Updates: Visit + Submit to the BSFA Award Nominated Review Site SF Mistressworks


Hello all,  Ian Sales’ wonderful SF Mistressworks (link), a review collating blog, has recently been nominated for the BSFA award (British Science Fiction Association) in the non-fiction category (link for the list).  I’ve submitted nine of my reviews of sci-fi works written by women over the last few months.  It was created in direct response to the absence of sci-fi masterpieces by women on a list by The Guardian, a lack of general knowledge in the sci-fi community about early female pioneers in the genre, and general lack of readership for their many award-winning works.

If you’ve written reviews of science fiction works by women (the novels/short story collections need to be written before 2000) please submit them as well (500 words or so is preferred)!  So, gather up any Russ, Norton, Cherryh, C. L. Moore, Merril, Brackett, Piserchia, Le Guin, MacLean, Butler, etc etc etc reviews you might have on your blog or anywhere else.  It’s a great resource for finding seldom read works/authors which deserve a greater readership. Continue reading

Update: 2011 in review, best books, movies, etc

Here are my favorite films and science fiction novels I’ve reviewed this year (and some other interesting categories) with links to my reviews….

Watch them! Read them! Gaze at them!  (the array below….)

Best Science Fiction Novel (tie: The World Inside, The Unsleeping Eye, Hawksbill Station)

The World Inside (1971), Robert Silverberg (REVIEW) 5/5 (Masterpiece)

Silverberg’s The World Inside is a fascinating take on the theme of overpopulation — what if society was organized towards a single goal, propagation?  What would society look like?  What position in society would women occupy?  Men? What would cities look like? Hallways? Rooms? Institutions?  What happens to those who don’t fit in?  Or, can’t have children?

The Unsleeping Eye (variant title: Continue reading

Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: The Domed Cities of the Future Part I

(Uncredited cover for the 1965 edition of Beyond the Sealed World (1965), Rena M. Vale)

While browsing through my collection of cover images I’ve collated over the last few months for science fiction art post ideas, I came across the uncredited cover for Rena Vale’s Beyond the Sealed World (1965) and was transfixed!  The angle of the text, the mountain, the dark expanse of space, the little spaceship, the figures silhouetted against the night, and the surreal shape of the domed city connected to other distant domed cities… If anyone knows the artist (or has a good educated guess) please let me know!  The second edition cover (below) still has beautiful domed cities but the caveman, helmeted soldier, and white-clad (not for long, the dress is slipping) woman tableau ruins the feel.

Particularly noteworthy is Jack Gaughan’s elevated domed city cover Continue reading

Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: A Selection of Vincent Di Fate’s early 70s Covers

(Cover for the 1972 edition of Plunder (1972), Ron Goulart)

The covers of Vincent Di Fate (1945-) often evoke a Terry Gilliam-esque romp — for example, Ron Goulart’s Plunder — a lone facade and a house dot a purple and green plain, mountains emerge in the distance, planets pepper the sky, a head floats ominously, a bizarre reptilian creature in a boatie rides an antique bicycle.  I desperately want to know if it’s a scene from the book.  If so, I’m tracking down a copy!

Vincent Di Fate’s work graced a few of the great works of the genre Continue reading

(mini) Film Ruminations: The Tree of Life (2011), Super 8 (2011), A Serious Man (2010), etc.

I do not write reviews for the majority of films I watch.  My reasons are somewhat nebulous considering it’s the summer and I certainly have time.  I see my blog more as a way to re-examine and bring to the forefront sci-fi books and films generally more esoteric and infrequently reviewed.  But certain winds shift direction for brief windows of time.  So here we go, a rundown of the more popular films I’ve seen in theater or re-watched recently.

The Tree of Life (2011), dir. Terrence Malick, rating 7.75/10 (Good)


Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life (2011) juxtaposes extensive sequences Continue reading

Book Review: And Chaos Died, Joanna Russ (1970)

4.5/5 (Very Good)

Nominated for the 1970 Nebula Award for Best Novel

“The ground was covered with old names…” (76)

Joanna Russ, famous for her feminist sci-fi novel The Female Man (1975), weaves together a bizarre (and difficult) novel filled with strange images, peculiar characters, and a fragmented/layered/bewildering narrative structure.  And Chaos Died (1970) is a startlingly original take on the staple sci-fi Continue reading

Two (Short) Film Ruminations: Le Diable Noir (1905), Un Homme de Têtes (1898), Georges Méliès

The French director Georges Méliès (1861-1938) is rightly famous for his innovative use of special effects.  He’s credited with inventing time-lapse photography, multiple exposures, stop-trick, and dissolves.  I’ve selected two outrageously fun short films of his.  He’s most famous for the sci-fi classic Voyage to the Moon, but any cinema lover will enjoy these two pieces of cinematic history.

Le Diable Noir (1905)

Continue reading