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John Brunner

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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5 ways history changed

by Paul

They are called “jonbar points”, from the moment in Jack Williamson’s The Legion of Time when a small boy, John Barr, picks up either a magnet or a pebble. One choice turns the world towards the good Jonbar empire, the other turns it towards the bad Gyronchi empire. They are, other words, the point of change […]

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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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5 of the best: Keith Roberts

by Paul

Not so long ago, we wrote a post about John Brunner. It was intended as the first in a series about writers who are drifting out of our awareness, writers who are perhaps not enjoying the eminence their work deserves. Having started with Brunner, it seemed natural to follow up with his close contemporary, Keith […]

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5 of the best: John Brunner

by Paul

Time is not kind to science fiction. Yesterday’s novelty can quickly become today’s commonplace, so we can rapidly lose track of which writers were innovative or daring or worth watching. Particularly after the writer has died and their books may no longer be in print. But there are any number of writers who made an […]

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Elsewhere

by Paul

Links Categories: Links

So we’re coming to the end of the year, and I’m about to take a break from the blog until January. Lots of good things planned for the New Year, but I need to recharge my batteries a little. (It has been a hell of a year in so many ways; I suspect we’ll all […]

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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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6 challenging sf works and why you should read them

by Paul

The thing I’ve noticed, writing these blog posts, is how often when I’m writing about a book I really rate the word I reach for is “challenging”. I use it all the time. I use it far more than you see, because I notice the repetitions and look for a synonym or rewrite the sentence. […]

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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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Award Winners

by Paul

Awards Categories: Awards

We have various ways of deciding what are the best science fiction novels. We can look at sales figures, at the frequency with which titles are reprinted, at the recommendations of widely read and knowledgeable readers (see our main site); or we can turn to the awards. There are an awful lot of awards these […]

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