Science Fiction Checklist Challenge: New Wave Science Fiction

By David H.

At the beginning of the 1960’s, science fiction was in a rut. While grand masters, such as Isaac Asimov and Arthur Clarke, were still writing interesting and worthwhile work, the genre itself had become fossilized. The tropes of pulp science fiction (rockets ships, robots, aliens barely distinguishable from humans, and square-jawed, flawless good guys) were still being used by many authors and a whiff of stagnation had begun to fill the air. The real world concerns of the time (war, segregation, the changing roles of women, political unrest and student protests) went unacknowledged and unseen in the genre. But a revolution was about to sweep through science fiction. Continue reading “Science Fiction Checklist Challenge: New Wave Science Fiction”

Science Fiction Checklist Challenge: Kids

~posted by Jenny C.

We’re coming to a close on the Science Fiction Checklist Challenge shortly, but I wanted to make sure there were a few more offerings for the child sci-fi reader out there. Oddly, while children’s fiction is crammed to the gills with fantasy and magic, there’s not much SF on the shelf, especially chapter books, once kids have made their way past all the Star Wars beginning Readers.

Find The True Meaning of Smekday in the SPL catalogIf you haven’t picked up The True Meaning of Smekday yet, I highly recommend this hilarious adventure with a plucky young heroine and a truly ridiculous alien that inspired the Dreamworks movie, Home. I can’t speak to the movie, but the audio book version is mind-bogglingly well-read, and deeply funny. Other funny aliens on earth adventures can be found in the Alien in my Pocket books, What We Found in the Sofa and How It Saved the World, Adventures of a Cat-whiskered Girl and Aliens on Vacation. Continue reading “Science Fiction Checklist Challenge: Kids”

Science Fiction Checklist Challenge: Alternative History

~posted by Selby G.

History is a series of events. But what if some of those important events had a different outcome? What if the Soviet Union won the cold war or Kennedy didn’t get assassinated? How would that change the world? Science fiction writers are known for pondering the wild realms of speculation and that is exactly what they do in Alternate History Sci-fi.

Find Three Princes in the SPL catalogThe most popular premise for alternate histories is probably the Nazis winning World War II, but there are plenty of other options. Like, what if Egypt still ruled a huge chunk of the world into the 1800’s? If this idea intrigues you then check out Ramona Wheeler’s Three Princes. When Otto von Bismarck, the European terrorist, plots to overthrow Pharaoh Djoser-George, the princes Scott and Mik must work with the Incan empire on the other side of the Atlantic to keep the dynasty intact. Continue reading “Science Fiction Checklist Challenge: Alternative History”

The Science Fiction Checklist Challenge: Hard SF

By Richard C.

Carbide Tipped Pens

Start your Hard Science Fiction Checklist Challenge with a just-published and aptly-titled short story collection, Carbide Tipped Pens. Number 1 is called The Blue Afternoon that Lasted Forever, and there’s more intensity in its 13 pages than you’ve ever had before. Yes indeed, you’ll find it a work of Hard SF that’s quickly read but never forgotten.

For a classic route, try Fredrick Pohl’s story Day Million in Digital Rapture, or either James Blish’s Surface Tension or Tom Godwin’s The Cold Equation in a book called Science Fiction Hall of Fame. Solaris Rising, Solaris Rising 2, Edge of Infinity, and Beyond the Sun carve out even more rock solid SF.

Continue reading “The Science Fiction Checklist Challenge: Hard SF”

Science Fiction Checklist Challenge: Graphic Novels

~Posted by Daniel S.

Science fiction and graphic novels go together like a cape and a mask. You may not have considered it before, but the superhero genre really is just another version of sci-fi. Think about all the sci-fi concepts that pop up in your favorite comics: Radiation turns an ordinary man into a rampaging Hulk. A chemical explosion (plus lightning) grants The Flash his power of super-speed. Superman is the last survivor of an alien civilization. And it’s been this way from the start:  Thirties Sunday newspaper comic strip heroes like Flash Gordon and Dan Dare were directly inspired by early pulp sci-fi. As comics matured into the form we call graphic novels, they also absorbed a more sophisticated understanding of science, and became more daring in their speculation of future technology. Here are some of my favorite graphic novel collections that blend super-heroics with super-science: Continue reading “Science Fiction Checklist Challenge: Graphic Novels”