(Content warning for mention of suicide.) The Complete Essays of Mark Twain includes a long 1894 piece titled “In Defense of Harriet Shelley.” Twain had just encountered Edward Dowden’s book The Life of Percy Bysshe Shelley; in addition to objecting to Dowden’s florid writing style, Twain objected very strongly to Dowden’s insinuation that Percy Shelley’s […]
Archive for Writers
My random-book-picker recently picked a collection of Coleridge verse and prose from my unread-books shelves. It’s a hardcover roughly the size of a mass-market paperback. It’s 350 pages of Coleridge’s writing, plus a hundred pages of notes at the end. But what makes it unusual is that the notes are in Russian. (The verse and […]
Today I learned about British sf writer and editor Hilary Bailey. I just read her 1964 novelette “The Fall of Frenchy Steiner.” I read it in The Penguin Book of Modern Fantasy by Women, in which I had previously read a couple of stories that I would classify as non-fantastical literary fiction, by a couple […]
A while back, I posted a chronological list of Le Guin’s major books, mostly put together by my friend Chaos. But lately, I’ve been wanting an expansion of that list that includes the original publication dates of short stories and essays. So here’s a fuller chronological list, ordered by publication year (and alphabetically within a year), […]
Some thoughts and notes about Harlan Ellison, in no particular order, on the occasion of his death. Content warning: I’m going to say some positive things about him as well as some critical things; if either of those will distress you, then you may not want to read this post right now. He was capable […]
One of the first things I thought of on learning that Harlan Ellison died this morning was the introduction he wrote to his 1988 short-story collection Angry Candy. It’s a powerful piece about the deaths of forty-plus people who he cared about and admired, over the course of a couple of years in the mid-1980s. […]
From Le Guin’s “Introduction to Planet of Exile” (intro written in 1977 or 1978; can now be found in The Language of the Night). Worth reading the whole piece, but here’s a bit of it: […] Planet of Exile was written in 1963–1964[…]. The book exhibits my early, “natural” (i.e., happily acculturated), unawakened, un-consciousness-raised way […]
I think I’ve now read nearly all of Joanna Russ’s published fiction. A couple of people who haven’t read her work have recently asked me for recommendations for starting points, so here’s an attempt to provide some. As with my Delany-starting-points post from last year, I’m dividing this into categories, depending on what you’re interested […]
I’m sad to learn that Mary Rosenblum has died. I think she was recently best-known as a mystery writer, under the name Mary Freeman, but I was most familiar with her Drylands series, about a future Pacific Northwest with very little water. I particularly liked the first story in that series, “Water Bringer.” The whole […]
I was a big fan of Andre Norton’s work when I was a kid. (Yes, I do feel a little guilty that I’m writing this post when I still haven’t finished the Le Guin post that I meant to write last week. I hope to do that soon. But this post is easier to write.) […]
Jon Bois's tour-de-force multimedia science fiction future-of-football extravaganza “17776” is now complete. 25 brief chapters. Well worth reading/viewing, even for...
In the past couple years, there've been about three times when I've had occasion to suggest starting points for reading...