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Found 12 results

  1. Oh, hey. I dunno if this'll be a thing, but if you have a few choice words to say about the story, you're welcome to do it here. If you want, I guess. Story:
  2. “Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time.” This is the premise of Kurt Vonnegut’s greatest novel, but it is far more than that. As a middle-aged man, Billy Pilgrim is a successful optometrist, dully married to his wife with two children. As an elderly man, Billy Pilgrim is abducted by aliens, the Tralfamadores, and kept as an exhibit in their zoo on their home world. There he meets and starts a relationship with Montana Wildhack, a beautiful model who is abducted to be his companion. As a young man, Billy Pilgrim is a chaplain's assistant in the American army, during World War II. He is woefully undertrained and under resourced and is soon captured. As a prisoner of war, he witnesses the carpet bombing of Dresden. This novel does not have a linear format, the story jumps around in time with many sections not following on chronologically from the previous one, but this only highlights Billy Pilgrim being unstuck in time, it also highlights the fractured nature of this story. Unfortunately, it doesn’t make this novel easy to read, but it is only one of the elements that make this novel a difficult read. All that said, this is a novel worth the effort of reading it. In my opinion, it is probably Vonnegut’s best novel. The description of Billy Pilgrim’s odyssey through German-occupied Europe, as a prisoner of war, is so memorable, from moments of loss and deep atrocity (the nightmare bombing of Dresden) to moments of almost farce. Vonnegut presents all of this with a cool and unsentimental approach. Lesser writers would have milked the tragedies here for every drop of forced emotion that they could, but Vonnegut just presents them as events that happen. When a character dies, the narration simply states, “So it goes.” This novel, in part, has been said to have been Vonnegut trying to understand what he saw and what happened to him during World War II, but it is no less for that. It is one of the great anti-war novels because Vonnegut wrote about real events with real-world consequences. What lifts it well above a simple anti-war sermon is Vonnegut’s storytelling and the scope of his imagination. This is not an easy read but it is worth the effort. I recommend it; even if it is the only novel of Vonnegut’s you read, it is worth reading. “So it goes.” Find it here on Amazon
  3. Before reading this collection of stories, put out of your mind any memory of the Tom Cruise/Stephen Spielberg film of the same name. The Cruise/Spielberg film was very loosely based on Philip K Dick’s story, taking only a few elements out of the story. The original story is far superior to the brightly coloured adventure film that bears the same name. In his best fiction, and this collection certainly contains some of that, Philip K Dick was a visionary—a dark visionary with a downbeat but all too real take on the future. The title story, Minority Report, is set in the Bureau of Pre-Crime where three pre-cogs (people so brain damaged that they live in permanent comas and constantly mutter their predictions) predict murders not yet committed, but this is where the similarity with the Cruise/Spielberg film ends. This is a post nuclear war world, where vast swathes of the country are a burnt wasteland. The central character is a middle-aged, overweight man with a much younger wife who finds himself at the centre of a political assassination plot. This is a twisting political thriller set in a world mutated by radiation, where every piece of new information causes another change of direction. Within this story Dick asks the question, if we know what the future holds does that automatically change the future to an unknown one? A lot of these stories are set in post nuclear war worlds, a theme very popular in Philip K Dick’s fiction, but they are not the same world rehashed for different stories. Whatever worlds he sets his stories in they are dark and unforgiving worlds. His future is not bright, clean and hopeful. In this collection there are stories about robots used for assassination; automatic factories that rule the world and don’t want to give that up power; the search for a war criminal who is more or less than he seems; a government sanctioned machine that controls your thoughts; an America where the first lady is the most important person and even if the presidents come and go she remains the same; a future where they look to 1960s sci-fi to solve their technological problems; a time-travelling business woman; and much, much more. A problem that can be levelled at Phillip K Dick’s novels is that, though often with an original plot premise, he did not know how to end them. This does not apply to these stories, even the longer ones. With these stories Dick ends them perfectly, whether it is an ending to a story or a question left up in the air. Most of these stories were previously published in American sci-fi magazines of the 1950s and 1960s; whether this is the reason for their solid structures I don’t know, but these are very satisfying stories to read and have not aged the way a lot of sci-fi from that period has. Forgot the bright, clean and upbeat sci-fi of Stephen Spielberg, George Lucas and Star Trek; try the dark and all too real sci-fi of Philip K Dick. Some of the peripheral details of his stories may have aged but their central themes are still fresh and still relevant today. Find it here on Amazon
