Category: Science-Fiction

Reading Backwards

I’ve always known that my reading habits are a bit odd. That was confirmed by the way I came across The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler. Most people heard of it by word of mouth or because it was on bestseller lists — the book […]

The Bandwagon

Ursula K. Le Guin is one of the most respected names in fantasy and science fiction. She doesn’t need to boost her career by cheap gimmicks or by following current trends. So I was a bit shocked to read about how Le Guin’s editor had suggested she write […]

Revealing the Consequences

John Brunner’s The Shockwave Rider has a fantastic ending: an unstoppable computer virus reveals all secret information. If you’ve bribed the food inspectors to ignore mad cow disease in your factory farm, now the whole world knows about it. Gone to war under false pretences? Selling designer clothes […]

Crashing the Party

Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash is a book that requires some warning for unsuspecting readers: it’s so wacked out and demented that it’s beyond over-the-top and way beyond anything you can take seriously. The book works because you eventually realize that Stephenson’s approach suits the future that he is […]

Two from Tachyon

Publishing is a wacky world, with huge conglomerates controlling the big imprints, return policies that see half of all published books destroyed as a matter of course, and only a small fraction of authors making a living at what they do. Why would any sane person get involved […]

The Grouchy Snob

When people find out that I like science fiction (and write about it), they often try to find a familiar example to talk about. This is a better reaction than to say, “Oh, that crap?” or something along those lines. But recently, the example has inevitably been Star […]