Posts Tagged sf

Review: Galactic Odyssey – by Keith Laumer

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Keith Laumer’s long and varied career as a science fiction writer has seen all manner of interesting stories come and go. No matter what you think of his writing style, his ideas are as varied as one could possibly wish for.

Some of his books are better than others, like any writer, and I want to say that if you have enjoyed anything he has written, you owe it to yourself to find a copy of this book.

Now, I don’t want to spoil the story – I don’t consider it the job of a book reviewer to tell you the plot, or even tease you with a little bit of the plot – so you will find no spoilers here. Instead, let me tell you that the book will leave you thrilled and awed, not to mention envious.
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Science fiction, Fantasy, Spec Fic…

I propose the following distinctions:

Science Fiction: Fiction with science and/or technology elements that, at the time of their writing, either match what we know about science, or aren’t ruled out by what we know about science. Ex: “Lucifer’s Hammer”; “The Two Faces Of Tomorrow”; “Neuromancer.”

Speculative Fiction: Fiction with science and/or technology elements that don’t match what we know about science, or are ruled out by what we know about science. Ex: “Star Trek”; “Firefly/Serenity”; “Star Wars.”

Fantasy: Fiction entirely unrelated to our reality, no matter how far you’re willing to stretch science. Ex: “Lord of the Rings”; “A Voyage to Arcturus;” “A Wizard of Earthsea.”

SyFy: Pitifully incompetent examples of any of the above three. Example: What Hollywood turned Harry Harrison’s excellent SF novel, “Make Room, Make Room”, into: “Soylent Green”; “Dr Who” in any of its manifestations; “Lost in Space.” When you say SyFy, you’re required to sneer.

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