Literature versus science fiction

I am somewhat bemused by the way ‘literature’ is so often assumed to be a superior form of writing, above any form of genre fiction and, particularly, science fiction (‘ptooey’). Authors known for ‘literature’ are, apparently, more talented, competent and intelligent than ‘sci fi’ authors, who by definition are hacks, talentless and ignorant of basic … More Literature versus science fiction

Why science fiction dates so horribly, sometimes

One of my pet irritations with some science fiction is the way authors often succumb to the ‘recency effect’ when inserting the ‘science’ part into their stories. What usually happens is that a recent discovery, looming large and appearing to transform understanding, becomes a raison d’etre or story pivot – except, not long afterwards, that … More Why science fiction dates so horribly, sometimes

Bored of the Rings versus Bill the Galactic Hero

Has anybody read Bored of the Rings? Yes, I typed that right. It’s the Harvard Lampoon parody of the well known fantasy trilogy by a certain Oxford Professor. One of the funniest scenes – for me, anyway – is where the adventurers are attacked by a Thesaurus, a monster with a pronounced gazetteer and large … More Bored of the Rings versus Bill the Galactic Hero

Ten reasons why ‘Forbidden Planet’ is still cool after 61 years

I watched Forbidden Planet the other day, for the first time in a very long while. And a lot of stuff sprang out at me that I’d forgotten, or which I’d maybe not noticed. Not seen it? It’s worth checking out. Sure, it was made in 1956 and has a kind of ‘American Modern’ feel … More Ten reasons why ‘Forbidden Planet’ is still cool after 61 years