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Science Fiction

4 “Great Peculiars” of Science Fiction

by Paul

Over at Tor.com, Walter Jon Williams has an excellent article about Cordwainer Smith, who he memorably describes as one of the “Great Peculiars” of science fiction. By this he means distinctive writers who are impossible to imitate. Start reading a story by Cordwainer Smith and you know immediately who the author is. There is something […]

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Books to look forward to in October, part 3

by Paul

And here we go with the final selection of the books you’ll want to read this month. The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman Yes, I know, another fantasy. But if you aren’t excited by Pullman returning to the world of His Dark Materials, where have you been hiding for the last […]

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Books to look forward to in October, part 2

by Paul

October really is quite an epic month for new titles, so without further ado let’s continue our list: William Gibson’s Archangel by William Gibson Well here’s something you probably weren’t expecting: a graphic novel from William Gibson. It starts in 2016, when our political leaders have left the world a radioactive ruin. Our last hope is […]

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Books to look forward to in October, part 1

by Paul

Three-quarters of the way through the year, and October is when publishers really get their autumn lists going. So this month we’ve got some really big names, including William Gibson, Tanith Lee, Ken MacLeod and Connie Willis. But they’re all lined up for the the follow up posts to this one. We’ve got enough big […]

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Clarke at 100: Rendezvous with Rama

by Paul

Rendezvous With Rama was the first novel Clarke wrote after the international acclaim of 2001, A Space Odyssey. It was also the most successful novel he wrote, at least in terms of awards. It won the Hugo and Nebula Awards, along with the BSFA Award, John W. Campbell Memorial Award and Locus Award. None of his […]

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These are the Ways the World Ends: Environment

by Paul

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

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

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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Rediscovering Kurt Vonnegut

by Paul

Tags: 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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Jerry Pournelle

by Paul

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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