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Science Fiction

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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5 of the Best: Richard Cowper

by Paul

Tags: Categories: Lists

Richard Cowper was born John Middleton Murry Jr., the son of the eminent critic John Middleton Murry. It was probably not an easy background for someone who wanted to be a writer. Although his father at first encouraged his ambitions, when the young John showed him the manuscript for his first novel (written under the […]

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An SF Brexit?

by Paul

The recent UK election was supposed to be all about Brexit, and yet it was hardly mentioned by any of the parties. Strange how an issue that could affect the whole continent can slip so easily out of public consciousness. And yet Britain’s relationship with Europe is hardly the most prominent theme in science fiction […]

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How to Build Your SF Reference Library: Modern Masters of Science Fiction

by Paul

There’s an academic term: monograph. Basically it means a study of one particular subject. Where that subject is a science fiction writer, we’ve been pretty poorly served up to now. There have been occasional biographies, though these have usually been restricted to the very best known authors and haven’t always been that good. And let’s […]

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11 more books to enjoy in June

by Paul

Here we are, back again, with yet more of the books that will be published in June. The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy, 2017 Edition edited by Rich Horton Yet another of our annual Best of the Year anthologies makes its appearance this month. This is the ninth year this series has been running, […]

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10 books to look forward to in June

by Paul

It’s that time of the month already! Where does the time go? And here we are, with the first of two posts looking forward to the books coming out in June. The Year’s Best Military & Adventure SF, Volume 3 edited by David Afsharirad This annual anthology series continues with a collection of 15 tales […]

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5 One-Off SF Ideas

by Paul

Let’s face it, most sf ideas get re-used and developed and built-up and changed as they spread across the genre. H.G. Wells invents the time machine, but it is other writers who use it to go back and change the past, or kill your grandfather, or any number of other variations on the theme you’ll […]

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Review: Rosewater by Tade Thompson

by Paul

To describe Rosewater as another alien invasion story (as it is on the cover, for instance) is, strictly speaking, accurate; but it is wildly misleading. For a start, it is not so much an invasion as an infestation. True, there is an amorphous blob, which acquires the name Wormwood, that crashes with devastating effect into Hyde […]

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A History of Space Opera in 5 Titles

by Paul

Space opera is big again, what with Tor promising a summer of space opera, and the fuss accompanying the announcement that Jo Walton’s new book, due in February next year, is a space opera, Poor Relations. But space opera hasn’t always been popular. In fact, since it first appeared, about 90 years ago, space opera has […]

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Review: Alien Morning by Rick Wilber

by Paul

What will first contact be like? Well, in all probability it will be the discovery of a microbe surviving in an extremely hostile environment on one of the moons of Saturn. But that, of course, is not what science fiction means by first contact. For science fiction, it means an encounter with intelligence, a meeting […]

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