Jul 21, 2017

Weekend Reads - RAW 170721



This week we look at if science fiction is 'real' literature, and if it's really about the future. Along with if life is possible in the Trappist system plus more.

Jamie Savage had an interesting take on Star Trek's utopia which shocked some people but I thought was quite on point. Want to know my view on utopian fiction? Read my article Why I Dislike Utopian Fiction... 

Also this week on WolfsBooks Discover | The Refrigerator Monologues by Catherynne Valente and keep an eye out on Sunday evening for my latest article the the In Defence of Science Fiction series called The Reason Why Reading Science Fiction Is Essential.

But now sit back with your favourite beverage and have a relaxing read of the following articles.



For a long time, critics and English professors declared that science fiction wasn’t literature. Most of them spoke from the modernist-realist basis of never having read any science fiction since they were twelve. They were comfortable with a judgment that allowed them to remain both superior and ignorant...

Walking through Barbican’s new science-fiction exhibition, “Into the Unknown”, is like walking through a nerd’s dream bedroom – and I say that as a nerd myself.

If you’re a fellow bibliophile, then you’re definitely already winning in my book — but, from one book-lover to another, reading isn’t the only thing you totally excel at.

The concept of a habitable zone is based on planets being in orbits where liquid water could exist, said Manasvi Lingam, a Harvard researcher who led the study. This is only one factor, however, in determining whether a planet is hospitable for life.

At this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, John Hodgman hosted Syfy’s Great Debate where Orlando Jones, Aisha Tyler, Adam Savage, John Barrowman, and io9 co-founder Charlie Jane Anders, debated a variety of classic nerd conundrums. And, somehow, Savage’s answer to the eternal Star Wars or Star Trek question brought down the whole room.

Star Trek’s original captain William Shatner is known for being prolific on Twitter but every once in a while he dives into the world of Reddit (TrekMovie has verified the account is authentic). He commented on one of the many about Star Trek: Discovery in the r/startrek subreddit. In a thread mocking those who are pre-judging the show) Bill weighed in...



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Jul 19, 2017

Discover | The Refrigerator Monologues by Catherynne Valente

From the New York Times bestselling author Catherynne Valente comes a series of linked stories from the points of view of the wives and girlfriends of superheroes, female heroes, and anyone who’s ever been fridged, a trope used in many comic book plots involving the deaths, disablement, and disenfranchising of female characters to forward a male superhero protagonist’s story-line, (follow the link for more information on this trope).

In an entirely new and original superhero universe, Valente subversively explores these ideas and themes in the superhero genre, treating them with the same love, gravity, and humour as her fairy tales. After all, superheroes are our new fairy tales and these six women have their own stories to share.

Jul 14, 2017

Weekend Reads - RAW 140717


This week we look at what fiction trends say about us, publishing and piracy along with a discussion about aliens and where they could all be. Before you leave don't forget to check out Science Fiction's Mythical List That Will Make You Rethink How You Recommend Books

When it's time to relax this weekend, grab your favourite beverage and enjoy reading the following articles.

The book market is shifting again as it has quite often in the last five years. Let’s face it. It’s desperately trying to keep up with our fast-paced world. How we discover books, how we purchase them, and how we read them have changed completely.

Authors should be more concerned about obscurity than about piracy, as Robert Kroese discusses today.

The company has signed up about 130,000 digital subscribers — more than any American newspaper aside from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. That’s in Norway, a country with a population of about 5 million people.

I have always loved the idea that the world is greater and more mysterious than we will ever understand; that there are strange things moving in the far corners of the world and in our own backyard. That what we call our reality, our history, is just a story among many others. It could be because I was reared on fairy tales, mythology, and stories of weird beings in the Swedish countryside. No matter the reason, there it is.

Only decades into our age of cosmology — the moment when we earned the technological rights to peer deep into our cosmic home — we’ve learned that we live in a mega-palace of a universe. And we’ve also found something odd. We seem to be the only ones home! Where are the aliens? Was it something we said?

For a while now, there's been a debate in the US over how to direct NASA's next major human spaceflight initiative. Do we build an outpost on the Moon as a step towards Mars, or do we just head straight for the red planet? Which ever destination we choose, it'll be viewed as the first step toward a permanent human presence outside of the immediate neighborhood of the Earth.






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Jul 9, 2017

Science Fiction's Mythical List That Will Make You Rethink How You Recommend Books



People who like to read science fiction all know about a mythical list of books, that you must read. This list allows us to share a common experience which we can then use to recommend other books to each other.

For example the book Ringworld by Larry Niven would be considered part of this mythical list of science fiction books or canon.

Jul 7, 2017

Weekend Reads - RAW 170707


When it's time to relax this weekend, grab your favourite beverage and have a read of the following articles. Start with this one: Discover | Beren and Lúthien by J.R.R. Tolkien

Help support this blog by buying a T-Shirt on my TeePublic page here's a look at the latest one.

 The best number is 73

The best number is 73. 73 is the 21st prime number.  Its mirror, 37, is the 12th and its mirror, 21, is the product of multiplying 7 and 3... and in binary 73 is a palindrome, 1001001, which backwards is 1001001.


Now on to the articles:

Jul 5, 2017

Discover | Beren and Lúthien by J.R.R. Tolkien


Any book by J.R.R Tolkien is worth a read but this one, Beren and Lúthien, is pretty special. JRR's son, Christopher draws out a key love story from his father's book The Silmarillion. The story is about an immortal elven maiden, Luthien, sacrificing her immortality in order to marry a mortal man, Beren.

The earliest version of this tale of Beren and Lúthien was written in 1917, when Beren was an Elf not a Man and the equivalent of Sauron was a large evil cat. The story underwent considerable revision throughout Tolkien’s life, and was reworked in both prose and poetry. This new book will demonstrate this evolution.

An interesting fact is that Tolkien related his courtship and marriage of Edith (his wife) to this story. Edith gave up Anglicanism and converted to Catholicism in order to marry JRR, which did take a toll on her. Tolkien self-consciously equated Luthien with Edith and himself with Beren based on a walk they took in a wood while he was recuperating from World War I. He even had “Luthien” inscribed on Edith’s tombstone and “Beren” carved into his own.

Painstakingly restored from Tolkien’s manuscripts and presented for the first time as a continuous and standalone story, the epic tale of Beren and Lúthien will reunite fans of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings with Elves and Men, Dwarves and Orcs and the rich landscape and creatures unique to Tolkien’s Middle-earth.

Jun 30, 2017

Weekend Reads - RAW 170630


This week plenty of reading related articles plus some articles about our digital lives. Also do you know the reason why science fiction is like an egg? Read my latest article and I'll provide you with seven reasons.

The Reason Why Science Fiction Is Like An Egg
Thanks for reading so far, now it's time to grab your favourite beverage and have a read of the following articles.