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Speech Sounds by Octavia E. Butler

“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

Remembering Iain M. Banks, a Science Fiction legend

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.


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Blood Child by Octavia E. Butler

This is a guest post by Alexis Bonari.

"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

Bruce Bethke’s “Cyberpunk”

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 by Spider Robinson

“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