Check out Looking for Books That are Shamelessly Fun? One Word: Kaiju! at Kirkus Reviews…
Ursula K. Le Guin is one of science fiction’s greats: her stories Left Hand of Darkness, A Wizard of Earthsea and The Dispossessed rank among the genre’s best works, and she moves easily between science fiction and fantasy, writing things that science fiction authors had barely touched before she came onto the scene. To say she was influential is to undersell one’s words.
I have to say, of all of Le Guin’s works that I’ve read, the ones that I’ve enjoyed the most was A Wizard of Earthsea, which I read years ago. Of all the fantasy novels I’ve picked up, it’s probably one of the ones that’s stuck with me the most.
Go read The Left and Right Hands of Ursula K. Le Guin over on Kirkus Reviews.
Over at the Kirkus Reviews blog, I take a look at Upcoming Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Adaptations (Classics Edition) – Part 2.
Check it out!
Well I have. And over at the Kirkus Reviews blog, I take a look at them.
Check out Upcoming Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Adaptations (Classics Edition) – Part 1 at Kirkus Reviews…
I’ll have to confess that I read Neuromancer only a couple of years ago, and at the time, didn’t understand what all the fuss was about. It was a book about computers, written before computers were really a thing. The strange thing about William Gibson’s fantastic novel is it’s staying power and how it’s positively brimming with fresh ideas in a genre gone stale by the early 1980s. Going back to re-read Gibson’s works (especially in Burning Chrome), I’m shocked at how vibrant and raw his writing is.
Neuromancer is one of the more important books to enter the genre, and as it celebrates its third decade in print, it’s an interesting one to go back and look upon and to understand just how revolutionary the title was at the time.
Go read 30 Years of William Gibson’s Neuromancer over on Kirkus Reviews.
Go read Recent Ecological Fiction at Kirkus Reviews…
This Summer, readers are once again reminded that Stephen King is one of the most popular authors of our time. If you haven’t seen his new book, Mr. Mercedes, on bookstore shelves, you are either not paying attention or not going to the bookstore. Meanwhile, television viewers are enjoying the second season of Under the Dome, the adaptation of his 2009 novel of the same name.
Head on over to Kirkus Reviews to read Part 2 of The Stephen King Edition of Book-to-TV/Film Adaptations, in which I cover the short fiction adaptations!
It’s probably obvious that prolific bestselling authors have a greater chance of seeing their work adapted for television and film. And you probably know that prolific author Stephen King has already had a large handful of his novels and stories adapted. What you might not guess is that that particular well has not yet run dry and even when it does, Hollywood is perfectly content with producing second adaptations of the horror-masters work. This is evidenced by this latest roundup of speculative fiction adaptations, which focuses on upcoming films based on the works of Stephen King.
Head on over to Kirkus Reviews to read Read Them Now, Watch Them Later: Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Adaptation Watch – The Stephen King Edition!
For years, I’ve had friends tell me that I should be reading Octavia Butler’s works, especially Kindred. I actually own a copy, and it’s been sitting on my shelves for years, waiting for me to pick it up. When it came to the point where I’d start writing about the 1970s, it was pretty clear that Butler would be one of the authors that I’d be covering, and I picked up the book as part of my research. She’s a powerful author, and I’m a little sad that I didn’t read the book earlier. Researching Butler’s life is fascinating, and it’s becoming clear to me that some of the genre’s most important works emerge from outside of it’s walls.
Go read Octavia E. Butler: Expanding Science Fiction’s Horizons over on Kirkus Reviews.
Head on over to Kirkus Reviews to to see my picks for the The Best Speculative Fiction Reads in July!
Ringworld is a novel that’s always stuck with me. I picked it up alongside authors such as Isaac Asimov, Frank Herbert, Robert Heinlein, and other authors from that point in time. Foundation and Dune are two books that are among my favorites, but Ringworld has long been the best of the lot. It’s vivid, funny, exciting and so forth. Reading it again recently in preparation for this column, I was astounded at how well it’s held up (as opposed to Foundation) in the years since it’s publication, and I can’t wait to read it again.
Go read Larry Niven’s Ringworld and Known Space Stories over on Kirkus Reviews.
Check out the latest Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Adaptation Watch!
Over at the Kirkus Reviews blog this week, I take a look at The Latest SF-F-H Mashups.
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When I worked at a bookstore (the now defunct Walden Books), I had a co-worker that loved Andre Norton. I’d never read any of her books throughout High School, although I was certainly familiar with her name. I wish now that I did.
Norton wrote largely for what we now call the YA audience: teenagers, with fantastical adventures throughout numerous worlds and times. She was also largely ignored or dismissed for writing ‘children’s literature’, which is a shame, because it’s likely that she had as great an influence on the shape of the modern genre as Robert Heinlein, who’s Juvenile novels attracted millions of fans to new worlds. Norton was the same, and influenced countless readers and writers for decades. It’s fitting that the major SF award for YA fiction is titled The Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy.
Go read Andre Norton’s YA novels over on the Kirkus Reviews Blog.
I defy you to find someone who doesn’t know the story of The Wizard of Oz. It’s an enormously popular story, so ingrained into our popular culture world that statements such as ‘We’re not in Kansas anymore’ need no reference. Oz is on par with stories from Bram Stoker and Mary Shelley – we know what happens without even reading the works. As such, it’s good to go back and take a look at their place in SF’s canon, because they are very influential, and it’s easy to see why: they’re fantastic, eminently readable stories that hold up with their sense of wonder.
Recently, I attended ICFA down in Orlando Florida, where I had dinner with a couple of authors, notably Ted Chaing. We had gotten on the topic of robotics, and he mentioned that Tik Tok from Ozma of Oz could be considered one of the first robots in SF. It’s certainly an early appearance of a robot, and with that in mind, it’s interesting to see how much of Oz prefigured some of the modern SF genre.
Over at Kirkus Reviews this week, I look a second science fiction books that put women in space — this one focusing on military sf
Check out Women in Space (Part 2) over at the Kirkus Reviews blog.