Author Archive: Eugene R.

Judging a book, oh yes, by its cover

The Nerdwriter video blog on Youtube spends some time gushing over the glories of science fiction cover illustrations and the illustrators who created them (and the art directors who commissioned such high art for such “low” pulp fiction) in a recent essay, The Art of Sci-Fi Book Covers: Nerdwriter does a capable job (in 5:20 …

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Catch the pearl and ride the dragon’s wings

Clattering through a busy May day, the Beamers met to take a ride on the backs of dragons on the planet Pern.  Like dragons themselves, a curious hybrid of science (as a possible folk memory of dinosaurs) and fantasy, Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey won science fiction awards and helped set off a wave of dragon-focused …

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Unto us, a daughter is given

For the first real Spring day of 2018, the Beamers took themselves to the fog and rain of Victorian London, chasing after the Whitechapel murders, in Theodora Goss’s debut novel, The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter.  Gathering up a plethora of women from the speculative literature of the 19th Century, Ms. Goss spun the …

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Back to the Futurians

During the recent kerfuffle over the Hugo Awards being gamed by a group of hard-core regressive readers of science fiction, one constant cry was their desire to return sf to its “purer” days of simple, action-adventure storytelling, unencumbered by progressive politics, or social commentary, or challenges to the dominant narrative.  Oh, sad, silly puppies! As …

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Making their mark, far from home

The NASA New Horizons Pluto fly-by team proposed naming a dozen features on Charon, the largest of Pluto’s 5 moons, and those names, now approved by the International Astronomical Union, will be very familiar to fans of science fiction, reports Matt Williams on Universe Today. Beamer favorite Octavia Butler is recognized with her own peak, …

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Looking backward, dangerously

On the split between seasons, the Beamers looked back at the Great Divide in science fiction, the breaking of the New Wave in the 1960s over the previous Golden Age, which washed in a host of literary experimentation and taboo busting stories.  No book epitomizes the New Wave better than Harlan Ellison’s groundbreaking anthology, Dangerous …

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The universe of Science Fiction, from A to Z

Peter Nicholls, Australian editor, reviewer, critic, and historian of science fiction, has died after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.  Mr. Nicholls is chiefly known for publishing the definitive Encyclopedia of Science Fiction.  He was the principal editor on the first edition (1979), shared editorial direction on the second edition (1993) with John Clute, one …

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All in one place, a generation lost in space

When humans travel to the stars, we expect it to take a long, long time to get there.  One science fiction solution to the problem of the journey outlasting a lifetime is to have the ship’s crew do what humans do so well, be fruitful and multiply.  But how do the expedition members stick with …

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One whom the dragons spoke with

Ursula K. Le Guin, grandmaster of science fiction and fantasy, has died, age 88, at her home in Portland, Oregon.  Ms. Le Guin wrote major works of speculative fiction that explored gender, politics, the survival of persecuted beliefs, the Jungian shadow-self.  And dragons.

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What happens in Dallas never stays in Dallas

For the beginning of a new year, the Beamers went back to a very fateful old year, following a Maine English teacher with a nostalgic love for the America of the ’50s and its president of the ’60s as detailed in Stephen King’s 11/22/63.  Did the Beamers discover that root beer really did taste better …

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