Category: Science Fiction

Equal Opportunity

A hopeful Atompunk depiction of the Space Age from the early 1960s complete with  revolving space station and a family of astronauts with jetpacks. Now the early 1960s were likely as sexist as America ever got, and very very firmly into gender roles — boy child has a blue spacesuit, and girl child a pink …

Continue reading

Exhalation [Review]

Exhalation by Ted Chiang Alfred A. Knopf, 2019   Ted Chiang is a SFF writer who’s been around for a while but has yet to produce a novel. This collection came out in the early days of 2020 and features his work up to 2019. I checked it out of the Seattle Public Library a …

Continue reading

Atompunk

Atompunk: A retro-futuristic aesthetic centered around the technology of the 1950s extended into the 21st century and beyond. It often depicts “traditionally American” values such as the nuclear family and a suburban lifestyle; conversely, the totalitarian regimes of Communist Russia and its satellites with their emphasis on technological power. I define its heyday as the …

Continue reading

Blackfish City [Review]

Blackfish City by Sam J. Miller Ecco, 2018 Look at this cover. Isn’t this one of coolest book covers you’ve ever seen? The black background, the red, white, and blue neon tubes, the circular orca logo surmounted by an Inuit hunter, done in a style harkening to NW Coast Indian art… now this promises excitement! …

Continue reading

Dating the Future

One of the things I enjoy about vintage SFF illustrations is how it’s possible to pinpoint the time in which they were painted by how they depict hairstyles, clothing, and other elements. Take the image above. The woman has a fashionable hairdo like that of the Moonbase girls on the Gerry Anderson series UFO (1970) …

Continue reading

Worldbuilding Wednesday 12/30/20: The Best of
xxxxTwittersnips (SFF Novels)

A selection of randomly generated SFF novel titles that appeared in my Twitter feed 2017 – 2020. Any one of them would make a fine book.   SF, Fantasy, and Steampunk Novels Rebellion’s Acolyte Shadows of Stinging Grass Dowsing the Dragon Harry Potter and the Brawler of Blackworth Harry Potter and the Assassin’s Blade A …

Continue reading

… 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 …

Continue reading

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 …

Continue reading

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 …

Continue reading