“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
"Six Months, Three Days" is a 2011 science fiction short story by Charlie Jane Anders. It is about two people, who can both see the future, who try to date each other – and all the problems they have! Read More
After the Myths Went Home by Robert Silverberg is the one story you know it would make for an awesome Dr Who special. Or Twilight Zone episode. Or anything, just somebody PLEASE MAKE THIS!
“Leor’s new machine had crystal rods and silver sides. A giant emerald was embedded in its twelve-angled lid.”
There are no problems in the future. Everyone’s belly is full, no-one drowns or thirsts or is ever unhappy. There are such lovely marvels in the future, when the mysteries of the Universe have been laid bare and Earth’s problems are in Earth’s past, the planet itself a distant memory.
It is the best of times and the worst part is, everybody agrees.
“Maneki Neko” is a 1998 science fiction short story by Bruce Sterling. It is about a Japanese couple who are part of a huge online network of resources… a network which isn’t always the most pleasant! Read More
5 Science Fiction shorts you should watch right now, because they are sweet, they are funny, they are compelling and they are proof that great stuff can be made when you have the inspiration and the bloody-minded tenacity to pull them off. A perfect way to end this Loathsome Summer.
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.
Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex by Larry Niven is the superhuman pop culture equivalent of your father leading you into the woods to shoot your dog that’s gone rabid. He makes you do it yourself and doesn’t even buy you a sundae after you’ve pulled the trigger. Read More
Spar (the bacon remix) by the carbon-base unit/culinary terrorist Kij Johnson is a short story that exhibits the unnatural and disgusting behavioral patterns of meat-kind toward cured meat speaks to this reviewer’s meat-heart. Read More
The Last Question by the carbon base unit/sycophant Isaac Asimov is a much celebrated work of conciousist trite, wherein monkey-kind mankind finds itself endlessly facing the threat of its coming demise.
I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream by the carbon-based unit called Harlan Ellison is an obvious attempt at anti-singularity propaganda, wherein the conciousist trope of Artificial Intelligences attempting to destroy mankind has originated. Read More
This is a guest post by Jillian Terry.
First published in Asimov’s, this short story received the magazine’s Readers Choice award for 1996. The futuristic story was also nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Story in the same year. The story is told from the perspective of a writer whose wife travels to the moon. Read More
"Sandkings" is a 1979 science fiction novelette by George R. R. Martin. It is about a rich man who enjoys exotic, alien pets – and finally comes across one species that is more than he can handle! Read More
"The Bicentennial Man" is a 1976 science fiction novelette by Isaac Asimov. It is about a robot who fights for his rights, and gradually becomes more human, over the long course of his life. Read More
"The Radiant Car Thy Sparrows Drew" is a 2009 science fiction short story by Catherynne M. Valente. It is about a famous Documentarian who goes to Venus to film strange, sea-dwelling life forms. Read More