Thoughtful Thursday: Fantastic Quotes!

It's time again to share some of our favorite (new or old) quotes from speculative fiction.

They can be deep, poignant, witty, hilarious, or otherwise memorable.

You can choose quotes from books you’ve read, or from interviews or blog posts from the authors who write those books. SFF films and shows are fine, too.

Give us the quote and the source (book or film title, link to interview or blog, etc).

Here are a few of the fantastic quotes that readers mentioned last time we did this. Click the book cover to read our review.
The Divine may have created many hells, but I think they pale beside what men create for themselves.

 

~City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett

Br... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Fantastic Quotes!

It's time again to share some of our favorite (new or old) quotes from speculative fiction. They can be deep, poignant, witty, hilarious, or otherwise memorable.

You can choose quotes from books you’ve read, or from interviews or blog posts from the authors who write those books.

Give us the quote and the source (book title, link to interview or blog, etc).

Here are quotes that readers mentioned last time we did this. Two are from Guy Gavriel Kay! Click the book cover to read our review.
The deeds of men, as footprints in the desert.
Nothing under the circling moons is fated to last.
Even the sun goes down.

 

~ The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay

We will pick our way through the shards of broken objects that folly leaves behind. And some of what breaks will be v... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Fantastic Quotes!

It's been nearly 5 years since we last shared some of our favorite quotes from speculative fiction, though I think at the time we were considering collecting quotes and making this a regular column. Let's try it again. Share some of your favorite quotes from the books you've read, or from interviews or blog posts from the authors who write those books. Give us the quote and the source (book title, link to interview or blog, etc).
Here are a few quotes that readers mentioned last time we did this:
Consistency is the defense of a small mind.
~The Seeress of Kell by David Eddings
To make life worth living a man or woman has to have a great love or a great cause… I have neither.
~Robert E. Howard

There’s no freedom quite like the freedom of being constantly underestimated.
~The Lies of Loc... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Fantastic quotes!

"The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them" ~Mark Twain

I love quotes. I love gaining a quick and clever insight about life from someone smarter than me.  Often I find these in Science Fiction and Fantasy novels or from interviews with SFF authors. Here are a few I've kept in mind:

"It is not despair, for despair is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt. We do not." ~Gandalf the Grey (The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien)

"You backbiting, poisonous, treacherous, deceitful, wicked, clever girl. If this works I'll buy you a pony." ~Harry Dresden (Summer Knight by Jim Butcher)... Read More

WWWednesday: March 16, 2016

This week’s word for Wednesday is digirati, a plural noun, and something which many of you are: people with expertise and/or professional involvement with information technology. This word came into use in the USA in the 1990s. Sadly, as much as I want it to, it does not rhyme with glitterati, which means glamorous or fashionable people usually in show business.

Bearing Robin on his Back, by Louis Rhead



Books and Writing

Was Hercules the first superhero? Tor.com discusses the myth.

Also at Tor.com, a column about J.K. Rowling’sNo... Read More

The Radio Planet: Boomalayla, you’ve got me on my knees

The Radio Planet by Ralph Milne Farley

THE RADIO MAN trilogy, by Massachusetts-born author Ralph Milne Farley, was a series that I discovered quite by accident. I had heard of neither the three novels nor their author before finding the first book, The Radio Man (1924), in a highly collectible 1950 Avon paperback edition, at the Greenwich Village Antiquarian Book Fair a few years back. This first novel introduced readers to radio engineer Myles Cabot, who had accidentally transported himself to the planet Venus and helped the winged and antenna-sporting Cupian humanoids there to overthrow their antlike Formian oppressors. I’d enjoyed this first installment so much that I later expressed a desire to read Book 2, a wish that was gran... Read More

Sirius: The brainiest canine in all literature

Sirius by Olaf Stapledon

For all those folks out there who hold conversations with their pet dog and know for certain that Fido/Fifi understands every word; for those who have gotten a tad “verklempt” at the conclusion of such novels as The Call of the Wild and Old Yeller; for people who believe that canines just cannot get any smarter than Lassie, Rin Tin Tin or Benji, all of whom starred in innumerable motion pictures; and, well, really, for anybody with a soft spot in his or her heart for man’s best friend, have I got a book for you! That book is none other than British philosopher/author Olaf Stapledon’s Sirius, which, as I write these words, is in the running to win a Retro Hugo Award for Best Novel, 1944. Originally released as a hardcover volume by the English pu... Read More

The King of the Dead: Brazil nuts

The King of the Dead by Frank Aubrey

As I have written elsewhere, Armchair Fiction’s current 24-book Lost World/Lost Race series is a godsend for all readers who enjoy this particular subgenre of fantastic literature, as jump-started and popularized by English author H. Rider Haggard in the mid-1880s. I’ve recently written about two of these 24, David DouglasThe Silver God of the Orang Hutan and John Taine’s The Purple Sapphire, and now would like to offer some words about another of these terrifically en... Read More

