Category: recommended books

The Space Opera Renaissance Space opera is having a moment. It is not cheesy planet-hopping adventures around the galaxy. It is so much more. Modern authors show space opera can be smart and relevant without losing what makes it fun. So what makes space opera fun? Lots of alien civilizations, political machinations, and plenty of […]
Rewarding Superior Achievement Halloween is approaching, so what better time to talk about horror fiction and the Stoker Award? The Bram Stoker Award is obviously named after the author of Dracula, the seminal Gothic horror novel. The award started in 1987. The Horror Writers Association members select the winners for superior achievement in horror and […]
Speculative Fiction Can Be Literary One response I often get when trying to recruit members for my writing group (Curiouser) is, “sorry, I only write literary.” It is not so much the comment but the tone of voice. Like science fiction and fantasy are some kind of dirty words not worth literary value. I am […]
Demanding Reads for a Demanding Year If I have to summarize this year’s Hugo nominees, it would be as experimental and demanding. But is that the right reading mood for a demanding year? I was very happy with last year’s nominees. You can read last year’s recommendations here. This year? Not so much. Listen Hugo […]
Is There Life in Another Universe? A parallel universe, also known as parallel dimension, parallel Earth, mirror universe, alternate timeline, Elseworld, multiverse, etc, refers to another universe outside our own. Quantum theory speculates our universe is one of many (Many Worlds Theory). String theory speculates that as our universe expands, it creates other universes. Dark […]
What If We Could Become Immortals? Immortality means living forever. Never dying. Eternal. Deathless. Everlasting. Speculative fiction is about imagining the impossible, what is not but could not be. Hence, what if we could become immortals? Is it possible? It is not scientifically possible. Death is inevitable. Indeed, death is the most democratic human limit. […]
Spying Rebels in the Sahel Land of the Sun, Land Without Light (2019) is a spy thriller novel by author David Michael Litwack. The novel narrates the adventures of Harrison “Harry” Hamblin in an unknown country in the Sahel region (the zone where the Sahara desert and the African savannah intersect) from 1968-to 1969. “You […]
Travelers of the Fourth Dimension A chrononaut is a fancy word for a time traveler. Time travel is the ultimate wish-fulfillment and science fiction’s ultimate fantasy. But stories about time travel required travelers. Hence, chrononauts. From the Ancient Greek chronos (time deity) and nautes (sailor). Yes, Chronos is the father of Zeus, god of seasons, […]
The Burden of Reader’s Expectations Whenever we pick a book to read, we as readers have expectations. Those authors who meet our expectations get rewarded with loyalty. Those who do not… We avoid. Fairly or not, readers have expectations. We pay for a book, we expect to get our money’s worth of entertainment. Similarly, the […]
Books to Question Reality We read speculative fiction primarily for escapism and entertainment. But sometimes, the books we read make us question, what is reality? Can we trust our senses? What is real? What is not? Can we change our circumstances? Reading that forces us to question our values and society is welcome. We should […]
January 2023