Category Archives: Book Notes

Tim Crane, THE MEANING OF BELIEF

Subtitled: Religion from an Atheist’s Point of View This is a small volume that appeared in 2017 and was well-reviewed in the New York Times. The author is a philosopher, and as the subtitle indicates an atheist (he denies the … Continue reading

Posted in Atheism, Book Notes, Religion | Leave a comment

de Camp & de Camp, SCIENCE FICTION HANDBOOK, REVISED

Subtitled: “How to Write and Sell Imaginative Stories” This is more of a curiosity now, than an essential book of criticism or history, though it does reveal some attitudes of its time. I have a 1975 revision, show here, of … Continue reading

Posted in Book Notes, Science Fiction Nonfiction | Leave a comment

Neil deGrasse Tyson, ASTROPHYSICS FOR PEOPLE IN A HURRY

This slender volume of magazine essays came out nearly a year ago, and I read it then, and thought it pleasant but nowhere near foundational. But since it still shows up on bestseller lists, nearly a year later, and has … Continue reading

Posted in Astronomy, Book Notes, Cosmology | Leave a comment

James Blish’s ISSUES AT HAND

James Blish, a science fiction author who emerged in roughly the same era as Damon Knight (they were born a year apart in 1920 and 1921 and both began publishing notable fiction in the early 1950s), wrote critical essays about … Continue reading

Posted in Book Notes, Science Fiction Nonfiction | Leave a comment

Damon Knight, IN SEARCH OF WONDER 3/e

Damon Knight was perhaps the earliest knowledgeable critic of science fiction. He was a science fiction author himself, beginning in 1948, and is most famous for a couple early short stories, “Not with a Bang” (1950) and “To Serve Man” … Continue reading

Posted in Book Notes, Science Fiction Nonfiction | Leave a comment

Ray Bradbury: FAREWELL SUMMER

FAREWELL SUMMER (2006) is a belated sequel to Ray Bradbury’s famous novel DANDELION WINE (1957), the book set in a fictionalized version of the town Bradbury grew up in, in Illinois, named in the books Green Town. (My post about … Continue reading

Posted in Book Notes, Ray Bradbury | Leave a comment

Ray Bradbury: DANDELION WINE

DANDELION WINE (DW) is certainly Bradbury’s most personal book, because it is so clearly based on Bradbury’s own life as a boy in small-town Illinois. It was published in 1957 as a novel, not a short story collection, though actually … Continue reading

Posted in Book Notes, Ray Bradbury | Leave a comment

Ray Bradbury: Core Bibliography and Themes

Here’s a chronological list of principal Ray Bradbury titles I’ll be referring to in coming posts. For an exhaustive bibliography, see the Science Fiction Encyclopedia entry for Bradbury; but as thorough as the listings are in that reference, in cases … Continue reading

Posted in Book Notes, Ray Bradbury | Leave a comment

Ray Bradbury: THE OCTOBER COUNTRY

Ray Bradbury’s THE OCTOBER COUNTRY (TOC) was published in 1955, part way through the publication of what I think are Bradbury’s three essential, classic books: THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES (abbreviated in future as TMC; first published 1950), FAHRENHEIT 451 (F451; 1953), … Continue reading

Posted in Book Notes, Ray Bradbury | Leave a comment

SFNF: Bretnor, Modern Science Fiction

Reginald Bretnor’s 1953 Modern Science Fiction: Its Meaning and Future is one of the earliest critical volumes about SF. If follows Lloyd Arthur Eshbach’s 1947 OF WORLDS BEYOND (summarized here) and precedes the anonymously-edited 1959 volume THE SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL … Continue reading

Posted in Book Notes, Science Fiction Nonfiction | Leave a comment