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Category: Science Fiction

The Top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy Books

Here’s what are considered to be the Top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy books of all time. I’d have to say the list is spot on, and I was surprised to find that I had read over half of these books over the years.

1. The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien

2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams

3. Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card

4. The Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert

5. A Song Of Ice And Fire Series, by George R. R. Martin

6. 1984, by George Orwell

7. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury

8. The Foundation Series, by Isaac Asimov

9. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley

10. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman

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Sacrificing for Your Art

John Scalzi is a Science Fiction novelist and Hugo Award nominee. In his popular writer’s blog ‘Whatever’ he talks about what you really need to sacrifice in order to be a writer.

“Got a letter today from an aspiring novelist who is wondering if wanting to write means that one has to be willing to sacrifice a great deal for one’s writing and craft. Because one hears of writers who have made great sacrifices in order to work on their writing, including giving up jobs, friends and spouses in order to put their words into being. Does one have to be willing to put that all on the line for one’s art?”

Read the rest at Whatever…

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Arthur C. Clarke Dies at 90

It was barely three months ago I made an entry announcing Mr. Clarke turning 90, now this prolific master of Sci-Fi has retuned to the source from which he came.

This is the obituary, written by Gerald Jonas, as it appeared in the New York Times:

Arthur C. Clarke, a writer whose seamless blend of scientific expertise and poetic imagination helped usher in the space age, died early Wednesday in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where he had lived since 1956. He was 90.

Rohan de Silva, an aide, confirmed the death and said Mr. Clarke had been experiencing breathing problems, The Associated Press reported. He had suffered from post-polio syndrome for the last two decades.
Arthur C. Clarke 1917-2008
The author of almost 100 books, Mr. Clarke was an ardent promoter of the idea that humanity’s destiny lay beyond the confines of Earth. It was a vision served most vividly by “2001: A Space Odyssey,” the classic 1968 science-fiction film he created with the director Stanley Kubrick and the novel of the same title that he wrote as part of the project.

His work was also prophetic: his detailed forecast of telecommunications satellites in 1945 came more than a decade before the first orbital rocket flight.

Other early advocates of a space program argued that it would pay for itself by jump-starting new technology. Mr. Clarke set his sights higher. Borrowing a phrase from William James, he suggested that exploring the solar system could serve as the “moral equivalent of war,” giving an outlet to energies that might otherwise lead to nuclear holocaust.

Mr. Clarke’s influence on public attitudes toward space was acknowledged by American astronauts and Russian cosmonauts, by scientists like the astronomer Carl Sagan and by movie and television producers. Gene Roddenberry credited Mr. Clarke’s writings with giving him courage to pursue his “Star Trek” project in the face of indifference, even ridicule, from television executives.

In his later years, after settling in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), Mr. Clarke continued to bask in worldwide acclaim as both a scientific sage and the pre-eminent science fiction writer of the 20th century. In 1998, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.

Mr. Clarke played down his success in foretelling a globe-spanning network of communications satellites. “No one can predict the future,” he always maintained. But as a science fiction writer he couldn’t resist drawing up timelines for what he called “possible futures.” Far from displaying uncanny prescience, these conjectures mainly demonstrated his lifelong, and often disappointed, optimism about the peaceful uses of technology — from his calculation in 1945 that atomic-fueled rockets could be no more than 20 years away to his conviction in 1999 that “clean, safe power” from “cold fusion” would be commercially available in the first years of the new millennium.

Popularizer of Science

Mr. Clarke was well aware of the importance of his role as science spokesman to the general population: “Most technological achievements were preceded by people writing and imagining them,” he noted. “I’m sure we would not have had men on the Moon,” he added, if it had not been for H. G. Wells and Jules Verne. “I’m rather proud of the fact that I know several astronauts who became astronauts through reading my books.”

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Arthur C. Clarke Turns 90!

British sci-fi author Arthur C. Clarke turns 90 on Dec. 16.

Arthur C. Clarke

Clarke penned the novel 2001: A Space Odyssey, which was adapted into Stanley Kubrick’s big-screen sci-fi favorite.

Clarke is also the last surviving member of the “Big Three” of science fiction authors (the other two members of the geeky coterie were Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein).

The command center of the Apollo 13 craft was named “2001” after the movie, Clarke also had an asteroid AND a new species of dinosaur Serendipaceratops arthurcclarkei named after him.

Clarke’s three laws (to writing speculative science fiction):

    1. “When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.”
    2. “The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.”
    3. “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

You can find a comprehensive collection of Athur C. Clarke’s works at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database

Great Advice for New SFF Novelists

Cool Blog: DeepGenre.com has a great article for newbie SFF novelists on what it takes to make a career out of writing Science Fiction & Fantasy novels. The true key to it all? Love what you do.

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