SF

RECENT REVIEWS

Everyday Plato

Everyday Plato

JO WALTON specializes in high concept speculative fictions that she makes both believable and thoughtful through her deployment of the quotidian. Who else could write a story of Darwinian dragons as a...

The Warm Equations

The Warm Equations

STAR TREK makes it look easy. Warp drive eliminates all that unhappy fussing with fuel, mass, and acceleration: the Enterprise, traveling orders of magnitude faster than current science tells us is po...

Excavating a Future

Excavating a Future

Part of the problem is that our Hollywoodish imagination of disaster is dominated by the blockbuster spectacle of some future, definitive event that triggers a system collapse. In reality, the apocaly...

Secure Your Own Mask Before Helping Others

Secure Your Own Mask Before Helping Others

THE TITLE OF Neil Gaiman’s third collection comes from the growing practice of labeling blog posts with content some readers might find upsetting. A survivor of abuse, for example, might have a very...

Vulnerable Creatures and the Wounded World-Soul

Vulnerable Creatures and the Wounded World-Soul

EARLY ON in his latest novel, The Scarlet Gospels, Clive Barker reveals that his most celebrated character, the Hell Priest Pinhead, has learned the delicate art of origami. For months, the demon secr...

The Story-as-Database

The Story-as-Database

AT ONE POINT in Jennifer Brissett’s science fiction novel Elysium, the protagonist goes to bed for a much-needed rest: She fell asleep and wrestled in her dreams. In her sleep she was herself, but ...

Gender and the Apocalypse

Gender and the Apocalypse

ON APRIL 3, 2015, the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society and the Philip K. Dick Trust announced this year’s winners of the Philip K. Dick Award for the best science fiction novels published in pa...

Apocalypse Never

Apocalypse Never

IN CONTEMPORARY SF, the postapocalyptic wasteland has become the predominant setting for futuristic imaginings. Recent cinematic examples include Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer (2013), Neill Blomkamp’...

A Fitting Tribute

A Fitting Tribute

SINCE STARTING HIS professional career in the mid 1950s, Harlan Ellison has published hundreds of short stories, a handful of novels and novellas, scores of essays, comic book stories, and work for f...

William Gibson’s Breakfast Burrito

William Gibson’s Breakfast Burrito

NEAR THE END of The Peripheral, William Gibson’s latest novel, there is a short chapter dedicated to the problem one character faces in acquiring a breakfast burrito. The burrito is for one of the ...

No Escape

No Escape

IN THE EARLY months of 1944, half a year before the Russians liberate Auschwitz, one of the protagonists of Lavie Tidhar’s A Man Lies Dreaming overhears a conversation between two of his fellow inma...