“Speech Sounds” is a 1983 science fiction short story by Octavia E. Butler, and was the winner of a 1984 Hugo Award. It is about a plague that wipes out humankind’s ability to speak, and one woman’s adventure as she tries to get from Los Angeles to Pasadena without being killed. Read More
This is a guest post by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam.
“Triceratops” by Kono Tensei, translated by David Lewis, is about a father and son, a dimensional fault which allows them to see dinosaurs roaming their suburb, and the triviality of modern life. Read More
Remembering Iain M. Banks
On June 9th, 2013, one of the greatest modern writers of science fiction was lost to us after a long, harrowing struggle with cancer. For those of you not in the know, Iain Banks was, in may ways, the father of the modern cinematic science fiction: he was a weaver of worlds, of powerful imagery, of wide-screen infinite-budget CGI borne from a very rich imagination.
Born February 15th, 1954 to a professional ice-skater mother and an Admiralty Officer father, Banks decided that the one thing he always ever wanted to do was to just…write. From the age of 11, he began the long process of weaving worlds, which produced an entire novel (the Hungarian Lift-Jet) by the age of 16. After finishing his very first honest-to-God novel, the Wasp Factory, in 1984, Iain had apparently worn a considerable number of typewriters down, which led his agent to agree with him in a one-book-per-year deal. Iain (reluctantly) agreed.
His work has been adapted into television series, radio-dramas and a theater play, called The Curse of Iain Banks. A politically active and terrifyingly imaginative man, Iain Banks did his absolute best to be a man of the world and a writer first, instead of simply resting in his polymer-based orbital palace he’d built for himself thanks to his work.
This is the Way The World Ends by James Morrow is a glorious example of properly-narrated, depressing as all hell post apocalyptic science fiction and, in my opinion, one of the best examples of fictional representations of the nuclear holocaust.
This is a guest post by Konstantine Paradias.
The End of the Whole Mess is a post-apocalyptic short story by Stephen King, as told from the view point of Howard Fonroy, the older brother of one of the smartest (and few remaining) men on the planet. Read More
"Blood Child" by Octavia E. Butler is a science fiction short story based around an alien world run by a race of insect like creatures called the Tlic who use humans as hosts to lay eggs inside them to reproduce. The story focuses on the relationship a young man named Gan, whose family has been “adopted”, has with T’Gatoi a high ranking female with the Tlic government. Read More
This is a guest post by Katheryn Rivas.
Cyberpunk is a subgenre of science fiction that began to evolve in the eighties, when computers were just starting to enter into the realm of the personal, when the Internet was in its infancy. Although many early cyberpunk stories seem quaint to us now in our hyper-technological world, I still love re-reading these pioneering narratives to get a sense of how far we’ve come with our ever-faster, ever-smaller gizmos and gadgets. Read More
“Melancholy Elephants” is a 1983 short story by Spider Robinson. It deals with a legal issue, which is what first attracted me to it. The issue is copyright, and the theme is the mental health of the species. In it a U.S. Senate lobbyist argues against a law which will protect artist’s intellectual property in perpetuity. The hook is (at least the first hook) is that she represents the artists! Read More
“The Crystal Spheres” is a 1984 science fiction short story by David Brin. It is about a man who travels to a distant star system after learning that the inhabitants there have broken out of their crystal shell.
Stable Strategies for Middle Management
by Eileen Gunn
• Page count: 8
“Stable Strategies for Middle Management” is a 1988 science fiction short story by Eileen Gunn. It is about a woman who has undertaken a drastic form of bioengineering as a way to move up the corporate ladder.
by Mike Resnick
• Page count: 13
“Kirinyaga” is an award winning 1988 science fiction short story by Mike Resnick. It is about a colony of Kikiru living on a utopian world who are investigated for their religious practices.
by Greg Bear
• Page count: 18
Blood Music is a 1983 award winning science fiction novelette by Greg Bear. It is about a scientist who injects himself with billions of tiny biological computers, and then gets nervous when they start changing his body.