Category Archives: science fiction

But What’s at Stake? Hal Clement’s Needle

Needle (Astounding Science Fiction, May-June 1959; expanded to book form: Doubleday, 222 pages, $2.50 in hardcover, 1950) by Hal Clement Hal Clement (legal name Harry Stubbs) was one of the stable of science fiction writers developed by John W. Campbell … Continue reading

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Things Are As They Are: George R. Stewart’s EARTH ABIDES

Here is one of the best science fiction novels of all time. It’s about the entire world, and implicitly the entire human race, and it’s as timely as ever as, for one reason or another, humanity faces the realization that … Continue reading

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Isaac Asimov: THE EARLY ASIMOV (1972)

This is a book I’d never read before, and debated recently about whether to ever read it. On the one hand, life is too short to read every book one might have accumulated, and this book consists, frankly, of all … Continue reading

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Robert A. Heinlein: SIXTH COLUMN (1941/1949)

This was the earliest novel-length work by Heinlein, though it was serialized in Astounding magazine (Jan, Feb, and March 1941) and not published in book form until 1949, by which time two or three other Heinlein novels had been published … Continue reading

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Asimov, I, ROBOT

(The photo shows a 1969-era Science Fiction Book Club edition of a Doubleday hardcover, with the jacket copy claiming the book is “Long out of print and in great demand”; a 1984 mass market paperback from Del Rey; and the … Continue reading

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Asimov, THE CURRENTS OF SPACE

[draft] The third of Asimov’s “Galactic Empire” novels, first published in 1952, opens with a fish out of water situation a bit like that in PEBBLE IN THE SKY. But first there is a prolog as the book opens with … Continue reading

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Asimov, THE STARS, LIKE DUST

This second of Asimov’s three “Galactic Empire” novels is the least interesting of the three, despite the poetic (and gratuitous) title. It’s entirely about circumstance, with no specific science fictional content at all. Presumably this is an example of Asimov … Continue reading

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Asimov: PEBBLE IN THE SKY

Isaac Asimov began publishing stories in magazines in 1939, but his first book wasn’t released until 1950, and that first book was his first proper novel, PEBBLE IN THE SKY. By 1950 however he had published in the magazines all … Continue reading

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Asimov, Six Lucky Starr novels

In the 1950s Isaac Asimov wrote six short science fiction novels for the ‘juvenile’ market, what today we would call ‘young adult.’ These were: DAVID STARR, SPACE RANGER (1952) LUCKY STARR AND THE PIRATES OF THE ASTEROIDS (1953) LUCKY STARR … Continue reading

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Miller, A CANTICLE FOR LEIBOWITZ

This 1959 novel is one of the most popular and celebrated science fiction novels of all time. It’s set in the years following an atomic war, it portrays religion in a relatively favorable way (in contrast to the skeptical or … Continue reading

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