Category: Science Fiction

Swooning Spaceman

For a change, the BEM (Bug-eyed monster, even though it’s a robot) is carrying away a strapping but unconscious young man instead of a scantily clad young woman. His plight is equally dire as the robot seems none too friendly.

Worldbuilding Wednesday 3/10/21: Let’s Talk About
xxxxWakanda

The 2018 Marvel movie Black Panther featured an advanced yet isolated African kingdom called Wakanda which is the birthplace of the titular superhero character, T’Challa, who is its King. Wakanda is powered by vibranium, one of those rare yet powerful imaginary elements favored by comic writers. Vibranium is both a blessing and a curse: blessing, …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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! …

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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) …

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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 …

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… 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?