Science Fiction’s Sub-Genres in a Nutshell (Part 1)

To the uninitiated, science fiction is about space battles and exploring planets full of strange and wonderful creatures. Yet science fiction has never “just” been about spaceships and alien planets. That is just one subgenre of our weird and wonderful genre. There are many more and you might be surprised at some books and filmsContinue reading “Science Fiction’s Sub-Genres in a Nutshell (Part 1)”

Book Review: Dark Eden by Chris Beckett

I saw Dark Eden advertised in SFX magazine a few years ago and added it to my mental wish list. It sounded my sort of thing and I eventually bought it on Kindle. A tale of strange alien worlds and life forms, exotic yet hostile, beautiful yet problematic about a small colony trying to survive.Continue reading “Book Review: Dark Eden by Chris Beckett”

What is “New Space Opera”?

… there are plenty of American writers who, like the Brits [list of names provided] have been engaged in reinventing and refurbishing space opera’s cherished but almost fatally tarnished and rusted tropes. In short, the New Space Opera is more of a confluence than a movement: a wide range of writers working on a broadContinue reading “What is “New Space Opera”?”

The Chances of Anything Coming from Mars: Thoughts on War of the Worlds

Do you “believe” in life on other planets? I don’t but only because – in this case – “belief” is irrelevant. People used to believe that this planet was the centre of the solar system. The fact that this hypothesis was violently enforced does not make it true. What matters is the evidence and theContinue reading “The Chances of Anything Coming from Mars: Thoughts on War of the Worlds”

Anti SciFi Snobbery is Still a Thing

Sadly, and despite that the genre is far more mainstream today than it has ever been, crossing age and gender and social class divides, people still misunderstand and misrepresent what it is. I am in a book reading group on Facebook. Most of the members are middle aged women and most of the books discussedContinue reading “Anti SciFi Snobbery is Still a Thing”

Book Review: Manhattan in Reverse by Peter F. Hamilton

I’ve waited a long time to read anything by one of the new masters of sci-fi and of British sci-fi. I purchased this collection of short stories several years ago; around the same time, I also purchased The Reality Dysfunction which I hope to read soon. This will be a review of Hamilton’s working styleContinue reading “Book Review: Manhattan in Reverse by Peter F. Hamilton”

Book Review: Darwin’s Radio by Greg Bear

I picked this up as it is highly recommended on a lot of “Top sci fi books” from around the blogosphere. Having never read a Greg Bear, I thought it best to start with what most consider his greatest work. So what’s my verdict? Is it worth the hype? Does Bear deserve the reputation asContinue reading “Book Review: Darwin’s Radio by Greg Bear”

Character Feature: Katniss Everdeen

It’s a while since I’ve done one of these despite promising that you would get one every month… I think the last one was October 2012 when I did various portrayals of Satan in film. No matter, well overdue but I’ve now felt the need to do another one. In the last few weeks IContinue reading “Character Feature: Katniss Everdeen”

Book Review: A Journey in Other Worlds by John Jacob Astor

He is known as the most high-profile victim of the Titanic disaster that happened 100 years ago last week. Philanthropist, businessman and part of the American high society of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, John Jacob Astor IV published this futuristic tale in 1894 about a journey around our solar system and man’sContinue reading “Book Review: A Journey in Other Worlds by John Jacob Astor”

Book Review: War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells

I’m sure everybody knows this story by now. If they haven’t seen any number of what seems like an unending supply of screen adaptations, then they know the musical or in some way, the basics of the plot so the recap here will be very brief: A male narrator writes in diary form, the eventsContinue reading “Book Review: War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells”