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J. G. Ballard

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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How to build your SF Reference Library: Essays

by Paul

If you start getting into the more academic areas of science fiction criticism, then you’re going to have to get used to dealing with essays. Much academic criticism comes in the form of essays (come to think of it, many books are really compilations of essays). Some of these are heavy going (there are always […]

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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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Brian W. Aldiss

by Paul

Brian Aldiss, undoubtedly one of the most important figures in British science fiction, has died. It is reported that he died in his sleep after celebrations to mark his 92nd birthday. In 1958 he received a Hugo Award as Best Newcomer; it proved to be the first of many awards over his long career, culminating […]

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The greatest sf authors?

by Paul

There’s a post I’ve just come across (it seems to be a year old, but you know how these things disappear and resurface on the web) that claims to list “The Greatest Sci-Fi Authors of All Time“. It’s an interesting, if largely predictable list: Isaac Asimov, Philip K. Dick, Ursula K. Le Guin, Frank Herbert, […]

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… and SF novels shortlisted for mainstream prizes

by Paul

The other day we noted some of the mainstream writers who had been shortlisted for (or had even won) major science fiction awards. But the news that Naomi Alderman has won the Baileys Women’s Prize for The Power was a reminder that the traffic isn’t all one way. Admittedly, there are fewer sf novels being shortlisted […]

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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

It’s been one of those weeks when other commitments have derailed my plans for this blog. It happens. But I can at least let you share some of the things I’ve spotted around the web recently. Let’s start with Arthur C. Clarke, since we’re celebrating his centenary this year (we’ve already started at this blog). […]

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Hilary Bailey & Emma Tennant

by Paul

The deaths have been announced within two days of each other of two writers and editors who were friends, occasional collaborators, and closely associated with the British new wave, though their work has tended to be under-appreciated within the sf community. Hilary Bailey, born in 1936, was the author of one of the classic alternate […]

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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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