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The Science Fictional World

On This Day: John Dee

We find ourselves in conflicted times – Manichean days, where battle lines are routinely drawn and in all walks of life, it seems, we must choose: are you with us, or agin us? Are you Left or Right? Capitalist or communist? Pro-Europe or Anti-Europe? And nowhere is this seen more starkly than in the relationship […]

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On This Day: Johannes Kepler

On this day in 1630, the German mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler died in Regensburg, Bavaria. He was, at one point, assistant to the great Danish astronomer, Tycho Brahe, and later served as imperial mathematician to three Holy Roman Emperors. He is held to be one of the great astronomers, and his laws of planetary […]

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The Obligatory Hallowe’en Post

So, it’s Hallowe’en again. To kids around the world, an opportunity to dress up in outlandish costumes and run round their neighbourhoods collecting treats. To supermarkets, that small window of opportunity between back-to-school and Christmas to tempt shoppers to part with more of their hard-earned cash for no real, valid reason. To some, a celebration […]

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New Column on the SF Gateway Blog

We are delighted to announce a new regular monthly column on the SF Gateway blog, curated by the excellent Kev McVeigh and devoted to exploring the too-oft forgotten landscape of women’s SF & fantasy. Titled ‘From the Attic’ after Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar’s pioneering book on women in 19th century novels The Madwoman in […]

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Happy Sputnik Day!

On October 4th, 1957, the Space Race burst into life, with early honours for the Soviet Union. The launch of Sputnik, the world’s first artificial satellite, was a landmark in our species’ history – and it’s probably fair to say it took a few people by surprise . . .     What it also […]

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The Founding Fathers of Rocket Science

The name most frequently associated with modern rocketry is that of Wernher von Braun (1912-1977), the German rocket scientist who moved to the United States at the end of the Second World War, known to many as  ‘the Father of Rocket Science’.  And, to be fair, when one considers that his career is more or […]

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That’s One Small Step For Man …

Tomorrow is the 44th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing. A day later Neil Armstrong took the first steps taken by a human on another world. From this . . .     . . . to this . . .     . . . inside seven years.   Remarkable. Just remarkable.  

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Dangerous Visions (No, Not Those Ones)

Over the weekend, Radio 4 started its Dangerous Visions season – a series of dramas exploring contemporary takes on future dystopias. Saturday 15th kicked off with ‘The Sleeper’ by Michael Symmons Roberts, while Sunday 16th saw adaptations of Lord of the Flies by William Golding and The Drowned World by J.G. Ballard. Over the coming […]

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Space is Really Big

As we’ve noted before in this very blog, we here at SF Gateway are big fans of NASA‘s excellent Astronomy Picture of the Day site. If there’s a better diurnal dose of delight out there on the internets, then we don’t know where it is. We are also – as all right-thinking sentient beings are […]

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Robert Silverberg’s Reflections: May 2013

‘Where Silverberg goes today, the rest of science fiction will follow tomorrow’ Isaac Asimov       Reflections is a regular column by multi-award-winning SFWA Grandmaster Robert Silverberg, in which he will offer his thoughts on science fiction, literature and the world at large. This month: ‘. . . Not Even Wrong’ My favorite scientific […]

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Titanic 101: The Ghost from the Grand Banks

It was 101 years ago today that the one of the greatest – certainly the most famous – of all maritime disasters occurred: the sinking of the RMS Titanic. With a hull containing sixteen separate airtight compartments, causing some to refer to it as ‘unsinkable’, the Titanic struck an iceberg south of Newfoundland and sank, […]

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SF Masterwork of the Week: The Sea and Summer

One of the arguments used to denigrate science fiction regularly employed by the sort of people who were going to denigrate science fiction anyway, is that it dates far more quickly than other genres. We could argue about (a) whether this is true and (b) whether it matters until the Booker Prize shortlists a genre […]

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Beware the Ides of March! Shakespeare as a Genre Author

Caesar: Who is it in the press that calls on me? I hear a tongue shriller than all the music Cry “Caesar!” Speak, Caesar is turn’d to hear. Soothsayer: Beware the ides of March. Caesar: What man is that? Brutus: A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March. Referring to the Ides of March […]

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Living in an SF Novel

Your humble SF Gateway scribe tries hard to stay abreast of current events and generally considers himself to be reasonably well-informed. Sometimes, though, things slip by. You know how it is: occasionally, the morning routine is interrupted – the alarm gets snoozed once too often, the kids are taking twice as long to get ready […]

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Robots!

I don’t know how you, dear reader (or, dare I hope: readers!), go about accessing and assimilating the frightening amount of information that is fired at us every second of our existence, but one the key tools I use to augment my reading is the podcast. I listen to all manner of topics – comics […]

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