the whole world burns

Archive for category 'science fiction'

October issue of Esquire to have e-paper cover


No rocket cars yet, but still, animated magazine covers? The future is now.

Inebriate! Audiobook: "Trunk and Disorderly" by Charles Stross


Fantastic free audio-novelette, like science-fiction Wodehouse as read by the tipsy shade of Vincent Price.

Trajectories of Fascism: the fiction of Nazi triumph


An intriguing look at speculative fiction which asks, "what if Hitler had won?"

Adam Roberts on the woeful state of Jules Verne translations


But when I checked the 1877 translation against the original my heart sank. It was garbage. On almost every page the English translator, whoever he, or she, was (their name is not recorded), collapsed Verne's actual dialogue into a condensed summary, missed out sentences or whole paragraphs. She or he messed up the technical aspects of the book. She or he was evidently much more anti-Semitic than Verne, and tended to translate what were in the original fairly neutral phrases such as "...said Isaac Hakkabut" with idioms such as "...said the repulsive old Jew." And at one point in the novel she or he simply omitted an entire chapter (number 30) - quite a long one, too - presumably because she or he wasn't interested in, or couldn't be bothered to, turn it into English.

How Shit Became Shinola: Definition and Redefinition of Space Opera


One might go so far as to say that the Hugo award for best novel has always gone primarily to space opera, as currently defined, though many of the earlier winners, up to the end of the 1970s, would have been mortally offended to have their books so-labelled. Space opera used to be a pejorative locution designating not a subgenre or mode at all, but the worst form of formulaic hackwork: really bad SF.

"Subjugation" is now complete


Another guilty pleasure: self-indulgent science fiction novels. This is an amateur one, so it's even more self-indulgent than usual. (I'll just say that the hero ends up with a harem of alien women and leave it at that.) That's why it's a guilty pleasure.

"Little Fuzzy" is in the public domain


Along with a bunch of other H. Beam Piper books, apparently; the copyrights weren't properly renewed.



Very entertaining unpublished action-SF novel about human resistance on an alien-occupied Earth. Open to all the criticisms one would expect of a novel with a handsome genius of a protagonist fighting a race of gorgeous and sexually open alien warrior-women, but it's better than it sounds.

Humpback whalesong has definable syntax

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Researchers have now mathematically confirmed that whales have their own syntax that uses sound units to build phrases that can be combined to form songs that last for hours.

Life imitates Star Trek IV?

the science of Hollywood pseudoscience


When an episode of "Deep Space Nine" involved a comet, Bormanis was tapped for a crash course in the related astrophysics, such as a comet's size and speed. At times, writers simply write the word TECH in the script and then hand it off to Bormanis to fill in the blank.

365 Tomorrows

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A short piece of speculative fiction every day for a year.

Nasal spray makes you more trusting


I had an idea for a science fiction story like this last year, with a door-to-door salesman character who sprayed himself with trust chemicals and pheremones every morning. Let's hope it doesn't come true.

Science Fiction Studies


Full text of out-of-print issues and selected essays is on the site.

OED Science Fiction

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OED science fiction words and phrases project, now updated to allow public access to the SF citation database. Way cool.

Technovelgy: Science Fiction Technology


Great database of invented SF science and technology. Cavorite, the ansible, the stillsuit...

Small things, links and miscellany, sparkling with light. Sam's tumblelog.

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