Frank Herbert, […]

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5 of the Best: D.G. Compton

by Paul

When I wrote about Richard Cowper here a little while back, I was suddenly reminded of the “High Cs”, a name sometimes given to a small group of British sf writers of the 1960s and 70s whose names all began with C. They included Edmund Cooper and Michael Coney, but to my mind the best […]

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William Sanders

by Paul

Still catching up here. While I was away, the death was announced of William Sanders. In person, he seems to have been a somewhat prickly character who made enemies more easily than he made friends, and the obituaries were full of references to controversies that were usually of his making. But as a writer, particularly […]

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Clarke at 100: The City and the Stars

by Paul

There was a habit that was popular with novelists for quite a long while, though you don’t see it very much these days: they would sign off the last page of the novel with the date and place they began and finished the writing. It was not a habit that Arthur C. Clarke followed much, […]

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Clarke at 100: Childhood’s End

by Paul

Childhood’s End, the first of Arthur C. Clarke’s novels that we can truly consider a classic, began life as a short story, “Guardian Angel”, first published in 1950. The novel version was written, Clarke reports, “between February and December 1952, and extensively revised in the spring of 1953”. The date is important because, as we […]

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5 of the Best: Joanna Russ

by Paul

Joanna Russ is a name that keeps cropping up on this blog. Usually it is because of one novel, The Female Man, because frankly whenever the talk turns to feminist science fiction this is the novel you absolutely have to mention. It’s an important book. No, I’d go further than that and say it is an […]

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Grania Davis

by Paul

We’re seeing reports of the death of Grania Davis, widow of Avram Davidson and an editor and short story writer in her own right. She was born in 1943, and was married to Davidson between 1962 and 1964, though they remained close after that and she was involved in the numerous posthumous collections of his […]

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Clarke at 100: Collected Stories

by Paul

Arthur C. Clarke was not actually the most prolific of short story writers. Yes, his Collected Stories is a big, fat volume containing over 100 pieces, but these are brought together from a career stretching over 60 years. They range from his first published story, “Travel By Wire”, which appeared in an amateur magazine in December 1937, […]

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William Hjortsberg

by Paul

The death has been announced of William Hjortsberg, the American writer, most of whose work occupied that indeterminate territory where the mainstream and the fantastic merge. As an indication of where his work lies in relation to the fantastic, he wrote a well-received biography of Richard Brautigan, Jubilee Hitchhiker. Brautigan, along with Tom McGuane and Jim Harrison, […]

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5 of the best: Keith Roberts

by Paul

Not so long ago, we wrote a post about John Brunner. It was intended as the first in a series about writers who are drifting out of our awareness, writers who are perhaps not enjoying the eminence their work deserves. Having started with Brunner, it seemed natural to follow up with his close contemporary, Keith […]

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