Archive for Science fiction

Libraries in Science Fiction

In honor of National Library Week, here are a few links that deal with libraries and librarians in science fiction.

The first place to visit is James Gunn’s masterful Libraries in Science Fiction, arguably the most comprehensive review written at that time. Another worthy, more recent entry is located in the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction simply entitled Libraries that contains a multitude of links. Devil’s Advocate – Libraries in Science Fiction is also worth a perusal as well.

The portrayal of librarians is discussed in: Images of Librarians in Science Fiction and Fantasy: Including an Annotated List; A Long Overdue Nod to SciFi’s and Fantasy’s Best Librarians; and Representations of Libraries and Librarians in Popular Culture, Particularly Science Fiction and Fantasy.

We can end this entry with Libraries in fiction quiz – test your shelf knowledge.

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Short-Form 2019 Hugo Award Winners and Contenders & 2018 Short-Form Nebula Award Winners and Contenders Freely Available Online

Most of the works in the shorter categories such as “novelette” and “short story” are available for you to read online. The 2018 Nebula titles are here; the 2019 Hugo titles can be perused here. Enjoy.

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This title had a run of 175 issues before it was folded into Galaxy. It had a roster of impressive editors and under the direction of Frederik Pohl garnered three Hugos as best science fiction magazine. All the issues are online.

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“Amazing Stories”

Founded in 1926 by Hugo Gernsback, Amazing Stories is considered the first magazine solely devoted to publishing science fiction; it is still being produced today, although in a diminished state. (The site appears dormant as of late 2017.) More than 600 issues of this title, featuring the greats of science fiction, are available online in all their garish glory.

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Free Science Fiction & Fantasy Stories Online

The Free Speculative Fiction Online site contains hundreds of stories from dozens of authors. You read works by Isaac Asimov, Gregory Benford, Philip K. Dick, and many more writers of renown. New additions are highlighted and there is also a “favorites” section. Considering the multiple sources you would have to consult to gather all these stories, this site provides a great service.

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Astounding Stories

Astounding Stories (its title varies) was first published in 1930; what is located here are full text issues from the beginning until early in 1933. Featuring lurid covers (many of reproduced in this selection), this monthly brought Ray Cummings and Murray Leinster to the public’s eye. Over the years, Astounding published some of the best science fiction under the tutelage of legendary editor John W Campbell, an author in his own right.; its successor today is Analog. For additional information on magazines of this kind (called “pulps”), this is a most informative site.

A book has just been published devoted to this magazine; you can read parts of it online.

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All the 2018 Hugo Winners and Nominees for Best Novelette and Best Short Story Are Online

If you want to read those stories that won the Hugo in the above categories as well as the nominees presented at the World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon 76), then this is the place for you. The significance of this year’s proceedings is delineated here.

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Galaxy Novels

For the space of a decade or so, Galaxy Science Fiction issued abridged reprinted novels as part of its line; they were available as standalone publications in the same format as the magazine itself. Many of these novels are/were considered classics at the time. So peruse the shortened versions of works by Jack, Williamson, C.L. Moore, James Blish, and L. Ron Hubbard (yes, that L. Ron Hubbard – some of his science fiction is darn good), among others.

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Science Fiction Podcasts

We have previously highlighted sites that feature sf stories: Nature and Galaxy; both of these present stories to be read and savoured, the former contains contemporary stories, while the latter was published decades ago. But what if you want to multitask and listen to stories? The following would be good places to visit: Clarkesworld Magazine, Lightspeed Magazine, and Escape Pod. And don’t forget Geeks Guide to the Galaxy that discusses the whole realm of science fiction.

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Isaac Asimov in Space!

Well, kinda, sorta. On board Space X’s Heavy Falcon are sequestered  copies of his Foundation novels. The Good Doctor would approve.

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Happy National Science Fiction Day!

It is held annually on January 2, the birthday of the prolific author, science fiction master, and fellow Brooklynite Isaac Asimov. Please review our previous science fiction postings for apposite readings in this genre.

