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One of the appeals of writing science fiction is that it doesn’t have to be tethered to anything in our current world.  Presumably then, one doesn’t have to do any research or have any prior knowledge in coming up with a fictional society, planet, or universe.  Forget having to spend months of research to write […]

Humor is an often neglected aspect of science fiction and fantasy.  Not only does it significantly improve less serious works, but it can make deep, thoughtful stories more memorable and engaging.  However, if it were so simple, then every book in those genres would be a barrel of laughs, right?  Not only is there the […]

Contrary to the genre’s title, most authors writing science fiction know less about science than a curious twelve year-old. Even more surprisingly, one can still write good, even great SF with this impediment!  And I note this as a professional scientist who loves “hard science” works.  While this might seem like great news for the […]

I’m a big fan of Harry Harrison’s Stainless Steel Rat series.  Following the adventures of Jim DiGriz, intergalactic thief extraordinaire, the books are action-packed from start to finish, inventive, and exceptionally funny.  Recently, I finished The Stainless Steel Rat’s Revenge, chronologically the fifth in the series, but actually the second Harrison completed, in 1970.  (Three prequels […]

Harry Harrison (1925-2012, born Henry Maxwell Dempsey) started out in illustration in 1946. He started selling fiction in 1950. He had been an editor for brief stints for some science fiction magazines. He is possibly best remembered for the “Stainless Steel Rat” with a criminal turned lawman series. The entry on Harrison in John Clute’s […]

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