Monday, July 16, 2012

Fantastic Worlds So Far (mid-Jul 2012)

This is a by-topic linked table of contents for Fantastic Worlds.  "PG" = "Project Gutenberg."  In a few cases a post includes both a story reprint and a story review, and such are listed twice:  once under each category.


"Entering Some Fantastic Worlds" (Jordan S. Bassior, Jan 23rd 2011)
Introduction and mission statement for the blogzine.

Stories, Retro Reprints (public domain)

"A Primer of Imaginary Geography" (1896) by Brander Matthews (May 5th, 2011)
All aboard the Flying Dutchman to sail the seas of fantasy!

 "Spawn of the Stars"  (1930) by Charles Willard Diffin (Mar 1st 2011 from Astounding Stories February 1930 via PG)
A forgotten masterpiece of alien-invasion air-war science fiction.  Review run separately.

"The Cosmic Express" (1930) by Jack Williamson (Feb 1st 2011 from Amazing Stories November 1930 via PG)
The seminal story which inspired the Star Trek "transporter."  Review run separately.

"The Meteor Girl" (1931) by Jack Williamson (Apr 21st 2011 from Astounding Stories March 1931 via PG)
We find out what Einstein is good for in an early application of relativity to the time travel story.

"An Adventure in Futurity" (1931) by Clark Ashton Smith (Apr 13th 2011 from Wonder Stories April 1931 via Eldritch Dark)
Befriended by a time traveler, a man from the present is taken to a future world in desperate danger!  Review included with story post.

"A Scientist Rises" (1932) by D. W. Hall (May 22nd 2011, from Astounding Stories November 1932 via PG)
A noble scientist invents a means of matter expansion, and realizes that Man is Not Yet Ready For It and that there is only one way to keep the secret.  Review included with story.

"The Eternal Wall" (1942) by Raymond Z. Gallun (Apr 6th, 2011 from Amazing Stories November 1942 via PG)
A modern man is resurrected in a posthuman future Earth.  Review run separately.

"All Cats Are Gray" (1953) by Andre Norton (May 14th, 2011 from Fantastic Universe, August-September 1953 via PG)
A highly-intelligent, but slightly-handicapped female librarian becomes a bold space adventurer.  Review included in post.

"Song in a Minor Key" (1957) by Catherine L. Moore (May 15th, 2011 from Fantastic Universe, January 1957 via PG)
A quiet vignette about Northwest Smith contemplating how he came into his outlaw life.  Review included.

Stories, Original or Authorized Reprints (copyrights by authors)

"Reflections on a Reign" (Jordan S. Bassior, Jan 25th 2011, earlier version (c) 2009)
Alternate-history vignette about Tsar Nicholas II.

"Like Father, Like Son" (Jordan S. Bassior, Feb 20th 2011, earlier version (c) 2006)
What will the child of our mind be like?

"The Fall of Oz" (Jordan S. Bassior, Feb 20th 2011, originally (c) 2006)
Humorous (?) science-fantasy.  Any resemblance to reality is purely intentional.

Poetry, Original or Authorized Reprints (copyrights by authors)

"To a Fallen Hero" (Jordan S. Bassior, Feb 20th 2011, originally (c) 2006, copyright given to The Gorilla Foundation)
Not all heroes are of our species.  Includes my commentary.

"Giants in Twilight" (Jordan S. Bassior, Feb 25th 2011, originally (c) 2006)
Not all nonhuman sapients are primates.

"The Star-Rover" (Yael R. Dragwyla, Feb 21st 2011, originally (c) 1984, 1997)
An archetype.

"Tyrannosaurus Regina" (Yael R. Dragwyla, Mar 14th 2011)
What would she think?



"Why I Am NOT Into Group Identity Based Anthologies" (Jordan S. Bassior, Jul 30th 2011)
They tend to result in inferior story selection, and here's the reason for this tendency.

Fantastic History

"Historical Cycles and the Anachronism Argument as Applicable to Space Opera" (Jordan S. Basssior, Jan 26th 2011)
Are feudalism or imperialism really all that improbable for our futures?

"How To Make a Family Conspiracy Theory" (Jordan S. Bassior, Feb 21st 2011)
For the fun and profit of anyone who wants to write paranoid history or historical speculative fiction.

Fantastic Magic

"Why Magic Has To Make Sense" (Jordan S. Bassior, Jun 21st 2012)
The reason why even the most fantastic things in a tale must be at least internally consistent.

