Category Archives: science fiction

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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Oliver, THE WINDS OF TIME

This science fiction novel, from 1957, is by an author known for anthropologically informed works; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chad_Oliver. (The edition I read, the only edition I have, is a 1975 Avon Equinox trade paperback, one of its “SF Rediscovery” series that ran … Continue reading

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Heinlein, DOUBLE STAR

This short novel is from the late 1950s, and is the first of four novels for which Heinlein won the Hugo Award. It’s short and snappy, notable in part because it’s not essentially a science fiction novel. It’s about politics … Continue reading

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Simak, CITY

Clifford D. Simak’s CITY, published in 1952 but composed of stories published in magazines from 1944 onward, is a story cycle that tells the future of humanity as it abandons cities for country estates and then moves off Earth to … Continue reading

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Oliver Sacks on Forster and Rees

There’s a short essay by the late Oliver Sacks in current issue of The New Yorker: The Machine Stops. He muses about people walking down the street staring at their phones. Much of this, remarkably, was envisaged by E. M. Forster … Continue reading

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H.G. Wells: THE TIME MACHINE

H.G. Wells’ THE TIME MACHINE is one of the foundational science fiction novels. Published in 1895, it was Wells’ first novel, though it’s short enough that later anthologists have reprinted it as a novella (e.g. in the second volume of … Continue reading

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Eric Frank Russell: SINISTER BARRIER

This is an early genre science fiction novel, first serialized in Unknown magazine in 1939, later revised and expanded and published in 1948 by Fantasy Press. I have the latter edition, in a used copy I picked up about six … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Psychology and Economics; SF and Fantasy

Several items from Sunday’s NYT. First a review of a new book by Steven Johnson, FARSIGHTED: How We Make the Decisions That Matter the Most; the review is by Adam Grant: How Do We Make the Long-Term Decisions That Matter?. … Continue reading

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Update on SF Definitions

A couple of weeks ago I summarized several interesting panel discussions I saw at the World SF Convention in San Jose in mid-August. One panel was about definitions of SF, not so much good or bad definitions as different types … Continue reading

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C.P. Snow’s The Two Cultures, The Third Culture, Big History, and 2001

C.P. Snow’s “The Two Cultures” is the famous 1959 lecture and then essay about the divide between the scientific community and the literary ‘intellectual’ community, an essay much referenced in books about the acceptance of science in modern culture (with, … Continue reading

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