Ray Bradbury was one of the most prolific writers of speculative fiction. Over his life, he wrote many memorable stories, from Fahrenheit 451 and Something Wicked This Way Comes, to The Illustrated Man and Dandelion Wine. His works helped bring speculative fiction more into the literary mainstream and inspire countless filmmakers in various adaptations. It’s... Continue Reading →
So-Called “Greats”: War of the Worlds
Of all his works, in my opinion, none are more highly regarded as H.G. Wells' 1898 novel The War of the Worlds. This novel is one of the few early works of science fiction that holds up well to this day and is one of the “greats” of the alien invasion sub-genre.
So-Called “Greats”: I Am Legend
Richard Matheson's 1954 novella, I Am Legend remains perhaps his best. It’s a book helped inspire new sub-genres in sci-fi and horror fiction. Yet, have real-world events toppled its status as a “great” of speculative fiction? Could it still be considered a “great”, despite this and its age?
So-Called “Greats”: The Shining
Contemporary horror fiction can be defined by a singular name: Stephen King. With so many "greats" from him to select from, it's hard to only talk about one. Yet, his "great", in my opinion, is his 1977 The Shining.
So-Called “Greats”: Stranger in a Strange Land
Robert A. Heinlein is often categorised as one of the “big three” authors of mid-20th century science fiction, alongside Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov. With novels like The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and Starship Troopers, it’s clear his contribution to the genre is valid. Of all his works though, one stands out as... Continue Reading →
So-Called “Greats”: The Hobbit
The Unexpected Journey That Changed Fantasy No other author has influenced the fantasy genre more than British author J.R.R. Tolkien has. Simply put: there’s pre-Tolkien fantasy and fantasy after Tolkien. His works, particularly The Lord of the Rings, has influenced many aspects of the world of fantasy, from immense worldbuilding to an emphasis on European... Continue Reading →
So-Called “Greats”: Neuromancer
The Birth of a Sub-Genre That's Like Playing a Video Game from the 1980s Today William Gibson’s Neuromancer has been regarded as the novel that gave birth to the cyberpunk sub-genre. This claim is for good reason too; it introduced the world to the grand world of the matrix and the high-tech dystopia. Yet, for... Continue Reading →
So-Called “Greats”: Frankenstein
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is considered to be the first modern science fiction novel. Yet, despite it ushering in modern science fiction and horror, it's a terribly written mess of a book that has been adapted better over time.
So-Called “Greats”: The Man in the High Castle
Of Philip K. Dick's many "greats", the one book of his that is, in my opinion, his "greatest" is The Man in the High Castle. This book is a “great” of the genre which still holds up well, despite its now overdone ideas and two-dimensional characters.
So-Called “Greats”: Dune
Many outlets have called it the “greatest science fiction book ever written”. Yet, in my opinion, this claim makes it a very overrated “great” of the genre.