Category Archives: 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

Orwellian Paradoxes

Stephen Jay Greenblatt’s Three Modern Satirists (1965) is an obscure but insightful volume that I found while browsing the increasingly depleted shelves of the public library. It examines the careers of English authors Evelyn Waugh, George Orwell and Aldous Huxley. … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, George Orwell, Literature, Politics

Dr. Jekyll’s Temptation

During this Halloween season I took up Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The book is full of the “atmospherics” that I enjoy in older British fiction. Take for example this scene between the taciturn lawyer Mr. Utterson (friend … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Literature, Religion

The Infinite Worlds of Lester del Rey

One of the Golden Age science fiction novels that I fondly remember reading as a child was Step to the Stars (1954) by Lester del Rey (1915-1993). I have recently rediscovered this and other classic novels at the Richmond city … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Literature