Daily Archives: August 2nd, 2008

Some Musings on the World of Science-Fiction

I haven’t written a piece about sci-fi in a Saturday post for quite a while, so it’s time to make up for that today. I haven’t finished what I started reading this summer to give proper reviews of the classics Last to First Men and Ventus yet, but I will eventually. This ol’ country boy has a pretty full life, thanks to wife, kids and grand-kid. And of course, w-o-r-k! ( Wash my mouth out with bleach for that four letter word, LOL!) There doesn’t seem to be much time to fit in what I have left as “lifes’ guilty pleasures!”

First on the list is Charlie Stross‘ lament about how women are treated in the sci-fi genre, and pop culture altogether, Bechdel test round-up. I agree with him and I’m probably as guilty as the rest. My only defense is that I’m a rookie author! ( Okay, wannabe! )

To expand further on the subject of female talent, especially in the sci-fi genre, I recommend a great site to read and purchase works of said talent, EOS Books. There you can find works by  Fiona McIntosh, Vicki Pettersson and Karen Traviss. Traviss has an ebook for a free download during the month of August, City of Pearl. You can download it from EOS Books, Karen’s website and Harper-Collins eBooks. I plan on giving it a go. Hell, what’s one more book to catch up on? LOL! 8)

Lastly, while this entry isn’t about women in sci-fi, it involves two greats in the field, Arthur C. Clarke and Fred Pohl.

I didn’t know this and a lot of people didn’t either, Clarke was working on one last solo book the last few years of his life titled The Last Theorem:

Arthur C. Clarke’s health was failing fast, but he still had a story to tell. So he turned to fellow science fiction writer Frederik Pohl, and together the longtime friends wrote what turned out to be Clarke’s last novel.

“The Last Theorem,” which grew from 100 pages of notes scribbled by Clarke, is more than a futuristic tale about a mathematician who discovers a proof to a centuries-old mathematical puzzle.

The novel, due in bookstores August 5, represents a historic collaboration between two of the genre’s most influential writers in the twilight of their careers. Clarke, best known for his 1968 work, “2001: A Space Odyssey,” died in March at age 90; Pohl is 89.

“As much as anything, it’ll be a historic artifact,” says Robin Wayne Bailey, a former president of Science Fiction Writers of America and a writer. “This is a book between two of the last remaining giants in the field.”

Clarke originally intended “The Last Theorem” to be his last solo project, and he began writing it in 2002.

This in of itself is a sad tale, but one that might triumph in the end if the book is a NYT Best Seller.

While we all hate to see our childhood idols fade away and pass ( yeah, I was a nerd, what of it? ), it is the nature of the Universe and it leaves room for young things to grow and blossom.

It has always been thus.

Arthur C. Clarke’s last vision