The Purple Sapphire: The great race

The Purple Sapphire by John Taine

In the Rare Book Room in NYC bookstore extraordinaire The Strand there has resided, for quite some time now, a volume that I have greatly wanted to acquire. The book in question is Scottish author John Taine’s very first novel, The Purple Sapphire, which was first released by E. P. Dutton & Co. as a hardcover in 1924 … the same year that Dutton released Russian author Yevgeny Zamyatin’s now-classic dystopian book We. The Strand edition is this very Dutton original, made even more collectible due to its nicely preserved dust ja... Read More

An Earthman on Venus: Formian follows function

An Earthman on Venus (aka The Radio Man) by Ralph Milne Farley

Sometimes, it seems, a man must go through any number of occupations before hitting on the one for which he will be best remembered. Take, for example, the case of Massachusetts-born Roger Sherman Hoar, who, before he turned 37, was an assistant attorney general and state senator, taught classes in engineering and math, and wrote books about patent, tariff and Constitutional law; after moving to the Midwest, Hoar would also become a state senator in Wisconsin. An impressive enough career for any man, to be sure, but today, Hoar is undoubtedly best remembered for the science fiction novels that he somehow found the time to write, hidden behind the pen name Ralph Milne Farley.

The first novel of Farley’s to see the light of day, Read More

The Scarlet Plague: Jack London makes London Magazine

The Scarlet Plague by Jack London

Editor's note: Because it's in the public domain, it's easy to find an inexpensive electronic copy of this book.

By the time Jack London released his post-apocalyptic novel The Scarlet Plague in 1912, the author was 36 years old — just four years shy of his premature passing in 1916 — and yet had already managed to cram in more incident and adventure into those three dozen years than most folks do in their lifetime. Since his birth in San Francisco in 1876, he had worked on a sealing schooner, done a stint as an oyster pirate, participated in the Klondike Gold Rush (in 1897), played the part of a war correspondent in the Russo-Japanese War (1904), operated a ranch, been married twice, and had released over 100 short stories and a dozen novels, including, of course, ... Read More

Gulliver of Mars: An incredible fairy tale of adventure

Gulliver of Mars by Edwin L. Arnold

Editor's note: Because it's in the public domain, Gulliver of Mars is free in Kindle format.

On those rare occasions when it is discussed at all today, British author Edwin L. Arnold’s final book, Lt. Gullivar Jones: His Vacation, is primarily spoken of as a possible influence on Edgar Rice BurroughsJohn Carter novels. But this, it seems to me, is doing Arnold’s last writing endeavor a disservice, as the book is an exciting, highly imaginative, colorful piece of fantasy/sci-fi more than capable of standing on its own merits, discounting any possible relation to its more famous successor. Arnold’s book first saw the light of day as a 1905 hardcover published by... Read More

Our favorite books of 2017

Here are our favorite books published in 2017. Hover over the cover to see who recommends each book. Click on the cover to read our review.

Please keep in mind that we did not read every SFF book published this year, so we know we’ve missed some good ones! Please add your comments — we’d love to hear your opinions about our list and to know which were YOUR favorite books of 2017. What did we miss? One commenter chooses a book from our stacks.

ADULT SFF



MIDDLE GRADE / YOUNG ADULT SFF



ANTHOLOGIES / COLLECTIONS



NON-FICTION Read More

SHORTS: Howard, Wilde, Gaiman, Ellison, Keller, Dick

Our weekly exploration of free and inexpensive short fiction available on the internet. Here are a few stories we've read that we wanted you to know about.

“A Recipe for Magic” by Kat Howard and Fran Wilde (2017, free at Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi & Fantasy blog, free to download for Nook)

“A Recipe for Magic,” co-written by Kat Howard and Fran Wilde, features a curious kind of shop: at the Night and Day Bakery, magic spells are baked directly into pastries and confections, affecting both the baker/spel... Read More

Slugfest: Inside the Epic, 50-year Battle Between Marvel and DC

Slugfest: Inside the Epic, 50-year Battle Between Marvel and DC by Reed Tucker

Once upon a time, Reed Tucker reminds us in Slugfest: Inside the Epic, 50-year Battle Between Marvel and DC, comic book fans might come to blows over the great dividing question of their time: Are you Marvel or DC? This may seem a strange debate for those who are now living through what could easily be called the Age of Marvel, as their ubiquitous heroes dominate our screens both large or small. It’s nearly impossible, after all, to go to the theater or turn on a network/cable/streaming TV channel and not come across some Marvel character flying, tromping, or speeding across the screen. Nor was Marvel-DC much of a debate in my own youth, as I grew up reading comics in the late 60s/early 70s, when upstart Marvel had beaten the staid DC almost to its knees. I didn’t know anybody who read DC on a regular basis, and though we... Read More