  4. This is the cover and spine for both the printed and eBook versions of Attunga. Background information for both Attunga and its companion story can be found below. Blog: https://diasporatales.net
  5. Sumeru   Operation Shiva is the biggest spaceflight mystery of all time. The spacecraft took off from Cape Canaveral on August 8, 2068. According to official statements, the craft reached its target in the constellation of Scorpius, but hence was never heard of again. What happened with the ship and the crew? The truth is out there. Story completed. 12 chapters. Read
  6. Hi all, I've recently joined GA and so far I'm loving the community. I have a question that I think might spark some interesting discussion: I've had success in the past in selling stories to publishing houses that specialize in gay-friendly content, but I have tried unsuccessfully to get a larger company to show interest in my latest novel, which is science fiction-oriented but in which the characters are gay men. It is not romance, and their sexual orientation is not the focus of the story, but nevertheless I keep butting my head against this invisible wall of what 'mainstream' literature should be, i.e., straight characters or if someone is gay, then they better be supporting characters at most. What has been your experience on this so far?
  7. Hello all! I'm glad to join GA - I had no idea such an awesome community existed. I've always been a fan of sci-fi, and since I'm new here, I was wondering if anyone had recommendations on good stuff to read? I like most sci-fi subgenres, from Asimov to Zelazny, so any recommendations are welcome! -Albert
  8. I just got a thought from the fan fic thread. How far can a single filmmaker or writer's creativity last in any genre or any genre's creativity last in human interest. Looking at mainstream science fiction today, I am rereading stories that I know Asimov and Heinlein went over 60 years ago. Watching TV, despite how entertaining Dr. Who can be, storylines seem like rehash of old stories after a while. Star Trek used to ascribe this to fatigue on part of writers and audiences. Yet, I think it's another issue, creativity limits within any plot or story. Does anyone think stories and universe have creativity limits?
  9. Jonas Marks is your average teenager. He just graduated from high school and is awaiting a chance to go to college in the fall. The only problem is the fact he is gay, and made the huge mistake of coming out to his homophobic father. When he is thrown out of his house and ends up living on his friend Jenny's couch, Jonas knows the time has come to alter his life. However, in trying to get his life back on track he takes a job at Kroger's, a place well known for the rich items they sell. The problem is Jonas' new boss isn't like anyone else, in fact, he isn't completely human. Jonas' life has taken a strange turn and before it is over his life will never be the same again. Special thanks go to Andy (better known to most as Quonos10) - who said the Anthology piece really needed to become a full story and stepped in as the beta to make sure it happened, and to Frostina - who as usual has stepped in to prevent me from screwing this up as she edits it for me.
  10. Ben Bova, one of the grandfathers of modern science fiction, died November 29th from, "COVID-19 related pneumonia and a stroke". 😢💔
  11. I found this in a science related newsleter I suscribe to and thought that some of you might be interested. It's a short story contest about the future. The prize includes a trip to Japan. https://seat14c.com/future_ideas/new?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=ad&utm_campaign=seat14c&utm_content=contest2
  12. This is a thread for the current project I am working in which would contain five parts. It is entitled Prophets of Tomorrow and the first book is called Mentally. The plot revolves around Kieran Klein as he looks for his lost best friend. However, as he journey further into his search, he is dragged in the middle of a war that can shape the fate of the Earth. There will be a lot of fighting and other elements will be gradually thrown into the fray. I just hope that this thread can be a good avenue to exchange ideas. As usual, my writings will be focused on the characters and how they evolve to be a better person.
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