This is the story seed for every space opera novel ever written, from George Lucas’ Star Wars to the milieu of Iain Banks’ Culture novels. (Guess what I’m reading right now.) How many of these exoplanets are actually habitable? How many are orbited by habitable moons?
Pinching yourself is no way to see if you are dreaming. Surgical instruments? Well, yes—but a mechanic’s kit is best of all!
Well, that was fun! Yesterday I shared 5 Illustrated Pulp-Era Sci-Fi Stories with my email list and in 24 hours, 350+ people from all over the world came to read the stories.
Here’s the geographic distribution of page visits on the day of the email.
“You grow a whole lot more as a writer by getting old stories out of the house and letting new ones come in and live with you until they grow up and are ready to go. Don’t let the old ones stay there and grow fat and cranky and eat all the food out of the refrigerator. You have dozens of generations of stories inside you, but the only way to make room for the new ones is to write the old ones and mail them off.”
– Orson Scott Card, How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy
Copyright is a double-edged sword. On the first edge, it’s amazing that after a certain amount of time, and under certain circumstances, every book, every story, every beautiful creature of the imagination that was ever created will enter the public domain, from which point they will be forever free for all to enjoy at no cost.
Dancing on the other edge of the blade, when it comes to classic SF stories from now defunct genre magazines, even when the stories are out of copyright they are often hard to find, expensive to obtain (in terms of time or money), and rarely available in a modern digital reading experience (phone, tablet, ereader, etc.)
With one exception.
One of the beautiful things about a delusion is that no matter how mad someone gets at it … he can’t do it any harm. Therefore a delusion can be a fine thing for prodding angry belligerents…
I stumbled across the Highlander tv series from 1992 on Amazon Prime. Title sequence music by QUEEN and starring that ponytail wearing dude Adrian Paul and his lovely lady Alexandra Vandernoot.
Man, that opening scene is cheesy, but something about it sucks me in. THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE. Immortals waging a secret war for immortality with their swords… The battle of good against evil…
And the truest part is…
Science said it could not be, but there it was.
And whoosh—look out—here it is again!
“The Holes Around Mars” is a classic science fiction short story by Jerome Bixby.
I’ve long been a fan of classic science fiction novels. There’s something ineffable about a book that sticks with generation after generation of new readers. It’s the closest thing we have to time travel, and the stories that have aged well are worth remembering, and even revisiting from time to time.
This guest post from Emmanual Nataf, co-founder of author services marketplace Reedsy, reviews six of the most impactful science fiction novels of the 20th century from a 2019 point of view.
She’d paid good money to see the inevitable …and then had to work to make it happen! A sci-fi short story by Ray Bradbury.