web analytics

Science Fiction

10 Essential SF Works of the 1910s

by Paul

It has been a while since the last chapter of this peripatetic journey through the history of science fiction, so it is well past time to take us back to that most schizophrenic of decades, the 1910s. The first half of the decade marked the long golden summer of Edwardian England, the second half was […]

Read More

12 Other Times that Hitler Won

by Paul

With Amazon’s dramatisation based on The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick now in its second series, and the BBC producing a dramatisation of SS-GB by Len Deighton, it seems that the Nazi’s winning World War II is still a popular idea. So here are a dozen other novels exploring the same idea, some of […]

Read More

14 more Afrofuturists you should be reading

by Paul

For the last month we’ve celebrated Black History Month by looking at some of the great black science fiction writers (Afrofuturist is now the vogue term for black sf writer). So far we’ve considered Samuel R. Delany, Octavia E. Butler, Steven Barnes, Nnedi Okorafor, Nalo Hopkinson and Tobias Buckell, but that barely skims the surface […]

Read More

Clarke at 100: A Fall of Moondust

by Paul

In our celebration of the work of Sir Arthur C. Clarke, who would have turned 100 this year, we follow Earthlight by turning to another of his novels set on the Moon, A Fall of Moondust. Not far short of a decade separates the two books, so it is not surprising that it is a somewhat different Moon that […]

Read More

Nalo Hopkinson

by Paul

If the stories of Nnedi Okorafor retain the cadences and myths of West Africa, the voice we hear in Nalo Hopkinson’s work is Caribbean, both in the language and in the characteristic use of voodoo and other mythic figures. Hopkinson was born in Jamaica but moved to Canada while still in her teens, and the […]

Read More

Nnedi Okorafor

by Paul

So, last week in our survey of black science fiction writers, we looked at some of the long-established black writers. This week, it’s time to turn to some of the writers who have emerged in the last decade or so. We begin with Nnedi Okorafor, an American writer of Nigerian extraction who has, throughout her […]

Read More

Steven Barnes

by Paul

I suppose there’s an impression that black writers should write about black issues: after all, that’s the life they inhabit. But it’s no more the case than the idea that writers of any other particular group should write exclusively about that group. Steven Barnes is a case in point, because the science fiction he’s most […]

Read More

Octavia E. Butler

by Paul

Okay, choosing Samuel R. Delany to kick off our survey of black sf writers was maybe a little obvious. But then, so is Octavia E. Butler. Yet you can’t really talk about modern science fiction without mentioning either of them. And because they are essential, sometimes you have to be obvious. The differences between them […]

Read More

Black History Month

by Paul

It’s Black History Month (and why pick the shortest month of the year for such a momentous subject), and that seems like a good excuse to look at the black contribution to science fiction. Black writers have made a pretty big contribution to the history of science fiction, but as in so many things (the […]

Read More

Review: Everything Belongs to the Future

by Paul

Oxford has always been a divided city: town and gown, the privileged and the plebeian, academe and industry, the hallowed past and the dirty present; so Oxford makes for an appropriate setting for the new class divisions at the heart of Laurie Penny’s short novel, Everything Belongs to the Future. It is the end of this […]

Read More