Category: Science-Fiction

Tracing Traditions

A Soviet cosmonaut gets thrown through a strange portal in space; she ends up on a planet filled with jaguar men, stranded Earthers, sentient metal trees, lost temples and cities, buried treasures, immortal androids, extreme peril and dashing escapes. Does all this sound vaguely familiar? It should, because […]

Breaking Taboos

Horror stories make people uncomfortable or scared in many ways. The most basic has always been fear of death and/or physical destruction. For example, I don’t want my body torn to shreds by zombies, so I’ll be scared if it happens to a character I empathize with. In […]

Too Many Dragons

Fantasy fiction is overrun by dragons. The fiery beasts have become a way to spice up an otherwise standard book — just add dragons. When I first heard about Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series — the Napoleonic Wars, a la Hornblower, except with dragons — I sighed to myself:  […]

A Faster Pace

Is it possible to have a book with a pace that is too fast? A book with too much action? Sure, since it’s relatively easy to jettison all of the hard-to-write stuff like character and description, and just dump in a lot of violence (ironically, I think a […]

Explaining Vampires

I don’t care that much for vampire stories. It’s a reflexive dislike that’s hard to define — basically, I’m not part of the target audience of the whole vampire fascination. Another pet peeve of mine is the amnesiac protagonist. What an absolutely lame excuse to explain everything to […]