web analytics

James Blish

How to Build Your SF Reference Library: Classic Reviews

by Paul

I know, it’s been a little while since we added to this feature, but there are always more books to add to the library. And this post takes us back, in a sense, to the early days of science fiction scholarship. The earliest sf scholarship was probably bibliographies, fans compiling detailed and complete lists of […]

Read More

10 Essential SF Books of the 1990s

by Paul

This was the decade in which some right-wing commentators proclaimed the end of history, and to be fair that’s how it felt. The fall of the Berlin Wall had been the trigger that ended the Cold War, and throughout the early years of the decade we saw the gradual but inevitable disintegration of the Soviet […]

Read More

How to build an SF Reference Library, 1 – Samuel R. Delany

by Paul

Okay, you love science fiction. But it’s not just the fiction you like. You want to read about it, find out more about the authors or books or ideas that interest you most. After all, you’re reading this blog, aren’t you. Well, you’re in luck, because there’s an absolute wealth of books out there that […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

(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 […]

Read More

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. […]

Read More

Best Female Science Fiction before 1980: The SF Canon Men Don’t See

by Paul

While I was away (yes, I had a lovely holiday, thank you for asking), a couple of really interesting blog posts appeared: “Communities: Weight of History” by Renay came first, which elicited a response from Nina Allan, “The Weight of History“, and then, just yesterday, Maureen Speller added “{and then} – a writing life beyond […]

Read More

Considering the Hugos 2

by Paul

Awards Categories: Awards

Could “Vox Day” be right? Oh I don’t mean about race or gender or even science fiction. On anything serious his pronouncements mark him out as nothing but a comic book Hitler whose opinions seem to have been formed sometime in the neolithic (if that isn’t too insulting to our ancestors). But sometimes, on a […]

Read More

Considering the Hugos

by Paul

Awards Categories: Awards

In a long and thoughtful response to this post, Nirvan asked me to write at greater length about the Hugo Awards. My first response was: oh dear me no, I don’t want to step further into that minefield. Then I thought again, and decided I would, partly because I’ve been sceptical about the value of […]

Read More