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Ray Bradbury

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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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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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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Our Top 10 of 2016

by Paul

How many books do you read? One a month? One a week? One a day? Honestly, you could get through one an hour, and you’d probably still not keep up with every single science fiction book published during the year. So when we say these are our best novels of 2016, bear that in mind. […]

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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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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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The best sf to recommend to non-sf readers

by Paul

Every sf blog does a post like this eventually. And they all get it wrong. Because they are all about what turned the author onto sf, not what a non-sf reader might be looking for. You can see the thinking, time after time: oh Embassytown by China Mieville blew me away, so it’s bound to have […]

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10 Essential SF Titles from the 1940s

by Paul

And our ongoing history of the key sf works takes a step backwards to the 1940s. Two extraordinary events of 1939 had a profound effect on the science fiction of this decade. In the first instance, John W. Campbell became editor of Astounding. He didn’t just turn Astounding into the most important sf magazine of the period, […]

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1941 Retro-Hugo Award Winners

by Paul

Awards Categories: Awards

Also at MidAmericon, the Retro-Hugos for 1941 were presented. the winners were: BEST NOVEL Slan by A.E. Van Vogt (Astounding Science-Fiction, Dec 1940) BEST NOVELLA “If This Goes On…” by Robert A. Heinlein (Astounding Science-Fiction, Feb 1940) BEST NOVELETTE “The Roads Must Roll” by Robert A. Heinlein (Astounding Science-Fiction, June 1940) BEST SHORT STORY “Strange […]

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Elsewhere

by Paul

Links Categories: Links

Time for another round-up of things I’ve noticed elsewhere on the world wide web. Let’s start with one of the true masters of science fiction, Brian Aldiss, whose The Complete Short Stories has now reached the 1960s, though it takes four volumes (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4) to cover the decade. (Incidentally, if […]

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