Where It’s At: Science Fiction & Fantasy Novellas

Some of the most exciting and fresh voices in science fiction and fantasy are coming out in short form. While short stories have long been where authors develop their craft and where innovation happens in the genre, novellas are currently a hot commodity for authors who are challenging the status quo. Novellas are where women, writers of color and LGBTQIA voices and characters are breaking through what has long been a white, male-dominated genre.

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Some of my favorite recent science fiction and fantasy novellas have come from Tor.com publishing. Here are some to try: Continue reading “Where It’s At: Science Fiction & Fantasy Novellas”

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”