on poul anderson’s brain wave

I FOUND MY AGING COPY OF BRAIN WAVE when I discovered Joachim Boaz’s site Science Fiction and Other Suspect Ruminations. I read Joachim’s take on Poul Anderson’s novel—he considered it “vaguely good”—and the comments submitted by his readers and I disagreed with certain observations of theirs. So, I want to address a few of those issues here on my site.CONTINUE READING

yet more on science fiction and fantasy (is this modern science fiction part 6?)

I JUST HAD A ‘WHAT A COINCIDENCE’ MOMENT! They are not all that dissimilar from deja vu moments, except the sometimes slightly scary feeling that accompanies the latter is rarely part of the former. When coincidence occurs to me, I am usually delighted, rarely frightened into believing some form of pre-determinism, as deja vu can do.CONTINUE READING

modern science fiction and the gimme part 5 – on modern fantasy and the gimme

If I said that all ‘modern’ fantasy can be traced to one author and one story, J.R.R. Tolkien and The Lord Of The Rings, few would argue. While aficionados and historians can make arguments for the influence of Lord Dunsany, James Branch Cabell, and others, almost all the well-known fantasy titles of the past four decades can be traced to the tales of the Bilbo and Frodo Baggins and the One Ring.CONTINUE READING

modern science fiction and the gimme part 4 – on various genres and the gimme

This is the fourth of five essays (all titled “modern science fiction and the gimme part 4” or 3 or 1) addressing aspects of the acknowledged “laws” of plotting and story-telling in modern science fiction. It is not necessary to have read the first two parts to understand this part. Here are a few very brief, easy-to-understand definitions that delineate the primary differences between several types of fantastical literature and how the use of the gimme varies.CONTINUE READING

modern science fiction and the gimme part 3

I HAVE STATED THAT I CAME OF AGE as a reader of science fiction in the late 1960s and early ’70s. My exposure to what was happening in science fiction was limited, as I was never involved in any organized fandom. For me, the early ’70s was spent turning on tuning in dropping out, protesting the war, expanding my consciousness, and discovering the difference between girls and women.CONTINUE READING