I never fully
understood [the label of 'escapist'] till my friend Professor Tolkien
the very simple question,
'What class of men would you expect to be most preoccupied with, and
most hostile to, the idea of escape?' and gave the obvious answer:
C. S. Lewis, "On Science Fiction"
fiction is exploring how technology affects people's lives, then one of
the best SF movies ever made was
Singin' in the Rain
David E. Romm
what SF is
(distinguishing it both from fantasy, and from mainstream
techno-thrillers) is a favorite pasttime for many. Some have very
definite views, although Margaret Atwood is less certain: she can't
decide if the definition is "
talking squids in outer space
" or "
". I'm going to sidestep the issue. But if you are
interested, here are some others'
definitions of SF
(somewhat more cogent than Atwood's), plus further links.
Here are my idiosyncratic recommendations of the SF Books I like. I
guarantee that you will like these books if you like the same books
that I do! (Those I loathe are too numerous to list.)
SF has different reading protocols
from mainstream fiction.
Just consider the phrase
'Her world exploded'
Lost in the Translation -- mangled book titles
I read science fiction because it's not
about the mundane, ordinary problems
that we face every day. I read science fiction because I want to argue
humanity's case before a galactic tribunal. I read science fiction
because I want to battle hideous creatures beneath the hurtling moons of
Barsoom. I read science fiction because I want to go on a covert mission
inside the city of the alien beings who hold humanity in thrall. I read
science fiction because, well, hexapodia is the key insight.
-- Pete McCutchen, rec.arts.sf.written, October 2000
"I will not turn into a snake. It never helps."
I get a bit tired sometimes of just how easily the baddies
are defeated. I wish more authors would take the advice in
Peter's Evil Overlord List. And there's an equal-opportunity
page, too! (EvilRulers.com
collects these, and also includes similar good advice for Heros,
Sidekicks, Evil Henchmen, True Loves, Innovcent Bystanders, and more.)
I also get a bit tired of formulaic fantasy. Nick Lowe's article
The Well-Tempered Plot Device explores some of these
formulae, such as "Collect the Plot Coupons", the "Universal
Plot Generator", and the "deus ex machina" in SF and fantasy.
SF films and TV
My lists of the
I like, and loathe.
My lists of the
SF TV shows
I like, and loathe. These include those currently airing, and also on-video
Of all SFnal media, TV suffers the most from
The combination of SF films and computing generates its own subculture of
Dave Langford's on-line
The essential monthly
book reviews, publishing news, author interviews
-- News of the Week, Gallery, Site of the Week, Interviews,...
I insist on living in a world where the word 'feminist' is as quaint as the word 'suffragette'.
-- Pat Cadigan, The Net BBC2, 8 June 1994
My notes on some cons that I have attended
locations in a larger map).
- CoNZealand: 78th Worldcon 2020, New Zealand [moved online]
- Concentric : 71st Eastercon 2020, Birmingham [cancelled]
- Dublin 2019: 77th Worldcon 2019, Dublin, Ireland
- Ytterbium : 70th Eastercon 2019, Heathrow
- Follycon : 69th Eastercon 2018, Harrogate
- Worldcon 75: 2017, Helsinki, Finland
- Innominate : 68th Eastercon 2017, Birmingham
- Mancunicon : 67th Eastercon 2016, Manchester
- Dysprosium : 66th Eastercon 2015, Heathrow
- LonCon 3: 72nd Worldcon 2014, London Docklands
- Satellite 4: 65th Eastercon 2014, Glasgow
- Eight Squared Con: 64th Eastercon 2013, Bradford
- Olympus2012: 63rd Eastercon 2012, Heathrow
- Illustrious: 62nd Eastercon 2011, Birmingham
- Odyssey2010: 61st Eastercon 2010, Heathrow
- Constitution: Unicon 23, Cambridge
- LX: 60th Eastercon 2009, Bradford
- Orbital 2008: 59th Eastercon 2008, Heathrow
- Contemplation: 58th Eastercon 2007, Chester
- Concussion: 57th Eastercon 2006, Glasgow
- Interaction: 63rd Worldcon 2005, Glasgow
- Paragon2: 56th Eastercon 2005, Hinckley
- Concourse: 55th Eastercon 2004, Blackpool
- Seacon: 54th Eastercon 2003, Hinckley
- Helicon 2: 53rd Eastercon 2002, Jersey
- Paragon: 52nd Eastercon 2001, Hinckley
- Novacon 30, Birmingham
- 2Kon: 51st Eastercon 2000, Glasgow
- Reconvene: 50th Eastercon '99, Liverpool
- The Wrap Party, Heathrow
- Intuition: 49th Eastercon '98, Manchester
- Intervention: 48th Eastercon '97, Liverpool
- Evolution: 47th Eastercon '96, Heathrow
- Intersection: 53rd Worldcon '95, Glasgow
- Sou'Wester: 45th Eastercon '94, Liverpool
- Illumination: Eastercon '92, Blackpool
Eastcon: 42nd Eastercon '90
Conspiracy: 45th Worldcon '87
- Seacon: 35th Eastercon '84, Brighton
Does anybody know
if Harlan Ellison will include Alexi Panshin's essay on Heinlein's views
on gun control in
The Last Dangerous Visions?
-- Michael F. Stemper, 1999
(contributed to a discussion of the ultimate
like to say how charming I find it to see a serious and passionately
felt discussion of
Romeo and Juliet
on rec.arts.sf.written under
the thread title 'sex and violence'. It really makes my day.
in more depth...
For a whole host of archives, author pages, awards, bibliographies,
FAQs, publishers, reviews, etc, try the
As time goes by, SF becomes science. When will
A bibliography of
Just because I'm into SF and wacky science,