Tag Archives: Science Fiction

A Fatal Flaw in Contemporary Writing: Thinking About Identity in Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven (Part 2)

Earlier this week I put a review up of what I think to be a strong, engaging literary sf book, skillfully written to accomplish two things that many authors could not do. First, Emily St. John Mandel has created in Station Eleven … Continue reading

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Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven: A Brilliant Apocalypse with an Almost Fatal Flaw (Part 1)

From Mary Shelley to Margaret Atwood, I have a deep interest in women’s sf and speculative fiction. It is not just a question of perspective and hearing other voices. Rather, it simply that some of my favourite writers are in … Continue reading

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Why Did Star Wars Stick? #MayThe4thBeWithYou #StarWarsDay

It’s an interesting question. Cheesy lines, over-the-top acting, zippers up the back of the monster’s costume–how many films just like it have found their way into the Betamax bins of history? Yet, Star Wars lives–not only lives, but thrives, growing … Continue reading

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Madeleine L’Engle’s Remarkable Accomplishment in The Wrinkle in Time

By all accounts, the young Madeleine L’Engle did everything wrong. First, she was a woman writing in a man’s genre in the 1950s and 1960s—and writing soft SF under a feminine name without the ambiguity of initials to hide behind. … Continue reading

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Octavia Butler’s and Robert Heinlein’s Rules of Writing

My most significant alien encounter this year has been in the science fiction of Octavia E. Butler. I have only dipped into her work, enjoying her Xenogenesis Trilogy (1987-89) and a collection of short pieces, Bloodchild and Other Stories (2nd ed., … Continue reading

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Leatherhead and Literary Coincidence, with C.S. Lewis and H.G. Wells

I encountered the town of Leatherhead first in H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds (1897). It is one of a dozen or so English place names that meant nothing to me as a young reader. As an adult, armed with an … Continue reading

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Joan Slonczewski’s “A Door Into Ocean” and C.S. Lewis’ “Out of the Silent Planet”

                  On the face of it, Joan Slonczewski and C.S. Lewis make an odd pair. The first is a living American microbiologist writing highly technical science fiction in environmental, feminist, lesbian, and … Continue reading

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