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June – 2014 –

Monthly Archives:


One reason I enjoy reading the older science fiction and fantasy stories is that they are so much more often free from overt politicization. For a good bad example, look no further than the Next Generation Star Trek episode that has Tasha Yar attempting to explain to Wesley Crusher why it is that people get hooked on […]

/r/PrintSF provides a list of its top 10 favorite novels: Frank Herbert Dune Isaac Asimov Foundation Dan Simmons Hyperion Orson Scott Card Ender’s Game William Gibson Neuromancer Gene Wolfe The Book Of The New Sun Neal Stephenson Snow Crash Douglas Adams The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy Robert Heinlein The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress […]

John Wright does it again. This is the second book of collected stories I’ve read from him, the other being Awake in the Night Lands, and cannot recommend him highly enough. I’ve read, and watched, my fair share of time travel stories and Wright leaves them all in the dust, even Mull’s Grip of the […]

The book opens with a remarkably well-written naval battle. It’s three months after the attack on Pearl Harbor and a flotilla of obsolete WWI-era American destroyers is leaving the Java Sea headed for Perth. But an elite Japanese force intercepts the aging “four-stackers” and the desperate battle ensues. The USS Walker seeks cover in a […]

For all its complexities and controversies, history — or at the very worst ideal history–is linear. This can lend to the personal illusion that history is progressive: that the dark ages were bad, the rennaisance was better, the enlightenment quite excellent and our modern comforts simply the height of luxury and moral conduct. If you […]

The writing of Jack Vance is striking, inventive, and vividly descriptive. His stories are superb, but his books haven’t always been easy to track down. Consequently he’s often remembered just for inadvertently providing the template for the magic system in Dungeons & Dragons. In that game, a magic-user could spend time studying to learn a set number […]

Set in post-apocalyptic Ontario, the book opens with a very Western feel. A laconic stranger walks into a small isolated town. Village of Blackstock, Population 800. He quickly gets acquainted with the bartender and the town’s mechanic. Nobody knows the armed newcomer but soon there is someone spreading rumors about him. This first part of […]

Science Fiction is the genre of big ideas, but the truth is that the man with the literary or intellectual ability to capture a big idea in fiction is rare. Fortunately, genre fiction has developed some templates for the “honest workman” author. A human being dedicated to form who is productive with his stories can […]

There’s more to getting military science fiction right than just slapping a square jawed hero in powered armor on the cover. I was beginning to wonder if it could even be done anymore– at least until I picked up a copy of this new novel by Martin J. Dougherty. Thinking this over, I guess it […]

The first two thirds of this book are odd, because they feel like ‘been there, read that’ and yet it is new and enjoyable. So much had changed in the last two installments and so many new things were introduced that now it feels really strange to find the protagonists in a situation so similar […]

So, now that you know how to find the elusive “SF Book They Don’t Write Anymore” (remember, the problem for paperback fans is two-fold) what the heck can you possibly do to get it in your hands in paper form? Come now. You know the answer to it. It just wasn’t evident until now that […]

It is not much of an exaggeration to say that Adventure 1: Kinunir was for Traveller what B2: Keep on the Borderlands was for Basic D&D. The small booklet was bursting with gaming material: advice on making up skill and attribute tests on the fly, patron encounters, an elaborate rumor matrix, a complete subsector map with stats for […]