All posts tagged: Science Fiction

SF Gadgets & Gizmos

Or, all the futuristic stuff I’ve always dreamed of owning! And who hasn’t dreamed of owning items we’ve seen in a movie, or on TV. I remember my friend, Linda, and I desperately wanting to join the Enterprise so we could each have a phaser, not realising till much later on, that this meant we might end up being an Infamous Red Shirt — usually the first characters to get shot at or die a grisly death in nearly every episode of Trek! But it didn’t stop us dreaming or pretending our bananas at lunchtime were our communicators. Flipping them open, and then, talking to them. No wonder I was considered a weird kid at school. It didn’t stop with Trek, I lusted after the tech in most SF TV shows I watched over the years. From light sabres to magnetic boots, to the TARDIS and Firefly’s ‘Serenity’. I wanted it all and, when I found out I needed H. G. Wells’ Time Machine to travel into the future, I started creating my own fictitious …

Guest Post: Dave Hutchinson

Europe In, Europe In Autumn – by Dave Hutchinson A lot of people have described the Europe in Europe In Autumn as ‘dystopian,’ but I don’t quite see it that way. True, there’s the thing about all the borders and the thing about the Xian Flu, but I see it as quite an exciting, vibrant place, a place of great possibility, a fabulous playground for a writer to indulge himself in. The book is really about borders, about freedom, about going places others cannot go, and it wouldn’t have worked if I’d set it in present-day Europe. The Schengen Agreement means you can get a bus from Madrid to Warsaw – if you’re of a sturdy constitution – and never have to stop at passport control. I like that, but it’s less interesting as the background of a story and it also means that the Secret at the heart of the book would have had less punch and relevance. I suppose I ought to nail my colours to the mast and tell you that I’m …

A Need for Speed

Oh, look, a shiny new planet … I’ll race you there! Today’s #RRSciFiMonth topic is loosely centred on ‘speed’. Which, strangely enough, made me think of these three books: THE SPEED OF DARK by Elizabeth Moon — This one has absolutely nothing to do with speed, dark, light, or otherwise, and is in the list because it mentions the word speed. Okay, so sue me. Why it is here, is because it’s a powerful story about what is “normal” and told in first person POV from an autistic man. THE ROLLING STONES by Robert A. Heinlein — Okay, so this one isn’t so much about speed as it is about a family who wrangle their way off the Moon, and the Luna Colony, head to Mars and then, make it out as far as Saturn. And is (in part) the inspiration for the Star Trek episode “The Trouble With Tribbles.” Heinlein wrote about an animal he called a ‘flat cat’ the reproduced like a tribble, long before Star Trek got to grips with its very …

November is SF Month

Having signed up to participate in SciFi Month (the perfect month to do a speculative fiction readathon!) I then had to think about what books I was going to read—and yes, of course, review. One book was going to be obvious. I’m reading and reviewing Beth Cato’s ROAR OF SKY for the Science Fiction Foundation website, and their magazine, Foundation. The other obvious choices of books are in my over-flowing TBR pile—I need to separate them from one pile, and make a new one exclusively for this November Challenge. My reading list now looks like this: ROAR OF SKY — Beth Cato (Fantasy) EMBERS OF WAR — Gareth L. Powell (Space Opera) LEGION OF PROPHECY — Mark A. Latham (Fantasy) MARCH OF WAR — Bennett R. Cole (Science Fiction) ORPHAN BRIGADE — Henry V. O’Neil (Military Science Fiction) If I manage to read all five books in one month, it will be something of an achievement. Not that I’ve not read more than 5 books in a month, but that lately, I just choose not …

Five Authors I Have Met

Either through work, or via conventions I’ve attended over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to meet a number of authors. It’s one thing to love an author’s work, and to rave on about this or that book. But getting to meet them, in person, and even have that extended moment with them long enough to say more than: ‘I love your work,’ is a huge privilege and yes, priceless. MICHAEL MOORCOCK — Fantasy Way back when I lived and worked in London, I met one of the biggest fantasy authors of his generation, Michael Moorcock, whose work (at the time) I was a huge fan of. If you haven’t read any of his work, you should try: Elric of Melniboné and Other Stories The Jewel in the Skull (Hawkmoon series) The Cornelius Quartet (Jerry Cornelius Series) All books I grew up reading back in the 70s. Moorcock once wrote of himself, “I think of myself as a bad writer with big ideas, but I’d rather be that than a big writer with bad ideas.” …