Category Archives: A Reader's History of Science Fiction

#13 – Isaac Asimov Part II: Robots

We continue our exploration of the work of Isaac Asimov with a study of his Robot Series and an introduction to robot fiction in general, which he shaped in ways that remain important to this day. Book recommendation: I, Robot … Continue reading

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#12 – Isaac Asimov Part I

Isaac Asimov was own of the most prolific authors of the golden age of sci-fi, especially when it comes to short stories. In this episode, we explore an overview of his work. Book recommendation: The End of Eternity. “The Last … Continue reading

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#11 – John W. Campbell and the Golden Age of Sci-Fi

John W. Campbell was the controversial longtime editor of Astounding Science Fiction who single-handedly directed the course of science fiction in the 1940s, a time that is not called the “golden age of sci-fi.” However, I argue the golden age … Continue reading

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#10 – Stapledon and Lewis

Olaf Stapledon and C. S. Lewis both explored the spiritual side of science fiction, albeit in very different ways. In this episode, we explore how they went about it and why one of them is considered a must read by … Continue reading

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#9 – The Dystopia Classic

Dystopian fiction has become a popular subgenre of sci-fi in its own right, but the earliest dystopian novels shared some unique elements in common, inverting the standard tropes of the hero’s journey. In this episode, we explore what has made … Continue reading

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#8 – The Dawn of Cinema

At the same time science fiction came into its own as a genre, cinema was doing the same. Here, we see an overview of the most notable sci-fi films of the silent and pre-Code eras, and how they influenced the … Continue reading

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#7 – H. P. Lovecraft and Cosmic Horror

H. P. Lovecraft brought the Gothic horror of the previous century into the modern era with his new genre of cosmic horror, which placed humankind at the mercy of vast and inscrutable alien entities. Despite a tarnished legacy, he is … Continue reading

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#6 – Pulp Fiction

The hallmark of early science fiction was the pulp magazines, which continued the tradition of larger-than-life adventure stories. Despite the sometimes silly and over-the-top writing style, this was an important step in the development of the genre. Book recommendation: The … Continue reading

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#5 – H. G. Wells and the Dawn of Science Fiction

H. G. Wells was in many respects the first real science fiction author, where earlier writers wrote more or less in existing genres. This episode is an overview of his work and legacy. Excerpt on Wells’s Law. Book recommendation: The … Continue reading

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#4 – The Roots of Sci-Fi in Adventure

Jules Verne was perhaps the first author to systematically incorporate the latest science into his work, becoming one of the biggest minds behind the idea of science fiction. Yet his focus wasn’t so much on sci-fi as it was on … Continue reading

Posted in A Reader's History of Science Fiction, Science Fiction