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Ray Bradbury (1920-2012) had one of the highest public profiles for a science fiction writer. He used to be on The Tonight Show now and then and had his own T.V. show (Ray Bradbury Theater). When the space shuttle blew up in 1986, I saw him on Nightline. I read The Martian Chronicles in 11th […]

This is the fourth installment in a series wherein I examine a batch of stories from The Philip K. Dick Reader. So far, the stories show the Cold War with the potential for WWIII weighed heavily on Philip K. Dick’s mind. Robots were also a favorite topic. “Upon the Dull Earth” (Beyond Fantasy Fiction #9, […]

This is the third batch of stories examined from The Philip K. Dick Reader. “To Serve the Master” (Imagination, February 1956): Applequist is outside and finds a half-buried robot in a ravine. The robot is dead but not damaged. They were all thought destroyed years ago. Applequist lives in one of the underground cities run […]

Last week, I began to examine The Philip K. Dick Reader. I had quoted Algis Budrys who observed Dick’s short fiction in the 1950s was all over the place. Here are the next five stories: “The Last of the Masters” (Orbit No. 5, November-December 1954). Post-apocalypse is a recurring item in Dick’s fiction. This starts […]

If you go to the Internet Movie Database and type in Philip K. Dick, there are 38 credits listed. I can’t think of any other American science fiction writer from the classic era of magazine and mass-market paperbacks with this many media adaptations. Philip K. Dick was a prolific writer of science fiction stories during […]

I enjoy non-fiction about fiction. A good essay about an author will get me to check them out. One that made me want to read the author was Jack Vance. It is a collection of essays from Taplinger’s Writers of the 21st Century. There were seven books in the series from 1977 to 1983: Arthur […]

I received word a little over a week ago that Charles R. Saunders had died back in May. I first heard of Charles Saunders in late 1983 from Bill who used to work at Phantom of the Attic on South Craig Street in Pittsburgh. I must have been discussing sword and sorcery with him when […]

Dandelion Summer by Lodestone Nostalgia can be the slippery slope, especially when occupied with witches, time machines, happiness machines, mass murderers, the confidence that a new pair of sneakers can inspire. Or it can be miraculous enough to have a section of the moon named after it. Ray Bradbury grew up in rural Illinois, a […]

I mentioned last month when looking at the Gardner Fox biography that most writers do not live very interesting lives. The exception being Barry Sadler, author of the Casca books. I just found out there is biography on Sadler that I now want to read. One way to side step the biography and make things […]

This is a guest blog post from Richard who has contributed a few items over the years. I looked at L. Sprague de Camp’s “The Stronger Spell” a few weeks back. Richard has recently read or re-read the stories in the series and has an opinion: L. Sprague de Camp’s discovery of heroic fantasy through […]

             The concept of imaging past lives, reincarnation, wandering egos has been an idea going back over a century in fiction.                 H. Rider Haggard had the idea of past loves in She (1886). He returned with variations of the idea in The […]

Today is the 110th birthday of August Derleth (1909-1971). Derleth is probably best known for his macabre fiction.  If my adding is correct, Derleth had 124 stories in Weird Tales magazine. He is surpassed by only Seabury Quinn who had 143 stories in Weird Tales. His weird/macabre fiction has often been dismissed. Yet, when I […]