science fiction

One small step for (a) man…..

Greg Johnson, AstronautStaying up late in July 1969 to watch Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin step from Apollo 11 onto the surface of the moon was exiting but not at all unexpected to a science fiction reader. Having spent years immersed in Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury and so many other great writers it was never IF, just HOW SOON we would conquer space. In my mind, it was only a matter of time be for all those stories of Martian colonies, aliens (friendly or hostile), parallel universes, androids and my own personal space trips would all come true.

Science Fiction Movies Aplenty!

2001 A Space OdysseyStanley Kubrick's 1968 landmark film '2001: A Space Odyssey' is just one of the many classic science fiction films available from Dublin City Public Libraries. We also have the 1970s big-budget science fiction films filled with special effects like 'Star Wars' and 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind', and other blockbuster hits of subsequent decades including 'E.T.' and 'Avatar'.

Others SF movies available include:-

Interview with Paul Anthony Shortt

I have been meaning to do this more often but it's a busy time for many of my author friends (thankfully) so I haven't been doing these as often as I want to. If you know a genre writer who would like to answer my questions feel free to send their email to me and I'll approach them, particularly if we have any of their books in stock.

Michael Carroll Interviewed

The Last StarshipFor my "interview a genre author in Ireland" series I got Michael Carroll to answer my questions.

I've read a fair few of Michael's books over the years, most recently the Pelicos Trilogy, starting with the Last Starship and I've been enjoying it, however my husband has been loving it.  Michael has two websites, one concentrating on his Quantum Prophecy series and the other a more general website.  He's also written some Adult fiction as Jaye Carroll (I've read at least one, The Sweetest Feeling).

To the Stars via Mars

Fahrenheit 451Question. What does Asteroid 9766, a crater on the moon and the site of the landing of Curiosity, the Mars Rover have in common?

Answer. They are all named after Ray Bradbury.  

  • Asteroid Bradbury 9766, discovered on the 24th February, 1992 and named after the acclaimed author.
  • The Dandelion Crater on the moon (from Bradbury’s  novel ‘Dandelion Wine’).
  • Bradbury Landing, where Curiosity landed on 22nd August 2012 – Bradbury’s birthdate.

As we launch Science Week in Dublin City Public Libraries with a full programme of events, workshops and talks for children and adults, it is fitting to consider the links between the fact and the fiction of science.

Peadar Ó Guilín Interviewed

Over the 13th and 14th of October I attended Octocon.  While there I asked some of the authors if they would be willing to answer some questions I had.  I supplied a list of 25 and asked if they would be willing to answer at least five.  Peadar was the first to respond with his answers so this is the inaugural post in what I hope will become a series of interviews with some of Ireland's Genre writers.

The Testament of Jessie Lamb Wins Science Fiction Award

The Testament of Jessie LambBritish novelist Jane Rogers has won the UK's top science fiction prize, the Arthur C Clarke Award, for her novel 'The Testament of Jessie Lamb'. Rogers has been a prize winner before, but this is her first venture into science fiction. The book was also on the longlist for the Man Booker Prize last year.

'The Testament of Jessie Lamb' is the story of a 16-year old girl who wants to save humanity after an act of biological terrorism releases a deadly virus which only affects pregnant women. It would seem that the book is  somewhat of a surprise but popular winner.

In memory of Anne McCaffrey

Dragon FlightLast night I read that Anne McCaffrey died.  It has been confirmed by several sources, including the Guardian so I can't stay in denial any more.  She was getting older, 85 at her last birthday, so I knew it was going to happen, I just didn't want it to happen now, or ever.

As I've related before, she was one of the first real SF authors I read.  Her books stayed with me throughout my teenage years and into my 20s (and I really need to dust them off and give them a re-read).  They were groundbreaking at the time, female heroes who did things rather than waiting for things to happen.  Menoly from Dragonsong, played music, like me, and kept me sane through the experience of being bullied in school, my own copy is in bits.

Life On Mars?

Science Fiction is 'Literary Marmite' for most readers. Either you love it or you hate it - although, curiously, any scepticism about the genre disappears once it is dressed up as 'literary fiction', e.g.   1984, A Clockwork Orange, Never Let Me Go, Cloud Atlas, The Road, anything by the great J.G. Ballard.

Phoenix Con in 2011

I'm an unashamed Fantasy and Science Fiction Reader.  I firstly blame my uncle who gave me a box set of the Chronicles of Narnia when I made my Communion and later a neighbour who answered my mother's plea to save her from having to buy a lot of books for the summer when I was 11 or 12 by introducing me to Andre Norton's Witch World and Anne McCaffrey's Pern novels (

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