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Unashamedly elitist science fiction



August 15th, 2014


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September, castle, Limbourg
Lately I've gotten hooked on the new SF series Extant. Has anyone else checked it out? What did you think of it?

August 2nd, 2014

Destination Moon is one of the most important science fiction movies ever made. It’s the movie that kicked off the space travel movie craze of the 1950s. Ironically it was beaten to the punch by Lippert’s low-budget Rocketship X-M but that movie would never have been made had it not not been for the publicity surrounding Destination Moon. Destination Moon was also the first movie to deal with space travel in a thoroughly realistic manner. It could almost be said that this is the movie that invented the Space Age.
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Destination Moon2

x-posted to cult_movie

July 20th, 2014

I've now read all the Hugo nominees for Best Novelette (a category I still think is an unnecessary insertion between "short story" and "novella"), and I was more impressed than I was by the Short Story nominations. That said, nothing stood out as something destined to be a classic of the genre.

Ted Chiang, Vox Day, Aliette de Bodard, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Brad Torgersen.

My complete list of book reviews.

June 28th, 2014

The Best of John W. Campbell collects five fairly long short stories written by Campbell in the 1930s. It includes his best-known story, Who Goes There? John W. Campbell (1910-1971) stopped writing fiction at a very young age at the end of the 1930s but went on to become even better known as an editor.

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Best of John W Campbell

June 25th, 2014

Dennis Wheatley’s novels were often outrageous in both concept and plotting, and The Man Who Missed the War is Wheatley at his most outrageous. His great gift was that he could take an utterly unbelievable plot and sell it. The more outlandish the plot the more enthusiasm he displayed in telling it.

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Man Who Missed the War1

June 15th, 2014

John W. Campbell’s famous science fiction novella Who Goes There? was published in Astounding Science-Fiction in 1938. The two movie adaptations are even better-known that the novella but the novella deserves its status as a classic.

May 20th, 2014

I'm looking for recommendations for early science fiction, preferably from the 1920s to 1940s, although I'll consider early 50s as such. I'm looking for space opera, or for SF dealing with space exploration.

May 18th, 2014

Red Mars, by Kim Stanley Robinson

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The epic of the first Mars colony begins.

Red Mars

Spectra, 1992, 592 pages

Winner of the Nebula Award for Best Novel, Red Mars is the first book in Kim Stanley Robinson's best-selling trilogy. Red Mars is praised by scientists for its detailed visions of future technology. It is also hailed by authors and critics for its vivid characters and dramatic conflicts.

For centuries, the red planet has enticed the people of Earth. Now an international group of scientists has colonized Mars. Leaving Earth forever, these 100 people have traveled nine months to reach their new home. This is the remarkable story of the world they create - and the hidden power struggles of those who want to control it.

Although it is fiction, Red Mars is based on years of research. As living spaces and greenhouses multiply, an astonishing panorama of our galactic future rises from the red dust.

Hard SF with characters, but still as arid as Mars.

My complete list of book reviews.
E. E. "Doc" Smith’s novel Triplanetary was an early and very important work in the space opera genre. Published in serial form in Astounding Stories in 1934, and later extensively reworked to serve as the first of two prequels to his Lensman series. The reworked version was published in book form in 1948.

I've written more about this title on my Vintage Pop Fictions blog.

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