last month

In a clever novella, a future of endless war

Rule out climate change or catastrophic events like a supervolcano eruption or a meteor collision. Then try to imagine a dystopian future caused entirely by human agency, taking current trends to their logical conclusion. Including radical change in the climate, of course. You might then end up with something along the lines of Adrian Tchaikovsky‘s […]

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a couple of months ago

Space opera comes home in this charming Vorkosigan Saga novella

Strong female characters have always been one of the attractions of this award-winning sci-fi series. One of the most intriguing of them comes to the fore in this charming Vorkosigan Saga novella. Well into his thirties, Lord Miles Vorkosigan fell in love off-planet with the wife of a corrupt and feckless Barrayaran consular official after […]

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a couple of months ago

First Contact is old news in this sc-fi thriller

For nearly three-quarters of a century, reports have repeatedly surfaced in news media of UFOs and alien abductions in the United States. The names Roswell and Area 51 have become shorthand for conspiracy theories about “the government’s” ongoing suppression of information about all this proof of extraterrestrial visitations. Of course, there is no such proof, […]

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a couple of months ago

Satirizing Donald Trump is a tall order

Christopher Buckley is far and away the most accomplished political satirist writing today in America. In novels such as Thank You for Smoking and They Eat Puppies, Don’t They?, he has skewered the nation’s political establishment six ways from Sunday. Now, for the first time in nearly a decade, he returns to that field of […]

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a couple of months ago

Clever plot twists in a time travel tale

Science fiction authors love time travel stories, because it affords them abundant opportunities to build plots full of clever plot twists and turns. Sometimes the surprises are really anything but shocking. But that’s not the case with the ingenious tale Steven R. Boyett and Ken Mitchroney have written under the title Fata Morgana. Perhaps someone […]

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a couple of months ago

A legendary sci-fi author makes a mess of time travel

The Danish-American author Poul Anderson (1926-2001) won seven Hugo Awards and three Nebula Awards as well as many other science fiction and fantasy awards for the innumerable novels and short stories he wrote in a career spanning the last six decades of the twentieth century. But his 1965 novel, the Corridors of Time, was not […]

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a few months ago

A dismal, dystopian future where the climate has run amok

When future historians review this period in the long evolution of human development on Planet Earth—if, in fact, the human race survives this era—they’re likely to see today’s world as dominated by two overarching themes: runaway climate, and extreme economic and social inequality. And in his new novella, the prolific British science fiction author Adrian […]

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a few months ago

Unforgettable characters in this delightful new novel

Why did Sportcoat, a deacon in the Five Ends Baptist Church, shoot Deems Clemens in broad daylight, right in front of his crew and the church ladies? Where does all that white-people’s cheese come from like clockwork every year for Hot Sausage to deal it out to all the folks of the Causeway Housing Projects? […]

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a few months ago

What if the Cold War had turned hot in 1945?

Historians are reluctant to ask what if questions, but science fiction writers have no such qualms. In looking backward, a stalwart few authors indulge their curiosity (and ours) in what has come to be called alternate history. And one of the more successful of their number is Robert Conroy (1938-2014) who wrote seven alternate histories […]

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