Tag Archives: Books

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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The One Point Five Foot Shelf of Books

Harvard University president Charles W. Eliot once suggested that a liberal education could be obtained by spending 15 minutes a day reading from a collection of books that could fit on a five-foot shelf. These ain’t them. But some of them are classics; and some of them might be classics some day. Without further ado, …

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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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Tunnel in the sky of books

Kurt Kohlstedt of the Web Urbanist architecture and design website is reporting on a new bookstore in the Chinese city of Zhenyuan that incorporates an entryway that resembles a tunnel of books.  Built by the Shanghai firm XL-Muse, the store design, with its reflective floor, mimics the look of the city itself, with the Wu …

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A quarter turn to the Fantastic: Guy Gavriel Kay on historical fantasy

Over on io9, Charlie Jane Anders interviews Guy Gavriel Kay on the occasion of his latest historically inflected fantasy, Children of Earth and Sky, a novel centered on the city of Seressa, a canal-and-lagoon locale that leads a trading empire  facing the encroaching invasion of the Khalif from the east.  Mr. Kay may be best …

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Ashes to ashes, funk to funky

David Bowie, rock’s best and most glittery Star Man, died yesterday, just after his 69th birthday (January 8) and the release of a jazz album, Blackstar.  In addition to taking us to Mars and falling to Earth, Mr. Bowie was also a well-read gent.  His public Facebook page lists his Top 100 books, and sf/f …

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Through a plain brown wrapper, darkly

Tieman Zwaan, the sf/f book buyer for the American Book Center in Amsterdam, has tried out a unique marketing plan: placing genre books under wraps and giving a few key words to describe them and (hopefully) elicit some buyer interest. And it has worked, as he reports on Tor.com that the store has sold slightly …

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British Science Fiction Awards

The 2014 BSFA Awards winners were announced on April 5, 2015:   Novel: Ancillary Sword, Anne Leckie   Short Fiction: “The Honey Trap,” Ruth E J Booth   Artwork: “The Wasp Factory” (sculpture), Tessa Farmer   Non-Fiction: “Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers in the Great War,” Edward James More at the BSFA website.

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Pith of the Pair? Moorcock and Tolkien

Peter Bebergal has an essay in the New Yorker on Michael Moorcock, the Anti-Tolkien (at least according to the headline writer). Moorcock is the author of numerous books and the creator of various incarnations of the Eternal Champion. He’s also the former editor of New Worlds, a British magazine that was instrumental in presenting alternatives …

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Where on Earth are Outer Space and the Inner Lands?

Being a Long(ish) Review of The Unreal and the Real: Selected Stories of Ursula K. Le Guin. [Note: A version of this review appeared in the August 2013 issue of The New York Review of Science Fiction, #300 (available for free download at Weightless Books).  Many thanks for their kind support of my writing.] Morality …

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