Herbert George Wells has been referred to as “The Father of Science Fiction,” although his mid to late period novels were all tales of suffering suffragists and sad arsonists. He was born on September 21st, 1866, the same year that transatlantic telegraphs were possible, and much of his childhood was spent reading library books and daydreaming. To celebrate his birthday, we’ve decided to compile a list of our favorite science fiction novels, philosophical treatises, and novellas by the esteemed author. As always, let us know in the comments section which sci-fi stories changed your view of the world. … Read More
The LA Times’ Hero Complex blog just posted an interesting personal essay by self-proclaimed “science fiction and fantasy nerd” Rainn Wilson (aka Dwight from The Office), and in it, he lists off some of the best books that he discovered growing up in suburban Seattle. “My dad was an aspiring sci-fi author and we used… Read More
Did you realize that the Brontë sisters (and their brother, Branwell) wrote fantasy stories about a group of imaginary countries called the Glass Town Federation back when they were kids? Neither did we. Branwell and Charlotte invented the kingdom of Angria, while the younger two, Emily and Anne, created a world called Gondal. The resulting sagas, hand-written in incredibly tiny script, featured a mix of fictional and real-life characters, like the Duke of Wellington.
“The Brontës are well known authors with no apparent association with science fiction but their tiny manuscript books, held at the British Library, are one of the first examples of fan fiction, using favoritism characters and settings in the same way as science fiction and fantasy fans now play in the detailed imaginary ‘universes’ of Star Trek or Harry Potter,” explains Andy Sawyer, guest curator of the British Library’s Out of this World: Science Fiction exhibition. “While the sense of fantasy is strong, there are teasing examples of what might be called the beginnings of science fiction.” Click through to see some of the literary artifacts currently on display. … Read More
Exciting news for science fiction nerds in the UK (or anyone in the US willing to pay for international shipping): Vintage Books is releasing special editions of five classics — Planet of the Apes, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, The Lost World, Journey to the Centre of the Earth, and The Call of Cthulhu… Read More
H.G. Wells gets his own time machine. Jules Verne floats above Science Adventure and Fantasy Adventure in — what else? — a balloon. And everything from Dante and Voltaire to William S. Burroughs and steampunk has a place on this ginormous, shockingly comprehensive, and lovingly constructed History of Science Fiction map. The tiny version above… Read More
So we found ourselves clicking through images of romance novel covers the other day. (You never know where the Internet is gonna take you on a given afternoon.) The experience fast descended into a tawdry smear of heaving bosoms, broad-shouldered lotharios, bad mullets, gauzy gowns, too-tight loin cloths, extraordinary pectoral abundance, and various states and stages of seduction and swoon. But with a couple (possibly satirical) exceptions (one with the hero reclining next to three piglets, another featuring a man with a heart-shaped medallion and an over-sized feline), the covers blurred together, almost interchangeable. They featured simple variations on location (pirate ships, beaches, meadows, cliffs), dress (kilts, negligees, satin sheets, birthday suits), hair color, and size of raised font.
From romance covers we moved on to science fiction, wondering if sci-fi cover art might offer more. And holy moly, what we started seeing was bizarre, hilarious, campy, creepy, striking, surreal, sometimes sexy, and extremely cool. Flying saucers, planetary landscapes, lots of rockets, babes in inter-galactic distress, alien monsters, cyborg enemies, and on and on. The covers we came across were sinister, lovely, and completely ridiculous. Below, a selection of some of the sci-fi cover stand-outs. … Read More
With The Dream of Perpetual Motion, author Dexter Palmer embraces multimedia, offering video, audio, a screensaver, and an online art gallery to accompany his steampunk opus.
Narrated by perpetual storyteller Harold Winslow from his prison aboard the zeppelin of a mad inventor, Palmer’s novel explores love’s uncertain place in an increasingly technological world. Part psychological prison diary, part Kafka-esque alternate reality, the book bends genres with a balance of wry humor and self-aware glee. … Read More
And Another Thing… is the sixth installment in Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy “trilogy,” and the first not written by Adams himself.
Artemis Fowl author Eoin Colfer was handpicked by Adams’ estate to continue the series, which all began with Earth’s demolition for a hyperspace bypass. Featuring characters both new and old — including a lovelorn alien and a cheese-based god — And Another Thing… is delightfully faithful to the cult-classic… Read More