Category Archives: short fiction

two Rudyard Kipling stories about technocracy

Presently, Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) is scarcely acknowledged as a pioneer of imaginative fiction. His contributions have escaped attention from the so-called “retro” awards, and his reputation seems too unsettling for contemporary genre editors. After years of chasing down 1950s SF … Continue reading

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Strangers from Earth, by Poul Anderson (part 3)

The Poul Anderson collection Strangers from Earth concludes with three more stories from the 1950s. In my first two reviews of this collection, I covered idea-driven pieces dominated by dialogue, and then action-driven stories that made their political and cultural … Continue reading

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Strangers From Earth, by Poul Anderson (part 2)

This article continues our look through Strangers from Earth, the collection of early (1950-1957) Poul Anderson stories. The first three featured interesting ideas about man’s place in the universe of the future: our biological place with respect to a telepathic … Continue reading

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Strangers from Earth, by Poul Anderson (part 1)

Poul Anderson (1926-2001) an acknowledged “grandmaster” of science fiction, had a writing career than spanned several decades, from the late 1940s to the end of the 20th century. As was typical of his generation, he established his name with a … Continue reading

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“Gift of Gab” and “Rumfuddle” by Jack Vance

Wrapping up my three-part overview of Chateau d’If and Other Stories, the Underwood-Miller collection of Jack Vance pieces, this article covers the two best-crafted entries: “Gift of Gab” and “Rumfuddle.” Both are novellas, but unlike “Chateau d’If” they both feature … Continue reading

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“Chateau d’If” by Jack Vance

Continuing with the Underwood-Miller collection Chateau d’If and Other Stories, we take a look at the title story, a novella originally published as “New Bodies For Old” in 1950, in the serial Thrilling Wonder Stories. As with many other Vance … Continue reading

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“Abercrombie Station” and “Cholwell’s Chickens”, by Jack Vance

More famous for his many series of SF and fantasy novels, Jack Vance was also a prolific writer of short fiction. The two early 1950s novellas described here feature the same female protagonist, a daring and surprisingly remorseless teenager named … Continue reading

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“The Purple Pileus” by H.G. Wells

A lot of good, even classic, science fiction stories are currently available for free as HTML, PDF or some e-reader format. I decided to feature some of these “freebee” pieces on a semi-regular basis this year.  Recently, I was trading … Continue reading

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The Last Stand, by Mickey Spillane

I’ve noticed that many of the recent “rediscovery” publications from Hard Case Crime are older novels packaged with a extra short story or two. Whether I really liked (Robert Silverberg’s Blood on the Mink), disliked (Lawrence Block’s Borderline) or have … Continue reading

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“The White Otters of Childhood” by Michael Bishop

Michael Bishop, like the almost all authors of the SF genre, is best remembered for his novels. Additionally, recent reviewers of his work have emphasized his novellas as further examples of his best writing, especially among his 1970s fiction (see … Continue reading

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