Category: Science Fiction

… so different, so appealing?

I was going to post this as “The Worst Science Fiction Paperbook Book Cover Ever” and let it stand, but then I noticed its resemblance to this seminal Pop Art collage by British artist Richard Hamilton. The palette is the same, the sense of clutteredness, the busyness of the composition. Both have a white, male …

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Future Tokyo

In 2011 we should have been wearing jumpsuits and whizzing up and down spiral ramps to airports  in the sky. Jeez, what went wrong?

All Things Charn (Part I)

Charn is my favorite Lewisian creation … more than Aslan, more than Narnia itself. No other place in fantasy embodies such grandeur, sinisterness, and decadence … which is quite the accomplishment, as Lewis only gives hints of it. Jadis herself says, in a reflective moment: I have stood here when the whole air was full …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 5/6/20: Let’s Talk About Princess
xxxx Irulan and Her Sisters

I’ve always considered Dune and its many sequels more science fantasy than science fiction. Sure, there’s starships and other planets, not to mention sandworm biology, but there’s also a Catholic-like sisterhood with sinister mind powers, swordfights, a Chosen One trope, and a feudal society with emperors, princesses, and dukes. Herbert cribbed a lot from human …

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Don’t Mess with Cindy Brady

She’s got the power of the atom, Communist China, and tornadoes on her side.  

Worldbuilding Wednesday 3/18/20: Carnivores

Exotic mammalian carnivores are heavily featured in SFF literature. William Rice Burroughs had his eight-legged, lion-like banth in his Barsoom series, and more recently Tomi Adeyemi took up the trope with her lionaires and leopardaires in Children of Blood and Bone and Children of Virtue and Vengeance. Prehistoric carnivores like the sabre-toothed tiger and short-faced …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 2/26/20: Transformers Porn (NSFW)

The structure of Transformers names not only opens them up to parody, but also to a certain form of sexual parody. Let’s say somewhere fanfic, artwork and videos most certainly exist with these robots getting it on, or “Knockin’ pistons” as they might say, with all sorts of extraneous apparatus attached to their normally sexless …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 2/5/20: Transformers

Do you know American President Ronald Reagan is to thank for the success of the Transformers franchise? In the early 1980s Hasbro executives noticed a line of Japanese toys called the Diaclones, which were robots that transformed into vehicles. They thought the concept had merit, so the company licensed them to be sold in the …

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The Years of Rice and Salt
[Reading Challenge 2019]

The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson Random House, 2004 [Challenge # 6: An alternate history] Kim Stanley Robinson’s alternate history novel The Years of Rice and Salt caused a sensation in the SF world when it came out in 2004. In this timeline, the Black Plague kills off the entire population …

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Cloverfield Lane

Cloverfield Lane creature design, as envisioned by artist Kurt Papstein.