Review of the Martian War

The Martian War by Kevin J. Anderson is a literary retrospective of writer H.G. Wells. It is a story based on the on the original War of the Worlds invasion premise, but this time around, several characters from other classic works by Wells partake in the adventure.

The Unsavory Racism of Middle Earth

The concept of race in Middle Earth bears a strong resemblance to racist concepts that were popular during Tolkien’s youth. Readers need to be aware of these concepts and guard against taking them literally.

The History of Fantasy, Part I: Books of Monsters

      Some people like to date Fantasy as starting with Tolkien, some like to reach back to the tales of the ancient world, but I like to split the difference and start with Beowulf. In terms of historical reach, the Anglo Saxon world is barely a stone’s throw from us today, and you can […]

Who Cares About the Science in Science Fiction?

I do! Let me introduce myself.  I’m an astronomer, a professor at the University of Wyoming, and a science fiction writer.  I’ve been blogging for a number of years at www.mikebrotherton.com, primarily about the intersection of science and science fiction, and I plan to do that here, too. Let me start by making a case […]

Sword & Sorcery – What’s In A Name?

Sword & Sorcery has become a term of derision since the 1980s. There are good reasons for this but much of that derision is out of ignorance. The barbarian baby has been thrown out with the Hyborian bath water. This blog will outline the history of S&S, its major players, its ups and downs, and […]

The Monster Men

“I wish somebody’d tell me, Tell me if you can I want somebody to tell me What is the soul of a man.”                     –Blind Willy Johnson J             “As he dropped the last grisly fragment of the dismembered and mutilated body into the small vat […]

I Dreamed I Saw the Silver Spaceships


When people think about science fiction the first thing they usually visualize are spaceships (or green skinned women in shiny bikinis, but that may just be me). The spaceship has been a ubiquitous part of SF since the beginning and depicting such a thing has been a challenge that many artists have tackled with varying […]

The Clubhouse Revenant

Hello, I’m Leah Zeldes and I’m a fan. I have been a fan since 1973, not long after I discovered the concept of fandom in the pages of — not coincidentally, an Amazing Science Fiction column called “The Clubhouse” — and it seems to me that for most of the time since I’ve been arguing […]

Epic Fantasy Analysis Jan 3, 2013

November 2010 was a watershed moment with regards to the ebook revolution. That was the month I saw my sales go from a modest 1,000 per month (across 4 titles) to 10,000+ a month (across 5 titles). What was even more amazing is I wasn’t the only self-published author seeing this kind of spike, and […]

Captain Marvel vs The Right Stuff

One of the ways writer Kelly Sue DeConnick is developing the new Captain Marvel is by giving her firm links to the history and culture of women’s aviation. This approach combines the real world and Marvel Universe in a way that comics fans haven’t seen in several years. Captain Marvel #1, DeConnick introduces Carol Danvers’ […]

Demolition

I was going to devote this initial essay to The Shaver Mystery, that forties phenomenon masterminded by Raymond Palmer which put science fiction for the first time (and not in an helpful fashion) under the lens of Henry Luce and Time but have decided to take a pass.  Wikipedia has already entirely reconfigured the culture. […]

Personal Best

Every so often the SF news magazine Locus runs a top ten poll. The most recent poll closed at the end of November. It focused on the 20th and 21st centuries, with separate categories for SF and Fantasy novels and combined rankings for SF/Fantasy novellas, novelettes, and short stories. These were ‘write-in’ polls, so nothing […]

What SF Means To Me

I grew up watching and reading Science Fiction.  Some of it was actually old by the time I had already been born, but it had a natural appeal to me when I was young.  The idea of getting in a starship and flying to another world appealed to me. A lot of the movies I […]