Over the years I’ve written a few series and across a few particular themes that seem to recur often.
Science fiction is dead
Since late in 2012, I’ve been investigating the idea that science fiction is dead. I thought the best way of doing that was by looking at the stories themselves, so I began a reading program of golden age-era science fiction, and I’m now reading more contemporary stories by way of comparsion.
At the end of 2012, I started with the acknowledged classic I, Robot by Isaac Asimov. These stories showed me golden age science fiction at its very best.
I read three volumes of The History of the Science Fiction Magazine edited by Michael Ashley, each covering decade between 1926 and 1955. As well as featuring 10 stories, one from each decade, each volume came with a detailed and insightful introduction.
Next, I read the 1980 anthology, The Golden Age of Science Fiction edited by Kingsley Amis. Rather than a historical perspective, this anthology was a better representation of the ‘best’ of the old guard, although I did notice that the stories were concetrated in the 1950s.
I summed up my year and a bit of reading golden ag science fiction here, in case you just want to skip to the kernel of it.
Having read all that, though, I wanted to make sure I could make a good comparison with the contemporary scene. My own feeling as that science fiction diead sometime between 195 and 2000, and so I was lucky to find The Best of the Best: 20 Years of Science Fiction edited by Gardner Dozois. This covers the period 1984 to 2005.
If I’m right about science fiction ceasing to matter in the contemporary world, we ought to see it in these stories. This series is ongoing, so jump in and catch up.
H P Lovecraft
I’ve loved H P Lovecraft since I read The Dunwich Horror in a Scholastic Books horror anthology when I was about 11. As a roleplayer, he has a special place in my heart and I’ve wasted many happy hours sitting around tables playing different flavbours of Cthulhu – original CoC, the D20 version and lately a long and happy run on Trail of Cthulhu.
I’ve written quite a lot about him on here over the years. You can search on the h p lovecraft category to find all the posts I’ve written where I’ve remembered to categorise appropriately.
I wrote commentaries for all the stories in the anthology Necronomicon: The Best Weird Stories of H P Lovecraft.
More series coming soon!