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review 2017-03-23 19:33
Star’s End: An Inner Space Opera
Star's End - Cassandra Rose Clarke

Man, I really like Clarke's stuff. Not real flashy, but emotionally detailed.

 

My latest at B&N SciFi & Fantasy

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url 2017-03-15 03:26
New York 2140 Offers a Fascinating Tour of a Drowned Manhattan
New York 2140 - Kim Stanley Robinson

I am not fucking around: this is a great Kim Stanley Robinson novel. It's got everything I like about him: a bunch of hugely nerdy digressions, some legit science, a little light-hearted didacticism, and words words words. This man can write. Ok, sure, the plot is loose, but who even needs a plot when you've got a world like this, like ours but in extremis

 

My latest at B&N SciFi. 

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url 2017-02-03 07:12
12 Sci-Fi and Fantasy Updates of 19th Century Novels
Heartstone - Elle Katharine White Heartstone - Elle Katharine White
Arguably, 19th century literature is defined by the extravagance of its poetry. (The Vampire Lestat ain’t got nothing on Lord Byron.) But the craft of the novel was percolating in the background, too, undertaken by such undesirables as women, satirists, and social reformers. If you care to, you can find Victorian jeremiads railing against the social rot perpetrated by novels, which read like anti-television tracts from the first decades of that medium. (My take: give any genre long enough, and it’ll become preferable to the newest alternative. I am constantly begging my children to rot their brains with television instead of YouTube. For crying out loud, put on headphones at the very least.)
 

Because early novels were written on the edge of things—not precisely respectable, and new enough for wide experimentation—many bucked the often rigid social structures of the times. In the second edition of The Picture of Dorian Gray, which had been subject to much howling by moralists, Oscar Wilde declared, “all art is quite useless.” By which he meant (among other things) that the novel should not be used only as a moral punchline, but should explore the wide variety of the human experience. From Trollope’s intricate family sagas, to the Brontë sisters’ howling family Gothics, to the lurid and/or didactic serials of Conan-Doyle and Dickens, the novels of the era tread a lot of ground.

 

Maybe that’s why they’re such good fodder to update for a contemporary audience: they managed to hit first, and definitively, a swath of the human experience. No, no one has to worry about the entailed estates of the Regency period, but the social burlesque of Pride & Prejudice, the relationship between the sisters, and the sting of betrayal—all still hold true. (Plus, Darcy: rwrrr.)

 

Here are 12 sci-fi and fantasy updates of major 19th century novels. I’ve not included works that already have a science fictional or fantasy twist to them, like Dracula, Frankenstein, or The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde; they almost need their own roundup. I haveincluded edge cases like the Gothics, because any supernatural element tends to be ambiguous at best. (Quick: are the ghosts real in The Turn of the Screw?) Come let’s see what’s happening on the manse, in space.

 

I know this is super annoying, but my actual list can be found at B&N SciFi. It was hella fun to write. 

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review 2017-02-03 03:05
Invisible Library series is ridiculously fun
The Burning Page - Genevieve Cogman

My latest at B&N SciFi.

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review 2016-08-26 16:45
Breath of Earth Is a Fantasy Adventure of Geological Proportions
Breath of Earth - Beth Cato

Beth Cato really has a skill with furious pacing, and she's gotten even better with her latest novel. The alt-history setting is novel, which I appreciate, because there's only so many times the Axis powers can win the war. Well, or that's not true -- I like a United States of Japan -- which is what we have in this novel, but it's not because the US conquered Japan or vice versa. 

 

Anyway, my latest review at B&N SciFi & Fantasy

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