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Frederik Pohl

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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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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Clarke at 100: 2010

by Paul

In my re-reading of Arthur C. Clarke’s work, I’ve started to come to the conclusion that the two big novels that came at the end of the 60s and the beginning of the 70s – 2001: A Space Odyssey and Rendezvous with Rama – marked a sea change in Clarke’s writing. After those two novels he was […]

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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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Elsewhere

by Paul

Links Categories: Links

Work forced me to take my eyes off the blog for the last week or so, but I’ve still been keeping a lookout for interesting things to share. And actually there’s quite a bit recently. Let’s start with someone who has a good claim to be one of the very best sf writers: Ursula K. Le […]

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10 Essential works of Science Fiction from the 1970s

by Paul

The 70s was a strange, liminal time in science fiction. As the decade began, the New Wave was still in full flood, but the wave petered out very quickly. In Britain, New Worlds magazine folded and was replaced by an original anthology series called New Worlds Quarterly that, despite its title, managed only 10 issues in six years […]

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10 Must Read Science Fiction Books From the 1950s

by Paul

You know, there are people out there who insist that you cannot write sf, or write about sf, until you have read everything. Yeah, I know: stupid! These days you can’t even read everything published in a year, so how are you supposed to read the thousands upon thousands of works from last year or […]

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(Re)Discovering James Blish, The Great Science Fiction Critic

by Paul

When I was totting up the authors featured in a series of big, genre-defining anthologies recently, I was surprised to discover that James Blish was one of only three writers to appear in five of the seven books, and he appeared from the earliest to the latest of the books. Now I wasn’t surprised by […]

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17 of the Best Science Fiction Writers Heavily Featured in SF Anthologies You Need to Read

by Paul

So yesterday I wrote about 7 massive sf anthologies which effectively serve as a history of the genre. It’s not an exhaustive list (there’s a similar anthology from Wesleyan, for instance), but for anyone wanting a crash course on science fiction’s past, particularly the 20th century, would find any of these a good place to start. […]

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5 Science Fiction Books with Enigmatic Aliens

by Paul

Writing about the Jackaroo in Paul McAuley’s latest novel, Into Everywhere, made me think about other enigmatic aliens. After all, the way aliens have traditionally been presented in science fiction is as invaders, or enemies, or humans in fancy dress, or something like god. But the likelihood is that we wouldn’t understand them, or what they […]

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