Category Archives: science fiction

Winter Comes to Water As Well As Land: Gene Wolfe’s “The Island of Doctor Death and Other Stories”

Gene Wolfe, “The Island of Doctor Death and Other Stories” (1970) (~15 pp) Winter comes to water as well as land, though there are no leaves to fall. The waves that were a bright, hard blue yesterday under a fading … Continue reading

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More on the Enlightenment and Its Critics

An essay by Damon Linker at The Week. (I’ve seen Linker’s work on various website for years; he’s an interesting commentator, though one perhaps without any consistent philosophy; he seems to enjoy playing the contrarian role.) The Enlightenment’s legacy is … Continue reading

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Rereading Robert Silverberg, 1

I am fortunate that, in my “retirement” (from my day job, that is; I still keep my hand in posting on Locus Online once a day, and maintaining sfadb.com), I have the luxury to sit in my armchair each weekday … Continue reading

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Allen Steele, ARKWRIGHT

I’ve read three recent 2016 novels in the past couple weeks, and am reading them faster than I take the time to key in notes and post summaries on my blog. But I will! First up is the last one … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Trump; Magic; Scalia and science; Cruz; God of the gaps

Partly because I’ve had a cold, or a couple different colds, for much of the past month, I’m behind on links and comments. So relatively briefly, here’s what I’ve collected. In reverse order, from most recent date. \\ Slate: “How … Continue reading

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Rereading HOW TO READ A BOOK

Is this book anywhere near as commonly known as, say, THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE? I have the impression it was widely known at some point, and my 1972 revised edition is subtitled “the classic guide to intelligent reading” – the … Continue reading

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Thoughts on Jo Walton’s WHAT MAKES THIS BOOK SO GREAT

Jo Walton’s WHAT MAKES THIS BOOK SO GREAT is a wonderful book, and I wish there were more like them. It’s not a book of reviews, so much as a book of reviews about *re*-reading books, and why she does … Continue reading

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Syllabuses and Sfadb.com rankings

This op-ed item in Sunday’s New York Times, What a Million Syllabuses Can Teach Us, caught my eye initially because part of my long-range plans for sfadb.com involves continuing to add ‘citation’ and ‘anthology’ references to complement the awards data, … Continue reading

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Review of Alastair Reynolds’ SLOW BULLETS

Alastair Reynolds’ short novel SLOW BULLETS – the latest in a series of short novels from Tachyon Publications, following among others Nancy Kress’s Yesterday’s Kin and Daryl Gregory’s We Are All Completely Fine, both awards winners – is a spectacular … Continue reading

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The World’s Young: a review of Robert Charles Wilson’s THE AFFINITIES

Robert Charles Wilson’s THE AFFINITIES is ‘social’ science fiction in the most literal sense. (I seem to recall how Isaac Asimov made the distinction between hard SF, social SF, and social satire – the latter being Huxley, Orwell, and the … Continue reading

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