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Science Fiction Christmas Stories

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Photos of Science Fiction Conventions

Before there was ComicCon, there were cons (science fiction conventions) dating back to the 1930s. Cosplay? That, too, appeared at science fiction conventions. Panels? Yep, sf cons as well. A goldmine of searchable photos, almost 6000 in total, from science fiction conventions from the 1960s and 1970s are now available. A great way to visually document the fanbase of sf as well as its authors.

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One of Science Fiction’s Greatest Magazines – Galaxy Magazine – Now Online for Free

Well do I remember subscribing to Galaxy; it eschewed the tech-heavy fiction of other pulps and concentrated on more “literary” offerings and stories that dealt with societal concerns. While this collection is not complete, it does offer almost 350 monthly issues. In its pages, you will find the first short rendition of what came to be one of Ray Bradbury’s most widely-read works – Fahrenheit 451 – here in the guise of the story “The Fireman“. All the giants in the field of science fiction appeared in Galaxy from Asimov to Simak to Brown to Sturgeon, the list is endless. And so are the vistas that these authors conjured up on a monthly basis. Here is a partial author listing.

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Brian Aldiss, 1925-2017

He was one of the seminal writers (along with Michael Moorcock and J G Ballard) who ushered in the British “new wave” of science fiction. I eagerly looked forward to his work, remembering his challenging novels from the 1960s through the late 1990s. It must also be stated that he was an influential editor, anthologist, and non-fiction writer.

Biographical information about him can be found in this entry from the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. Obituaries can be found at The Guardian, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and Locus.

Remembrances are at Ansibleinterviews are on YouTube; here is a great interview from 2015 from The Telegraph.

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The Best Eclipse Story Ever Written

In fact, it is considered one of the all-time great science fiction stories, penned by a twenty-one year-old who still worked in his family’s candy store in Brooklyn. I am talking about Nightfall by Isaac Asimov. You can check here to see how many times it has been re-published and in what languages. Here is the Guardian’s take on this story. (I have fond recollections of meeting Dr Asimov as he strolled down 5th Avenue sporting his cowboy hat and string tie. I had the dubious honor of almost running the Good Doctor over when he crossed a street in mid-town without looking.)

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Dozens of Dr. Who Audio Stories Freely Available

For those who are fans of Dr. Who (me!!), there are many audio stories, professionally produced and featuring some the actors whom we have seen as the various incarnations of The Doctor. Enjoy!

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May the Fourth Be With You

And now that that is out of the system (pun intended), here is a mashup featuring all the major characters from the Star Wars series.

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Science Fiction Films

The following are just some sites that provide information on science fiction films and TV.

British Film Institute: Study Guides

Encyclopedia of Science Fiction: Media (Authoritative source; embedded within it is the equally reputable Encyclopedia of Fantasy

Film Quarterly: Forty Years, A Selection (see Chapter 3 on genre films)

Internet Movie Database. Arguably one of the most visited sites on the Internet. Try its genre page.

Internet Movie Script Database (hundreds of free movie scripts.)

Locus Online: Film reviews

Main Film Genres (what it says with numerous links)

Museum of the Moving Image. Research Guide. (Hundreds of links)

National Film Registry (Library of Congress)

New York Times Movie Reviews (every review since 1960 with selections from previous years also available; search by title, year, genre, critic, or country of origin)

Roger Ebert movie reviews. (Contains movie reviews and other features by the only film critic to ever win a Pulitzer. An interview with him is here.

Science Fiction Films (; come here for additional genre listings)

Short of the Week: Science Fiction (Short science fiction films with good production values freely available)


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2016 New York ComicCon Wrap-up

We are not ashamed to say that we are big fans of science fiction, that we have been reading it for more than fifty years. In fact, the first books we ever bought when we were ten years old were the first volumes of Horatio Hornblower and a handful of Robert Heinlein‘s novels. So while we did not go to ComicCon (we sent our son as our avatar), we do want to point you to this website that contains full-length author interviews and panel discussions. Enjoy!

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