Short Story Reviews: Ward Moore’s “Lot” (1953) and Langdon Jones’ “I Remember, Anita…” (1964)
Science Fiction and Other Suspect Ruminations
by Joachim Boaz
4d ago
My series on 1950s stories on sex and sexuality finds itself relentlessly drawn back to the well-trodden post-apocalyptic wasteland. New moralities are inscribed and ritualized in the wreckage. As Paul Brians points out in Nuclear Holocaust: Atomic War in Fiction, 1895-1984 (1987), authors in the 1950s and 60s demonstrate an obsession with the sex in the post-holocaust landscape as if they are “feverishly battling atomic thanatos with eros” [note 1]. Here I have paired two moments that dance around either side of the nuclear nightmare. Langdon Jones’ “I Remember, Anita…” (1964), the most ..read more
Visit website
Updates: Recent Science Fiction Purchases No. CCCXV (John Brunner, Connie Willis, Cynthia Felice, Philip Wylie, and a themed anthology)
Science Fiction and Other Suspect Ruminations
by Joachim Boaz
1w ago
Which books/covers/authors intrigue you? Which have you read? Disliked? Enjoyed? 1. The Shockwave Rider, John Brunner (1975) John Higgins’ cover for the 1988 edition From the back cover: “Future shock! In the obsessively technological, paranoidally secretive and brutally competitive society depicted by John Brunner, even personal identities are under threat. But one man has made it his mission to liberate the mental prisoners, to restore their freedom in a world run mad. Nickie Haflinger, the only person to escape from Tarnover–where they raise hyper-intelligent children to maintain the po ..read more
Visit website
Short Fiction Reviews: Phyllis Gotlieb’s “A Grain of Manhood” (1959), “Phantom Foot” (1959), and “No End of Time” (1960)
Science Fiction and Other Suspect Ruminations
by Joachim Boaz
2w ago
In the past year or so I’ve put together a series on the first three published short fictions by female authors who are new(ish) to me and/or whose most famous SF novels fall mostly outside the post-WWII to mid-1980s focus of my reading adventures. So far I’ve featured Josephine Saxton (1935-), Carol Emshwiller (1921-2019), Wilmar H. Shiras (1908-1990), Nancy Kress (1948-), Melisa Michaels (1946-2019), Lee Killough (1942-), Betsy Curtis (1917-2002), and Eleanor Arnason (1942-). I do not expect transformative or brilliant&nbs ..read more
Visit website
Book Review: The Genocides, Thomas M. Disch (1965)
Science Fiction and Other Suspect Ruminations
by Joachim Boaz
3w ago
Richard Powers’ cover for the 1965 1st edition 5/5 (Masterpiece) Thomas M. Disch’s The Genocides (1965) is an incendiary assault on our senses and expectations of trope and genre. In the face of apocalyptic annihilation at the hands of a vast alien Plant spread across the Earth, biblical stories of redemption and (re)birth are subversively recast as either delusions or decrepit meaningless patterns. Disch conjures a frontier landscapes inhabited by the sinful. Apocalypse cannot lead to rebirth. The New Land of Milk and Honey A billion spores, “invisible to all but the most powerful microsc ..read more
Visit website
Updates: My 2022 in Review (Best SF Novels, Best SF Short Fiction, and Bonus Categories)
Science Fiction and Other Suspect Ruminations
by Joachim Boaz
1M ago
2022 was the single best year in the history of my site for visits and unique viewers! As I mention year after year, I find reading and writing for the site—and participating in all the SF discussions generated over the year—a necessary and greatly appreciated salve. Whether you are a lurker, occasional visitor, or a regular commenter, thank you for your continued support. Continuing a trend from 2021, I read only a handful of novels this year. Instead, I devoted my obsessive attention to various science short story review initiatives (listed below), anthologies, and histories of the scie ..read more
Visit website
Short Story Reviews: Fritz Leiber’s “The Moon Is Green” (1952) and Sonya Dorman’s “Go, Go, Go, Said the Bird” (1967)
