Category Archives: books

Ray Bradbury: Last of the Grandmasters

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I’m a serious fan of classic science fiction writing.  For we old school types, the title of “Grandmaster” has some meaning.  While it used to apply to any of the Golden Age‘s most prolific producers, in the 1970s it took on official status with the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America officially honouring Robert Heinlein with the title of first Grandmaster.  This list of recognized Grandmasters is quite exhaustive.  But, for my money, there were only ever four true Grandmasters of SF:  Heinlein, Asimov, Clarke and Ray Bradbury.  And with Bradbury’s passing last week, the last surviving Golden Age Grandmaster left this mortal life.

Continue reading Ray Bradbury: Last of the Grandmasters

The Andromeda Strain (Part 1)

The Andromeda Strain (2008)

(This review is part 1 of 2)

Released as a miniseries by A&E in the spring of 2008, The Andromeda Strain is based on Michael Crichton’s classic 1969 science fiction novel of the same name. TAS-08 is written by Robert Schenkken (who played David Deaver in the 1990 film Pump up the Volume), and is directed by Denmark’s Mikael Salomon, more famously known as the cinematographer on several Oscar winning films (Far and Away, Back Draft, Arachnophobia). Continue reading The Andromeda Strain (Part 1)

The Greatest Science Fiction Novels

This article was originally a blog post, published Aug 9, 2007.

Well, the previous post (greatest science fiction movies of all time) was pretty popular, so let’s try a similar tack… how about the greatest science fiction novels of all time? Clearly, we are each entitled to our own definitions of both “science fiction” and “great”. I defined the former last time; but for the latter, I’m going to go with something incorporating a gripping narrative, good writing, a lofty and inspiring idea, and even something to do with the book’s impact on either society and/or the genre. Continue reading The Greatest Science Fiction Novels

Review of Vladimir Tasic’s book, "Herbarium of Souls"

This article was first published in the magazine Prairie Fire, then again in The Podium on April 21, 2000.

Vladimir TasicThe accolades on the back of Vladimir Tasic’s Herbarium of Souls pronounce the Serbian-Canadian writer to be an avatar of the late Jorge Luis Borges and a wunderkind who melds the scholastic with both the mystic and the metaphysical. In truth, this collection of short stories bears a strong resemblance to Borges’s classic anthology Ficciones, though Tasic’s book falters in emotional scope and literary complexity – an unavoidable failure, given the legendary heights to which it aspires. Continue reading Review of Vladimir Tasic’s book, "Herbarium of Souls"