Category Archives: science fiction

Reading: The Dragons of Babel

Elves, centaurs, dragons, trolls, witches, hippogriffs, and other creatures even more fantastical throng through Michael Swanwick’s The Dragons of Babel. But it isn’t what you’re thinking. Swanwick has taken classic fantasy and mythology and done a cheerfully brutal mash-up with the seamier … Continue reading

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Video: Battlestar

I never saw the original BattleStar Galactica series. The new series looks pretty good, though it’s far from flawless. Last night I watched the pilot miniseries, which is essentially a 3-hour movie. I’ll try a few more episodes before making … Continue reading

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World-Building

Writing science fiction is enormously difficult. If you cut corners, it gets easier. Cutting corners is always a temptation, because (a) if you don’t, your whole story may collapse, and (b) your readers or viewers probably won’t notice or care. Quick example: … Continue reading

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Time After Time

I am so bummed. The third season of Primeval has only just started airing on BBC America, which means it won’t be out on DVD for at least a year. And I don’t have a TV! Is it a good … Continue reading

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Up a Creek

Jean-Paul Sartre’s aphorism, “Hell is other people,” keeps drifting across my mind as I wade through Philip Jose Farmer’s Riverworld saga. Right now I’m halfway through volume 2, The Fabulous Riverboat, and I’m rather distinctly unimpressed with Farmer’s view of … Continue reading

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Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

 You don’t know what you don’t know. That’s why it’s so hard to write science fiction. The first Riverworld novel, To Your Scattered Bodies Go, was published in 1971. That was less than an eon ago, culturally, but Philip Jose … Continue reading

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Monsters Invade London

I’ve been watching a British TV series called Primeval, in which a variety of prehistoric monsters wander through time/space anomalies to menace innocent civilians. Thank you, Netflix — no commercials! The monsters are scary, and so is the technology. Most … Continue reading

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Here & There in Sci-Fi

Had a video pig-out last night — watched three episodes of Season Four of Doctor Who. This is cheesy sci-fi at its finest. I’m still not sure why I like this series. Goofy devices, creepy aliens in silly rubber masks … … Continue reading

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Video: Doctor Who

Watched one of the new Doctor Who stories last night on Netflix — “Voyage of the Damned.” I haven’t paid a visit to the good Doctor in many years, but this episode was just as delightfully and spectacularly cheesy as … Continue reading

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Viewing: Aeon Flux

As science fiction films go, Aeon Flux is a cut above. Mavens and cognoscenti will note that I’m calling it science fiction, not sci-fi. The difference is mostly in the eyes of the science fiction community, but it’s significant. What … Continue reading

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