Category: Science Fiction

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.  

The Silver Metal Lover [Review]

The Silver Metal Lover by Tanith Lee DAW, 1981 The Silver Metal Lover is perhaps Tanith Lee’s best known novel after her three Flat Earth books. It may be the most beloved. Though an abiding Lee fan I was immune to its charms for many years until finally deciding to read it last summer. The …

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The Lost City of Uranus

Surely its name was S’phink-Ter?  

Gender Pronoun Tyranny

Some months ago I decided to write a short story featuring a genderqueer, nonbinary protagonist to see, in part, how it could, and should, be done to make them human and relatable. The SF book above, released in 1992, did it by creating a new pronoun for the titular character: Cry. Cry was the pimp/madam …

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Heavy on the Symbolism

Dare to touch her, and Death smiles. (Illustration by SF artist Virgil Finlay)