SF Weapons 101: An Introduction

Science Fiction from its earliest incarnations has always featured some sort of futuristic weaponry. From H.G. Wells’ martian heat-ray to the most modern charged particle beam of Alastair Reynolds, SF weapons astound, confound and amaze readers. I have always loved the idea of the raygun since I read my father’s pulp space patrol books from […]

Christopher Nolan’s Inception as Shamanic Psychodrama

A few weeks ago, a friend and I were discussing which films should be considered science fiction and which shouldn’t. He claimed comic book/superhero movies should not be called SF. I claimed that Inception isn’t science fiction either. While the case can be made that comic book movies can be considered to be science fiction […]

“I Like Science Fiction, It’s Got Like Giant Robots and Stuff, Right?” Science Fiction’s Self-Esteem Problem Part IV: To Boldly Go Where No Fan Has Gone Before

Over the last three weeks I have discussed the sources and causes of Science Fictions self-esteem problem. The genre’s inability to shed it’s pulp roots and ongoing pulpishness, the relative obscurity of SF to the book reading public and the enduring legacy of brainless Hollywood Science Fiction films have all contributed to the critical non-acceptance […]

“I Like Science Fiction, It’s Got Like Giant Robots and Stuff, Right?” Science Fiction’s Self-Esteem Problem Part III: Robots, Reboots and Remakes. How Hollywood Kills Serious Science Fiction

The only time the public pays attention to Science Fiction is when that great machine of mass marketing and “entertainment” called Hollywood inundates the collective consciousness with that most dreaded of phenomena: the Summer Blockbuster. But isn’t that a good thing? Should we not rejoice that the tools of cinema capitalism put our beloved Science Fiction […]

I Like Science Fiction, It’s Got Like Giant Robots and Stuff, Right?” Science Fiction’s Self-Esteem Problem Part II: You Actually Read That Crap?

“I Like Science Fiction, It’s Got Like Giant Robots and Stuff, Right?” Science Fiction’s Self-Esteem Problem Part II: You Actually Read That Crap? Science Fiction has never had an easy time with the literary establishment. The academics tend to view it as puerile escapism while fans see it as the-little-genre-that-could. The origin of both these […]

“I Like Science Fiction, It’s Got Like Giant Robots and Stuff, Right?” Science Fiction’s Self-Esteem Problem Part I: Who Reads SF Anyway? Practically No One.

“I Like Science Fiction, It’s Got Like Giant Robots and Stuff, Right?” Science Fiction’s Self-Esteem Problem Part I: Who Reads SF Anyway? Practically No One. Science Fiction has a self-esteem problem. Almost from its beginnings, it has striven to be taken seriously and yet it continually finds itself to be “the cockroach in the house […]

There and Back Again, or, How I Got Scared Into Science Fiction

Science Fiction is one of the great loves of my life. I have spent some thirty odd years reading, critiquing, discussing, collecting, watching and dreaming it (I won’t talk about writing it, at least not yet). I cannot now clearly remember my life before SF and most certainly cannot imagine my life without it. If […]