Category Archives: Fiction

A Necessary Luxury

“Books, indeed, were his sole luxuries….”—Edgar Allan Poe, “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” A colleague recently told me that her job is the most important thing in her life. I think I scandalized her when I said that the … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Literature

Mystery for the Holidays

“I had called upon my friend Sherlock Holmes upon the second morning after Christmas, with the intention of wishing him the compliments of the season. He was lounging upon the sofa in a purple dressing-gown, a pipe-rack within his reach … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Literature

Weinbaum’s Tour of the Solar System

The holidays are always a great time to pick up some light reading. In this post I want to pay tribute to the short-lived but brilliant career of science fiction writer Stanley Weinbaum (1902-35). I was first introduced to Weinbaum’s … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction

Detectives and Philosophers

I picked up a new set of the Bantam two volume edition of Sherlock Holmes to replace the tattered copies acquired during my college days. I started with “A Study in Scarlet” a  novella length story, published in the 1887 … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Literature, Philosophy

Tales From the Golden Age

Recently I’ve taken time out with books from the “Golden Age” of science fiction. The first two entries are from the Winston series of the 1950s-60s, aimed at younger readers. The stories are definitely more facile, but action packed—the sort … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction

Lord Greystoke of the Jungle

Edgar Rice Burrough’s Tarzan of the Apes (1912) is certainly one of the best page-turners I’ve encountered in awhile. Like many people I knew, or thought I knew, the Tarzan story through the old Johnny Weissmuller films that I grew … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction

Truth is Stranger than Science Fiction

Fiction may seem outlandish to us when it imagines exotic realms or daring adventures, yet few things in the universe are as mysterious as the human soul. We all enjoy works of pure escapism. That said, the most enduring stories … Continue reading

Posted in Art and Culture, Fiction

The Time Traveller’s Prophecy

H. G. Wells’ novel The Time Machine, published in 1895, is more than a piece of highly entertaining fiction. It is also an interesting and important contribution to the canon of dystopian literature. Even before Wells, there was a tendency … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, H. G. Wells, Literature

Of Martians and Men

Over the years I have a commented on many of H. G. Wells’ tales. In this post I want to profile his greatest work, The War of the Worlds (1898). I first encountered the novel around the age of twelve … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, H. G. Wells, Literature

The Fantastic Voyages of Jules Verne

Jules Verne’s Around the Moon (1870) is the sequel to his famous tale From the Earth to the Moon (1865), though of the two I think the later book must be the more interesting because the first story deals only … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction