6 days ago

One surprise after another in this brilliant First Contact novel

It seems unlikely to me that anyone, anywhere, has thought longer or harder about First Contact than Peter Cawdron. In his fifteenth novel on the theme, the gifted Australian science fiction author poses yet one more solution to the Fermi Paradox. “In the summer of 1950,” Cawdron explains, “while sitting around a table having lunch, […]

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last week

John F. Kennedy’s lover kept a diary, and it was explosive

On October 12, 1964, a prominent Washington socialite named Mary Pinchot Meyer was shot to death on the towpath along the C&O Canal in storied Georgetown. An African-American man spotted there was arrested for her murder, but no compelling evidence ever surfaced to support his conviction, and he was acquitted at trial. The case attracted […]

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a couple of weeks ago

An alternate history of the space race

In a clever departure from the conventions of alternate history, the French-Canadian science fiction author Sylvain Neuvel inserts fictional characters into historical events and demonstrates how their influence made things turn out as they actually did. The principal events in question involve the Nazi rocket designers responsible for the V-1 and V-2 “vengeance weapons” and […]

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a couple of weeks ago

The mystery of Planet Nine goes unsolved in this novel

In recent years astronomers have speculated about the existence of a ninth planet orbiting the sun somewhere within the vast outer reaches of the Solar System. After all, Planet Nine is said to lie somewhere within the Oort Cloud, circling the inner planets at a hypothetical distance of as much as 800 Astronomical Units (AU), […]

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3 weeks ago

Nothing noble about the nobility in 15th century England

She was the second daughter of the richest and most powerful man in England, more mighty than the king himself. He was Richard Neville, my namesake, known throughout the land as “Warwick the Kingmaker.” And during her childhood, he deposed one king and placed another on the throne. It was all part of his life-long […]

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3 weeks ago

A suspenseful mash-up of science fiction and mystery

The Ark has arrived at Tau Ceti g after a voyage of 235 years. The 30,000 clones who have survived the harrowing journey to this planet they call Gaia represent the eleventh generation since the Ark‘s departure from Earth. They are the remnants of humanity after a wandering black hole swallowed the planets of the […]

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last month

Questions science cannot answer in this brilliant new novel

Gifty’s big brother Nana, a championship basketball player, was just a few years away from a likely berth in the NBA when he died of a heroin overdose, and her mother, a Ghanaian immigrant, had lain depressed in bed for years. So, it’s unsurprising that she herself had turned to a career in neuroscience to […]

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last month

How would you behave if your IQ suddenly doubles?

Just as history books often tell us more about historians than they do about history, genre fiction can reveal a great deal about its authors and the times during which they write. History books fall into disfavor as new information comes to light, making way for new interpretations of the facts. And science fiction and […]

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last month

A biography of Joseph Stalin as told by the man himself

Across the Moscow River from the Kremlin lies the House on the Embankment. Built from 1928 to 1931, as Joseph Stalin was cementing his power at the helm of the Soviet Union, the building housed the nation’s elite. Top Party aparatchiks. Leading scientists. Artists. Writers. Journalists. Sports stars. Generals. Spies. Thus, during the purges of […]

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