Historical Science Fiction

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Contracts have been signed, the post has been scheduled, and I can announce this now: I’ve been brought on board Kirkus Reviews as a columnist, where John DeNardo of SF Signal has been writing for the last couple of months. I’m pretty excited about this, because it’s an opportunity where I can blend two of my long-standing interests together: History, and Science Fiction.

Starting in June, I’ll be heading up a bi-weekly column that will examine (in small bites) the history of the science fiction genre by looking at the authors, books, trends and notable events that impacted the speculative fiction genre.

Science Fiction history is something that I’ve picked away at little by little over the years, and I can trace my interests back to a book that I bought in the fall of 2002: Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters, and the Birth of the Comic Book, by Gerard Jones, which expertly traces the history of the comic book industry from before its inception, all the way to the 1980s. Since then, I’ve picked up books over the years, various biographies of some of the greats, scholarly books on the history of the genre, light reading, and things that typically revolve around the inner workings of Science Fiction and Fantasy. To be able to start putting it together, a couple of times a month, is something that I’ve long wanted to do, but never really had the outlet to do so.

Studying the history of anything is important. The present day is a product of the past, and everything that has come before has left its fingerprints in everything that we do. To view anything in a vacuum is to strip it of meaning, and I hope that I’ll be able to put together a resource that will inform and enlighten.

The first post will be up May 3rd, focusing on Mary Shelley and Geneva. Stay tuned!

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6 thoughts on “Historical Science Fiction

  1. Pingback: SF Tidbits for 4/27/12 - SF Signal – A Speculative Fiction Blog

  2. Congratulations! I noticed years ago that a Kirkus Reviews ‘thumbs up’ was a reliable indicator of good writing. Whenever I buy paper books, I look for a Kirkus Reviews blurb – if there isn’t one, I may or may not buy it, but if there IS, I definitely buy it. I’m already picking up your recommendations, too, so congratulations also to Kirkus for recognizing the quality of your analyses.

    • They’re certainly out there, and they’re tough reviewers, which is good. I’m not going to be doing much with the reviewing side of the house, but hopefully, I’ll be able to live up to the same level!

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