Category Classic

Review: Classic Science Fiction, Volume 1

Classic Science Fiction, Volume 1 I picked up volume 2, volume 3, volume 4, and volume 5 during a sale, so I decided to complete the series by going back for volume 1. There are three stories in this volume that fit with the rest of the series:  they are by well-known authors, and were mostly published in the […]

Review: Intergalactic Empires

Isaac Asimov’s Intergalactic Empires I’ve recently posted several articles about using a galactic empire as a story setting, and now it’s time to go old-school.  Back in the old days, a galactic empire didn’t cut it, a real man’s empire had to be INTERgalactic. Short Stories Chalice of Death by Robert Silverberg (1957) Humanity once […]

The Olympians

I’ve read a lot of short stories. There are some I’ve completely forgotten, and others that I’d recall only if I started to read them again. There’s a smaller group I might remember if I heard the title or something about the plot. There are very few stories that I read years ago, but still […]

Review: Classic Science Fiction, Volume 5

Classic Science Fiction, Volume 5 I didn’t enjoy this volume as much as Volume 3 or Volume 4. The Wall by Howard Graham (1934) — A scientist puts a super-special lacquer on a square of material, causing a 200 mile long force field to bisect Manhattan. He and another scientist spend the rest of the […]

Review: Classic Science Fiction, Volume 4

Classic Science Fiction, Volume 4 This collection is at least as good as volume 3, probably even better. WARNING: SPOILER DRAGONS AHEAD WE CAN SPOIL SEVENTY-YEAR-OLD STORIES The Dwindling Sphere by Willard Hawkins (1940) — A scientist develops a process which converts matter to other elements, with a 95% loss in mass. (The extra mass […]

Review: Classic Science Fiction, Volume 3

Classic Science Fiction, Volume 3 I enjoyed this collection far more than Volume 2, even though both collections are from roughly the same time period, and each has a story about insects and a story about the Sun. WARNING: SPOILER DRAGONS AHEAD WE CAN EVEN SPOIL SEVENTY-YEAR-OLD STORIES N Day by Philip Latham (1946) — […]

Review: Classic Science Fiction, Volume 2

Classic Science Fiction, Volume 2 I picked up several of these Classic Science Fiction collections at Audible when they were on sale. Since I’m very busy this month, I thought it would be a good time for some short listens and short reviews.  Each of the collections I purchased consists of three short stories: Proof […]

More Dogs in Science Fiction

In my previous post, I was only able to come up with two science fiction works where dogs were important characters. Fortunately, readers came to my rescue: Misha Burnett, in addition to mentioning a dog-themed role playing game, provided this example – more in the realm of fantasy than science fiction, but still very interesting: […]

Dogs in Science Fiction

My previous post, about my new puppy, led me to think about dogs in science fiction. Two stories immediately came to mind: The first story is a post-apocalyptic tale where one of the two main characters is a telepathic dog. (The images/links below are for the relatively well-known film and the less well-known book it […]

Reference: The Dictionary of Science Fiction Places

I found this book when I was cleaning out some closets in anticipation of another move. I think I received it as a Christmas present one year and promptly forgot about it. Now that I write a science fiction blog, it seems much more relevant. The book delivers pretty much what it says: science fiction […]

Review: A World Out of Time

Two nuclear missiles (2 out of 4 rating) When you read a Larry Niven novel, you shouldn’t expect memorable characters. You should expect big-picture science fiction concepts, with characters who serve as vehicles to carry you through the sci-fi landscape. I’m OK with that; I think there’s a place for stories focused on ideas and […]

Logan’s Run vs. Logan’s Run

    VS I listened to an audiobook of the classic science fiction novel “Logan’s Run” with the intention of reviewing it. However, I couldn’t evaluate the story on its own; I could only think of it in terms of the “Logan’s Run” movie, or more accurately, my decades-old memories of the movie. So, instead […]

We have a “winner”

New Beginnings (Vitalis) has won the first Radioactive Dung Beetle Award! I think this victory provides an important lesson for authors: make sure your marketing blurb matches the genre, style, and tone of your story. Don’t bait-and-switch, and don’t assume that the customer has read your previous work and therefore knows what to expect. If […]

First Radioactive Dung Beetle Award

It’s time for Planetary Defense Command’s first ever Radioactive Dung Beetle Award. So far this year, the blog has featured six stories awful enough to be balled up and rolled away by my dung beetles. Now, it’s time to choose the worst of the worst. This will be done in a democratic fashion; it’s your […]

Review: The Dragon in the Sea

Two nuclear missiles (2 out of 4 rating) This is my second discount audiobook by Frank Herbert, the author of Dune. In this story, the western hemisphere is at war with a not-quite-specified coalition of Asian powers that includes Russia. Britain is a nuclear wasteland. The westerners need more fossil fuel, so they’ve been drilling […]

Review: Whipping Star

One dung Beetle (1 out of 4 rating) Audible, the dealer for my audiobook addiction, periodically has deep-discount science fiction sales. During one of the latest, I picked up two books by Frank Herbert, the author of Dune, which I’ve seen reported as the most-loved and the best-selling science fiction book ever. I read Dune […]