Fantastic Military

"Weapons Technology of the Future" (Jordan S. Bassior, Feb 25th 2011, originally (c) 2000, 2006 and 2010)
Some speculations regarding the capabilities of the weapons of 100, 200 and 500 years from now.

"Natural Boundaries for Spacefaring Civilizations" (Jordan S. Bassior, Jun 17th 2012)
How the technology of space war would draw natural boundaries in space at various levels of technology.

Fantastic Societies

"Lone Adventurers versus Leaders in Space Opera" (Jordan S. Bassior, Mar 22nd 2011, originally (c) 2007)"
The tendency for protagonists to become increasingly alienated from their societies in later space opera, and its implications for plot.

"Generational Social Variance in Future Histories:  Sexual Mores of the American Mandate" (Jordan S. Bassior, Aug 9th 2011)
A discussion of the cyclical nature of societal change, and an example of how to chart a societal change from one of my own storyverses.

Fantastic Technology

"Milespires and the Rebirth of the Environment" (Jordan S. Bassior, Mar 6th 2011, originally (c) 2007)
Could arcologies lead to a better relationship between Man and Nature?

"The Ratchet Effect" (Jordan S. Bassior, May 9th 2011, originally (c) 2010)
Why technological progress and the expansion of Man's habitat is irreversible.
Mundane SF

"Why Many SF Fans No Longer Believe in Atomic Energy or Space Colonization" (Jordan S. Bassior, Feb 27th 2011, originally (c) 2007)
Why have so many lost the dreams which originally inspired science fiction?

"The Fear of Boundlessness:  Explanation for the Mundane SF Movement" (Jordan S. Bassior , Jan 27th 2011)
Why do some science-fiction writers want to turn their backs on the rest of the Universe?

"The Promise of Boundlessness" (Jordan S. Bassior, Apr 6th 2011)
The truth with which both traditional human cultures and Mundane SF Movements is unable to deal.

"Selective Science for Mundane Fiction" (Jordan S. Bassior, Apr 14th 2011)
Are the assumptions upon which Mundane SF is based really all that "scientific?"

"Damon Knight and the Conceptual Ancestry of the Mundane SF Movement" (Jordan S. Bassior, May 16th 2011)
An eye-opening essay from 1972 reveals one of the origins of the spirit behind Mundane SF.


"The Richness of Our Solar System" (Jordan S. Bassior, Mar 30th 2011)
There are many worlds to colonize in our star system alone.

Super Powers

"Metahumans as Ultimate Weapons" (Jordan S. Bassior, Mar 15th 2011, originally (c) 2007)
Superhumans in warfare.

"How Superpowered People Would Change the World" (Jordan S. Bassior, Mar 21st 2011A, originally (c) 1993, 2007)
Why and how the existence of metahumans would deeply change society.

Worlds For Man

"Part 0 - Sol" (Jordan S. Bassior, Mar 26th 2011, originally (c) 2007)
The largest world of the Solar System, and how it might be exploited by Man.

"Part 1 - Mercury" (Jordan S. Bassior, Apr 3rd 2011, originally (c) 2007)
Small, dense and hot -- and chock-full of valuable metals for mining.

"Part 2 - Venus" (Jordan S. Bassior, Apr 4th 2011, originally (c) 2007)
How Man might tame Terra's torrid twin.



"The Seminal Status of E. E. 'Doc' Smith's Lensman Series" (Jordan S. Bassior, Apr 3rd 2011, earlier version (c) 2007)
A space opera series which deeply influenced how we think about spacefaring civilizations.  Analysis only.


"The Jagged Orbit (1969) by John Brunner" (Jordan S. Bassior, Jun 13th 2011)
Pioneering and well-written tale of dystopia in the year 2014 -- but marred by a lack of logic.  Review only.
"The Dispossessed (1974) by Ursula K. LeGuin" (Jordan S. Bassior, Jan 25th 2011, earlier version(c) 2001)
A brilliant but flawed novel of an "ambigious utopia."  Review only.

"Mars Crossing (2000) by Geoffrey A. Landis" (Jordan S. Bassior, Jun 19th 2012)
A gripping and scientifically-accurate tale of adventure, exploration and survival on Mars.  Review only.

Short Stories

"'The Monster-God of Mamurth' (1926) by Edmond Hamilton (Jordan S. Bassior, Apr 14th 2011)
Hamilton's debut in a tale of a lost city of Lovecraftian horror.  Review only.