Science Fiction and Other Suspect Ruminations
by Joachim Boaz
1M ago
Today I have selected two radical post-apocalyptic visions to review. Fritz Leiber (1910-1992) writes a conscientious attempt to understand the plight of a housewife trapped in a fallout shelter with an abusive husband and a mysterious man outside who whispers her deepest fantasies. I am fascinated by subversive 50s stories–especially on sex, masculinity, colonization, suburbia–and Leiber’s tale ticks many of my favorite boxes. Sonya Dorman (1924-2005), a skilled American representative of New Wave movement, recounts a highly metaphoric flight of a woman attempting to maintain independent thou ..read more
Visit website
Book Review: So Close to Home, James Blish (1961)
Science Fiction and Other Suspect Ruminations
by Joachim Boaz
1M ago
Richard Powers’ cover for the 1st edition 3/5 (collated rating: Average) It’s been a long time since I’ve read James Blish. I’ve long been a fan of his Hugo-winning novel A Case of Conscience (1958) and individual stories in collections like The Seedling Stars (1957) and Galactic Cluster (1959). Unfortunately, So Close to Home (1961) is a very uneven collection with more duds than hits. The three worthwhile stories–“The Oath” (1960). “Testament of Andros” (1953), and “The Masks” (1959)–can be found online at the links below. Almost all the stories in the collection are set in the very near ..read more
Visit website
Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CCCXIII (John Wyndham, Keith Roberts, Fredric Brown, Naomi Mitchison)
Science Fiction and Other Suspect Ruminations
by Joachim Boaz
1M ago
Which books/covers/authors intrigue you? Which have you read? Disliked? Enjoyed? 1. The Day of the Triffids, John Wyndham (1951) Richard Powers’ cover for the 1964 edition From the back cover: “WHAT WERE THEY– THESE HIDEOUS TRIFFIDS ROAMING THE RUINS OF THE EARTH? Until a few short hours ago–before the sky exploded into a shower of flaming green hell–triffids had been regarded as merely a curious and profitable form of plant life. Now these shadowy vegetable creatures became crawling, killing nightmare of pain and horror. Madness hung in the air, fear lurked in every side street, death hov ..read more
Visit website
Short Fiction Reviews: Norman Spinrad’s “The Weed of Time” (1970) and William Morrison’s “The Addicts” (1952)
Science Fiction and Other Suspect Ruminations
by Joachim Boaz
1M ago
Today I’ve decided to do something a bit different. Over the past year or so I’ve been compiling short stories on various themes and I put three of the themes to vote on the hellscape that is Twitter (I’m @SFRuminations). And science fictional drugs won out! If this topic is interesting, let me know. My notebook contains a substantial list of stories I haven’t yet read on the topic. If you know of other short stories from the decades of my interest (1945-1985), leave a note in the comments. Charles Moll’s cover for the 1st edition of Norman Spinrad’s No Direction Home (1975) 4/5 (Good) Nor ..read more
Visit website
Short Story Reviews: Harlan Ellison’s “Psycho at Mid-Point” (1956) and “The Discarded” (variant title: “The Abnormals”) (1959)
Science Fiction and Other Suspect Ruminations
by Joachim Boaz
1M ago
The following review is the 20th installment of my series searching for “SF short stories that are critical in some capacity of space agencies, astronauts, and the culture which produced them.” Some stories I’ll review in this series might not fit. Many are far from the best. And that is okay. I relish the act of literary archaeology. I turn now to an author, Harlan Ellison (1934-2018), whom I’ve only marginally explored considering his prodigious output. I am completely ignorant of his 50s visions. I’d previously read and reviewed his collection Approaching Oblivion  ..read more
Visit website

Follow Science Fiction and Other Suspect Ruminations on Feedspot

Continue with Google
OR