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 […]
Gregory Benford shared this on facebook, asking if this notion was true: Strahan, Jonathan, “Introduction,” Edge of Infinity, Solaris, 2012. This is just a short introduction to Strahan’s latest book of short stories, but he has some fascinating ideas here. He explores what he calls “the Fourth Generation” of science fiction. “Science fiction publishing is […]
Today is February 7th, and with Valentine’s Day around the corner, love is in the air. Which is why this month I’ll be taking a look at romance, and how it rubs up against speculative fiction. Before I get into it, I’d like to say that my analysis has benefited greatly from reading the many […]
The formative American experience was the conquest of the western frontier. Would science fiction and fantasy exist without the frontier model? What does Japan’s parallel conquest of Hokkaido tell us about the legacy of colonial expansion?
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 […]
The Bloodlight Chronicles by Steve Stanton revives originality in today’s science fiction with a complex cyberpunk series.
NASA’s Kepler mission has been watching a swath of the Milky Way watching for the signs of stars being eclipsed by planets in orbit around them. This takes patience and favorable geometry, but Kepler has already been successful in finding dozens of confirmed planets and is producing lists of thousands of additional candidates. You can […]
I have been producing fanzines off and on since 1976, shortly after encountering science fiction fandom and this particular aspect of that hobby interest. As anybody who has ever pubbed (that is fanspeak for “published”) an ish (“issue”), the life-blood of fanzines is the letter of comment (here’s another fanspeak term: loc, or LoC, depending […]
Science deals with a lot of high speed phenomena, like the speed of sound and the speed of light, which can make the topic seem fast and exciting. We also see science news on tv and the internet, and there always seems like there’s a nifty new gadget to buy. The truth is that science […]
World-building, extrapolation, analogy, conceptual breakthrough, thought experiment – these are science fiction’s basic methods. Other genres might occasionally borrow them, but SF has sharpened them to a razor’s edge. So what happens when this set of tools works alongside the themes, styles, and plot structures of noir?
Older male (check), glasses (check), white lab coat (check). A scientist! Even without the funny hat or breaker full of red liquid, everyone recognizes the stereotype. Stereotypes can be based on a nugget of truth and can be useful in situations when there isn’t much time to figure out what’s happening, but they can also […]
Before we get into a discussion of how speculative fiction approaches noir, let’s start by discussing just what the noir aesthetic really is.
A couple of years ago, Mark Charan Newton, author of Nights of Villjamur and Drakenfeld, as he’s wont to do, stirred some feathers when he challenged several bloggers to diversify their book coverage, to shift focus from all the frontlist new releases and give more coverage to the wonderful backlist of the genre. Long story […]