Tagged: science fiction

Classics Club Book #6: Nineteen Eighty-four by George Orwell

Because I graduated from high school in 1984, I’ve always had a connection with both the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-four by George Orwell and the rock album 1984 by Van Halen. Over the years, the former has grown in my estimation and the latter has declined. The album by Van Halen is something you outgrow. The novel by Orwell is something that grows with you. I put Nineteen Eighty-four on my Classics Club list because I knew my daughter would be reading it in her senior high school literature class,...

Battlefield Earth by L. Ron Hubbard

Think of the ‘Star Wars’ sagas and ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark,’ mix in the triumph of ‘Rocky I,’ ‘Rocky II,’ and ‘Rocky III,’ and you have captured the exuberance, style and glory of ‘BATTLEFIELD EARTH.’ It was the above blurb from The Evening Sun in 1984 that convinced me to take a chance on a 1,000-page science fiction novel, and I have never regretted it. It’s been over twenty years since I last read Battlefield Earth, and it’s still as much fun as I remembered. It remains one...

The Prestige by Christopher Priest

The Prestige by Christopher Priest

The performer is of course not a sorcerer at all, but an actor who plays the part of a sorcerer and who wishes the audience to believe, if only temporarily, that he is in contact with darker powers. The audience, meantime, knows that what they are seeing is not true sorcery, but they suppress the knowledge and acquiesce to the selfsame wish as the performer’s. The greater the performer’s skill at maintaining the illusion, the better at this deceptive sorcery he is judged to be. — The Prestige,...

Lord of the World

Classics Club Book #3: Lord of the World by Robert Hugh Benson

The two Cities of Augustine lay for him to choose. The one was that of a world self-originated, self-organised, and self-sufficient, interpreted by such men as Marx and Hervé, socialists, materialists, and, in the end, hedonists, summed up at last in Felsenburgh. The other lay displayed in the sight he saw before him, telling of a Creator and of a creation, of a Divine purpose, a redemption, and a world transcendent and eternal from which all sprang and to which all moved. Before Fahrenheit 451, before Nineteen Eighty-four,...

C3P0

Hundreds Work Together to Create Unbelievable Fan-made Star Wars Movie

“Crowdsourcing: the practice of obtaining needed services, ideas or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people and especially from the online community rather than from traditional employees or suppliers.” – Merriam-Webster.com Made from the contributions of hundreds of people around the world, this version of Star Wars: A New Hope is a crowdsourced wonder:

Declare

Disappointed by Tim Powers’ Novel Declare

I finally had to abandon Tim Powers’ supernatural spy novel, Declare. I read over 200 pages into it and just couldn’t go any further. I really enjoyed Powers’ earlier novel, The Anubis Gates, and I had high hopes for Declare after reading reviews. But the book didn’t evoke any emotional reaction from me at all. I never really connected with Hale, the main character, and I didn’t care for the way Powers’ narrator alternated back and forth between the 1940s and the 1960s. I think part of the...

Fred Saberhagen

Berserker Death: RIP Fred Saberhagen

Fred Saberhagen , one of my favorite science fiction writers, passed away from cancer on June 29, 2007 at the age of 77. Saberhagen is probably best-known as the author of the Berserker series, a set of science fiction stories about humanity’s war against self-repairing killing machines that roam the universe with the sole purpose of eliminating all life. Saberhagen used his Berserker stories to explore what it meant to be human, and several of them were based on works of literature such as Poe’s “Masque of the...

Battlefield Earth Book Cover

The Greatest Science Fiction Novel of All Time?

I’ve been playing around with StumbleUpon, and I came across The Modern Library’s List of 100 Best Novels. There are two lists, actually. The first was created by the Board of The Modern Library, and the second compiles the results of their readers’ poll. What first struck me is how at odds the Board seems to be with the readers. Take a look at the first five positions, with the Board’s choice listed first, the readers’ choice second: Ulysses by James Joyce vs. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand...

Lord Darcy

Lord Darcy: Sherlock Holmes Meets Jonathan Strange

If you, like me, find the Harry Dresden series not to your taste, but like the idea of a magic-wielding detective, you might enjoy the Lord Darcy stories by Randall Garrett. Mix together Sherlock Holmes and Jonathan Strange, and add in a little alternate history, and you have an idea of what the Lord Darcy stories are all about. What if Richard Lionheart didn’t die, and what if the Protestant Reformation never happened? Garrett imagines an alternate history where in the twentieth century the Plantagenet dynasty still rules,...

St. Vidicon to the Rescue

St. Vidicon, Pray for Us!

If you are a computer troubleshooter, you need to know about St. Vidicon of Cathode. He was martyred in the year 2020 when he was electrocuted in order to keep the Vatican broadcast equipment working so that Pope Clement could send his message to the world. Since his death, people throughout the world have prayed for his intercession to combat those terrors of technology, Murphy’s Law, the Imp of Perversity, and Finagle. His story is recounted in St. Vidicon to the Rescue, a novel by Christopher Stasheff. St....