 "'Spawn of the Stars' (1930) by Charles Willard Diffin" (Jordan S. Bassior, Mar 6th 2011)
An excellent alien-invasion air-war epic, mostly forgotten today.  Story run separately.

"'The Cosmic Express' (1930) by Jack Williamson" (Jordan S. Bassior, Feb 2nd 2011)
The science-fiction story seminal to the Star Trek "transporter."  Story run separately.

"'The Prince of Space' (1931) by Jack Williamson" (Jordan S. Bassior, Feb 22nd 2011, (c) 2007)
The science-fiction story seminal to the orbital space colony.  Review only.

"'An Adventure in Futurity' (1931) by Clark Ashton Smith" (Jordan S. Bassior, Apr 13th 2011 from Wonder Stories April 1931 via Eldritch Dark)
Befriended by a time traveler, a man from the present is taken to a future world in desperate danger!  Story included with review post.

"'A Scientist Rises' (1932) by D. W. Hall" (Jordan S. Bassior, May 22nd 2011, from Astounding Stories November 1932 via PG)
This tale typifies the manner in which scientists were perceived by the interwar pulps.  Story included with review.
"'The Eternal Wall' (1942) by Raymond Z. Gallun" (Jordan S. Bassior, Apr 7th 2011)
An excellent tale of a man trapped in a posthuman future, with conceptual links to "Seeds of the Dusk" and The Eden Cycle.  Story run separately.

"'Rescue Party' (1946) by Arthur C. Clarke"(Jordan S. Bassior, Apr 3rd 2011, (c) 2008)
One of Clarke's earliest and best works, from his Campbellian period.  Review only.

"'All Cats Are Gray' (1953) by Andre Norton" (Jordan S. Bassior, May 14th 2011 from Fantastic Universe, August-September 1953 via PG)
An interesting early Andre Norton piece, presenting a most unusual heroine.  Story included.

"'The Valley' (1954) by Richard Stockham" (Jordan S. Bassior, Jul 15th 1012, originally published in If, June 1954)
Sometimes one searches the Galaxy for what one had all along back home.  Interesting both for its own sake and as an early example of the thread leading to the Mundane SF Movement.  Review only.

"'Song in a Minor Key' (1957) by Catherine L. Moore" (Jordan S. Bassior, May 15th, 2011 from Fantastic Universe, January 1957 via PG)
This quiet vignette gets to the heart of why we love Northwest Smith.  Story included.

"'Child of All Ages' (1975) by Philip James Plaguer" (Jordan S. Bassior, Jul 4th 2012)
Meet Melissa,a cute little girl who has been exactly that for over two millennia.  Story not included.

"'The Fulcrum' (2005) by Gwyneth Jones" (Jordan S. Bassior, Apr 17th 2011, (c) 2008)
An interplanetary adventure tale badly marred by Mundane-SF logic and European assumptions regarding the practicality of gun control.  Story not included.

"'Exhalation' (2008) by Ted Chiang" (Jordan S. Bassior, Jul 10th 2012)
A scientist attempts to understand his most unusual universe.  Story not included.

"'G-Men' (2008) by Kristine Kathryn Rusch" (Jordan S. Bassior, April 2nd 2012)
How wilful ignorance of inconvenient history ruins this otherwise-enjoyable tale.  Story not included.

"'Guyal the Curator' (2009) by John C. Wright" (Jordan S. Bassior, April 14th 2012)
An excellent, atmospheric and well-thought-out expansion of Jack Vance's "Dying Earth" storyverse.  Story not included.


"Queen of Blood (1966)" (Jordan S. Bassior, April 3rd 2012
A surprisingly-well-written low-budget interplanetary sf horror film.

Web Comics

"Mindmistress by Al Schroeder" (Jordan S, Bassior, Jan 26th 2011)
An excellent though now sadly-ended webcomic about the smartest girl you'll ever know.

"Season of the Red Wolf by 'The Red Wolf' (Jordan S. Bassior, Jun 15th 2012)
A detailed expose of modern anti-Semitism in fandom.


"'Transhumanism as Simplified Humanism' (2007) by Eliezer Yudkowsky -- A Really Elegant Apologia for Transhumanism" (Jordan S. Bassior, Apr 17th 2011, originally (c) 2007)
An essay which argues that "transhumanism" is really just a logical extension of "humanity."

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