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SF History

5 Comic SF Novels

by Paul

Categories: Lists

I’ve been holding off posting in the hope that the glitches we’ve experienced recently might be cleared up. But no luck so far. So here’es something light to remind you that we’re still here … Comedy is hard. Science fiction comedy is harder still. Oh there’s a lot of it out there, but an inordinate […]

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Discovering the Award Winners: 1955

by Paul

The 1955 Worldcon in Cleveland revived the idea of an award ceremony from two years before. But they did rather change the awards. In 1953, there had been awards for Best Novel, Professional Magazine, Cover Artist, Interior Illustrator, Excellence in Fact Articles, New Author or Artist and No 1 Fan Personality. When the Hugo Awards […]

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A Brief History of Time Travel: 6 Key Books

by Paul

So far this year, we’ve looked forward in time to consider the books that will be coming out this month, then travelled back in time to the very beginnings of science fiction. Since we’re still recovering from this literary jetlag, it seems only appropriate to look at the history of this literary device. We’ve picked […]

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Science Fiction Before Frankenstein, 2: Other Worlds

by Paul

Okay, for science fiction you really need strange worlds and alien creatures. Well, no you don’t, really; but it is still one of the typical characteristics of an awful lot of sf. And it’s a characteristic that goes right back to the early days of sf. Back, indeed, to those ancient Greek writers who wrote […]

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Science Fiction Before Frankenstein, 1: This World

by Paul

So, a couple of days ago, we reported on the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Because Brian Aldiss had identified this as the first true sf novel, some people have also said that it’s also the 200th birthday of science fiction itself. It is not, and as promised here’s a bunch of stuff published long […]

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Happy 200th Birthday to Science Fiction?

by Paul

At the beginning of January 1818 a new book was published, a novel written by a woman still in her teens, and begun as part of a ghost story competition with Lord Byron, Dr John Polidori and Percy Bysshe Shelley. Frankenstein; or, A Modern Prometheus came out from the firm of Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor […]

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Clarke at 100

by Paul

Saturday 16th December, two days away as I post this, would have been Arthur C. Clarke’s 100th birthday. Throughout the year, in celebration, we’ve been re-reading his books: The Sands of Mars (post here) Childhood’s End (post here) Earthlight (post here) The City and the Stars (post here) A Fall of Moondust (post here) 2001, […]

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Women SF Writers who should not be forgotten

by Paul

The 1950s is often reckoned to be the Golden Age of science fiction. It was a time when all the great names of the genre, like Asimov and Heinlein, Clarke and Bradbury, were at their peak, and before the New Wave of the 1960s started turning the genre in a new direction. A good time […]

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SF from Benelux you should be reading

by Paul

Our leisurely tour around the world of science fiction brings us to the Low Countries, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands (though, apart from being the birthplace of Hugo Gernsback, Luxembourg doesn’t really feature in this story). The old name for the region, “The Low Countries”, and the more recent name, “Benelux”, both suggest that this […]

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Discovering the Award Winners: Retro Hugos

by Paul

Back in the early 1950s, when the Hugo Awards were born, Worldcon organizers had much more liberty to choose what was and was not included in their programme. So after the 1953 Worldcon decided to introduce the awards, the following year’s convention chose not to repeat the idea. It wasn’t until the 1955 Worldcon that […]

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