Updates: My 2018 in Review (Best SF Novels, Best SF Short Fiction, and Bonus Catagories)

For those who enjoy science fiction of the past, you owe it to yourself to follow this blog.

Science Fiction and Other Suspect Ruminations

Post-academia depression hits hard…. While completing my PhD (defended in the summer of 2017), reading SF and writing about SF was the way I kept sane. After multiple mostly unsuccessful years on the academic market, I have changed gears career-wise (although I’m still affiliated with a university and teaching college-level history courses but without the research component) and it has been a liberating experience. My history obsessions remain, even stronger in many ways, and academic monographs on all the topics that I wanted to read about but never could—Hellenistic successor states to Alexander, Early Islam, Late Antique and Medieval Persia, etc.–have dominated my time and pocketbook 2018 (don’t ask how much I’ve spent). I have included a “Best Academic History Reads of 2018” section for the curious.

At the beginning of November, I was moments from announcing that I was on hiatus for the foreseeable future. However, I have fallen…

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January 3, 2019 at 11:58 pm Leave a comment

welcome to 2019…

No need to say more.

Read Between the Minds

it’s new year’s first day
29,000 children died
each minute today
will prayers be your offering
or will their blood bring action

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January 3, 2019 at 11:53 pm Leave a comment

prime time tv deity…

This says it all. Unfortunately.

Read Between the Minds

like those
who built
the tower
of
babel
he wants
to
build
a wall
not to reach
god
but
to
become
god
his wall’s
to
be built
from
the ground bones
of
freedom
mortared
with the blood
of
children
children
crushed
by
the weight
of
intolerance
and
ignorance
this monument
to
his pride
will assure
that
those
in this nation
will
never
understand others
in
the world
and surely
his
wall
will scatter
hatred
and
inhumanity

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January 3, 2019 at 11:39 pm Leave a comment

an octopus …

What a great poem, and observation.

Read Between the Minds

the brown bag prophet
was looking
at
a national geographic book
he had received
as
a christmas gift
he
stopped me
and
said
did you know
that
an octopus
is
a spineless creature
that has
poisonous ink
strong enough
to
subdue typical prey
the black ink
is also
used
as an
escape mechanism
says here
that
the soft body
can
rapidly
alter shape
enabling
the creature
to squeeze through
small gaps
also says
it’s
a predatory bottom-dweller
using its
suckers
for grasping
and
catching prey
oh
and
it has a big mouth
now
doesn’t that
remind you
of
someone
in
washington

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December 31, 2018 at 5:15 am Leave a comment

Book Review: New Dimensions 3, ed. Robert Silverberg (1973) (Le Guin + Tiptree, Jr. + Lafferty + Malzberg + Effinger + et al.)

More information of science fiction from the past keeping the thoughts of minds from the past alive.

Science Fiction and Other Suspect Ruminations


(Dennis Anderson’s cover for the 1973 edition)

4/5 (Collated rating: Good)

For an anthology, bound to contain a filler story or two, this one is spectacular. Robert Silverberg’s New Dimensions 3 (1973) lives up to his claim to contain “stories that demonstrate vigorous and original ways [often experimental] of approaching the body of ideas, images, and concepts that is science fiction” yet do not sacrifice “emotional vitality, or clarity of insight.” Ursula K. Le Guin, with her rumination on utopias, and James T. Tipree, Jr.’s proto-cyberpunk tale of commercialism and performing gender, deliver some of their best work.

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December 28, 2018 at 10:52 pm Leave a comment

Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: The Dark Depths and Haunting Layers of Michel Jakubowski

This blog keeps past science fiction alive, along with writers and artists long forgotten. He deserves a reward for what he does.

Science Fiction and Other Suspect Ruminations


(Fiction 114, May 1963)

Whenever it is Philippe Curval’s birthday I am pulled back into the fascinating world of French SF cover art–in particular the magazine Fiction, which, during its early years, had an utterly different aesthetic than anything found on American magazines. As I desperately want to read his novels (the vast majority remain untranslated), I can only enjoy the magazine covers he created in the 50s (Part I and Part I of my series on his photocollages).

This is all to say, I have chosen another lesser known artist for Fiction to showcase, Michel Jakubowski. This post which continues a loose series I’ve cobbled together on Adventures in French Science Fiction Cover Art (list below). I cannot find any information on him online. Perhaps he’s related to the more famous French SF author and editor Maxim

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December 28, 2018 at 1:58 am Leave a comment

having hear of a second border child’s death…

What have we become?

Read Between the Minds

the brown bag prophet
stood staring
at
the night sky
his breath
beneath
the
street lights
formed clouds
of
reflected doubt
for a second
he
held his breath
and
said
as he
viewed
the city’s
apartments
so many
empty prayers
offered
this night
words
said
without faith
just
an evening routine
an
offering
to the ears
of
children
or
parents
enforcing
some church mandate
or
for some
a loudly whispered
testimonial
of
their
undying belief
in
church protocol
offered
to
anyone
in earshot
said
as
convincingly
as
a two-year old’s denial
of
an act of mischief
but
the prophet
said
i
guess
it’s good
to
take out
an
insurance policy
every
now
and
then
especially when
uncertainty
rules
the heart
and
no actions
are
taken
to protect
the
innocent

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December 28, 2018 at 1:54 am Leave a comment

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