Author Archive: Eugene R.

Digging up the dirt on … rabbits!

In 1974, BBC interviewer Robert Robinson unearthed the truth about Richard Adams’s lapine libido: Perhaps the most interesting revelation is Mr. Adams recounting how the story of Watership Down started as a story to entertain his children during a drive to Stratford-on-Avon, making the rabbit reverie a mid-summer afternoon’s dream. Advertisements

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The Wizardess of Earthsea

For the Folio Society publication of The Wizard of Earthsea (2015), British novelist David Mitchell, best known for his Cloud Atlas interwoven speculative tale, offered a heartfelt appreciation of Ms. Le Guin’s compelling fantasy creation, the archipelago of Earthsea: Earthsea is a fantasy world, and proud of it, mapped by its creator in 1966–7 on …

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Once bitten, twice read

Amid the welter of novels that feature vampires, the Beamers decided for October to go back to the founding classic of the genre, Dracula by Bram Stoker.  An amazing assemblage of journal entries, travelogues, newspaper clippings, and lots of folklore, Stoker’s novel, published at the end of the Nineteenth century, moved a fictional fright out …

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Repent, Englishman!, said the Ticktockman

On a cool evening at the end of a Summer that is, the Beamers came together to step back to a Victorian London that never was but perhaps should have been.  Natasha Pulley’s debut novel, The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, unites the fabled capital of the British Empire with Irish revolutionaries, Japanese emigres, the magic …

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Vaster than empires: Ursula Le Guin introduces her Hainish stories

On Tor.com, the introductions to the new 2-volume boxed set, The Hainish Novels & Stories, from the Library of America, have been posted.  Written by Ms. Le Guin, they give background on how she wrote some of the groundbreaking sf of the 1960s and ’70s, like The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed.  And …

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Taking and talking detours aboard the Wayfarer

For a pleasant August evening, the Beamers spent a pleasant couple of hours going over and under the various elements that Becky Chambers used to create her Wayfarer universe, as seen in her debut novel, The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet.  While the destination of the crew is, indeed, a small, geologically active …

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Looking for the new Lt. Ripley?

NASA this week posted a job opening for a Planetary Protection Officer, a title that requires the holder to “the avoidance of organic-constituent and biological contamination in human and robotic space exploration.”  Organic?  Biological contamination?  In space!  Does this position sound tailor-made for Sigourney Weaver? Actually, it is all about the tiny biota, bacteria and …

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A long way across a big, mildly upset planet

In the summer swelter of mid-July, the Beamers cooled off with some beverages at Panera’s and with an epic quest across a mammoth planet that kept us distracted from the heat, all the way to Lord Valentine’s Castle.  Robert Silverberg’s planetary romance was a bit radical when published in 1980, marking a major departure from …

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When “The Muppet Show” got “Mad” at Readercon …

I recently attended Readercon 28 in Quincy, Mass, and spent 4 days immersed in a sea of speculations on speculative fiction.  (Seriously, the panel discussion “Problematizing Taxonomizing” was sub-titled “Maybe the Most Readercon Panel Ever”, for good reasons.) Mixed in with all the heady and erudite discussions were readings, small-group sit-downs with authors (called “kaffeeklatsches”), …

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Dread chibi gods?

As part of their on-going H.P. Lovecraft Cthulhu Mythos re-read on Tor.com, Ruthanna Emrys and Anne M. Pillsworth added a Japanese anime to the list of Mythos-related works.  Kishin Houkou Demonbane follows the adventures of Kurou, a down-on-his-luck private detective/sorcerer in Arkham, who finds (or is found by) a copy of the dread Necronomicon.  In …

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