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Book Review: The Asylum of Dr. Caligari by James Morrow

Most people probably don’t start pondering the power of art after seeing the classic German silent film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. But then author James Morrow isn’t your average person. After all, he spent the 1990s “killing God” in The Godhead Trilogy. A self-described “scientific humanist,” Morrow’s last several novels explored the scientific worldview […]

Book Review: If Kennedy Lived by Jeff Greenfield

Some estimate books about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy number in the thousands. And with the 50th anniversary of the assassination coming next month, there’s been a growing stream of them this year about the assassination and Kennedy’s presidency and its legacy. Amidst the avalanche, political commentator Jeff Greenfield contemplates where we would […]

Book Review: Prophet of Bones by Ted Kosmatka

What if?

To me, those two words are one of the keys to good science fiction. The writer looks at a current state of affairs in politics, society or science (or all three), asks “What if?” and their imagination creates the foundation for a story. It certainly seems like that’s the method Ted Kosmatka used […]

Book Review: The Testament of Jessie Lamb by Jane Rogers

Almost of necessity, dystopian literature has its roots in concerns of the times in which it is written. It is an author envisioning a potential future in which something already existing or on the horizon heads in a bad direction. What author Jane Rogers recognizes in her award-winning The Testament of Jessie Lamb is the […]

Book Review: Night Sessions by Ken MacLeod

Shifting political tides are frequent and cyclical enough that they’ve earned their own label — pendulum politics. One party and its policies are in. The pendulum swings and another party and its policies dominate. Rarely, though, does the pendulum swing as much as the scenario in which Ken MacLeod plots Night Sessions, the winner of […]

Book Review: Ephemera by Jeffery M. Anderson

Although the seeds were planted earlier, dystopian literature has flourished in 20th century nutrients — the rise of fascism, ideological conflicts, global industrialization, and seemingly limitless advances in technology. Pessimism isn’t a prerequisite to realize there is a potentially detrimental synergy in the coalescence of these changes. It undoubtedly provides plenty of opportunity to envision […]