Dystopian Days

What is it about dystopian books that can be so appealing? Is that they serve as cautionary tales for our own society, extrapolating to possible-but-hopefully-still-avoidable futures? Or is it the antithesis of “the grass is greener” argument, in that the societies pictured are so depressing and dehumanizing that they make us feel better about the…

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NPR’s Top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy Books

This past week, NPR posted a list of what it considers the Top Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature, which was part of an online voting campaign this summer.  Over 60,000 votes were cast and the top 100 vote-getters are out. The list has been posted by several folks in my neighborhood, including LetsEatGrandpa, GingerSister and…

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SF Saturday Matinee: Super 8

This weekend, the Beloved and I ended up with a surprisingly unscheduled Saturday so after an early trip to Coronado Dog Beach, we decided to do something we don’t do too often in these busy days: go to the movies. After a perusal of the last of the pre-Potter theater listings, we opted to go…

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30 DoB Day 8: Most Overrated Book

Well, if the previous post was a “glass half-full” choice of a book that has been perhaps overlooked, the next installment in the 30 Days of Books inverts that view to the negative: Day 08 – Most overrated book Unlike Day 07, this one is easy for me: Dune by Frank Herbert I know, I…

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30 DoB Day 7: Most Underrated Book

I was scratching my head for a while over the latest 30 Days of Books topic: Day 07: Most underrated book I was having a hard time coming up with an answer to this one – looking for an example of a good book that I liked that was either reviewed poorly or has been…

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Book Review: “Doomsday Book” by Connie Willis

I’ve occasionally heard the science fiction writing of Ray Bradbury be labeled as “soft” – in that his stories might take place in the future or have aliens, but that he doesn’t spend a lot of expositional effort on how we (or “they” for that matter) got there.  He won’t discuss the propulsion system of…

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Natural History and Supernatural Thrills

Douglas Preston has been an active writer over the past fifteen years or so, mostly writing what I would call “techno-supernatural” thrillers, not too dissimilar from the types of books that Michael Crichton used to write.  I had been drawn to them because he used to work at the American Museum of Natural History, and…

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ANOKS: Things On Tuesday

I’ve been pretty remiss keeping up with my ANOKS postings this past month as both work-life and home-life have ramped up.  You know, just in time for the Holidays. Kelly originally put “The Thing” in the “Animals Can Kill You” category, which is sort of a misnomer.  Though since she didn’t have an “Aliens Aren’t…

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Friday Five Word Challenge: 10

The other week, Ms Red Pen asked me to come up with the word for the 5-word challenge – the goal is to write a short story that incorporates five (more or less) random words.  The words I chose were: evolve, green, growth, knack, and rope. Well, it’s pretty funny – I’d been thinking about…

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