Tag Archives: Science Fiction

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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Oy, Robot!

A post about a long lost draft of Isaac Asimov’s Evidence, a story in his classic book I, Robot. (See Eugene’s meeting notes from May 2015.) According to Wikipedia: I, Robot is a fixup of science fiction short stories … [that] originally appeared in the American magazines Super Science Stories and Astounding Science Fiction between …

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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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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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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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The more things change, the more time travelers they attract

With the newly darkened evenings upon us, the Beamers looked back in time to the truly dark days of the Black Death (or “blue sickness”) as depicted in Connie Willis’s time travel novel, Doomsday Book, her piercing portrayal of the all-too-human tragedies that are so easily swept up in the great and momentous events of …

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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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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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Woo Who!

The next Doctor Who will be a woman, Jodie Whittaker. Ms. Whittaker, a native of Yorkshire, England, is known for appearing in Attack the Block (2011), One Day (2011) and St. Trinian’s (2007).

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