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Review

Dragonflight

Dragonflight

Pern is a planet inhabited by human colonists, whose way of life is affected by the deadly Thread that rains down at intervals from a nearby star. The only way to stop the Thread from reaching land and causing destruction is to burn it en route using genetically engineered telepathic dragons with their dragonriders to guide them.
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Review

Le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea

Le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea

Perhaps Ursula K. Le Guin‘s most recognizable work, her Earthsea stories are categorized as YA—but are definitely worth reading as adults. The first novel, A WIZARD OF EARTHSEA was published in 1968, and revolves around the wizard Ged and the islands and sea of Earthsea itself. It starts off with Ged leaving home to learn magic at a school. Sound familiar? Le Guin is the reason why it does.
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Review

A Fire Upon the Deep

Posted: October 26, 2011 by Steven in Elitist Classics Meta: Vernor Vinge, Science Fiction
A Fire Upon the Deep

Confession time. I had never read A FIRE UPON THE DEEP (Amazon) until now. Please don’t think less of me. The thing is, and I’ve mentioned this before, I’m not a big SF reader. In general, I think most writers of SF are far more interested in showing how intelligent they are rather than telling a good story. It’s a personal opinion. Every now-and-then I fins an SF novel that I really enjoy, but it just isn’t my thing. That’s why I let my reviewer, Shawn, handle most SF novels that are sent to me.

Anyway, back to my startling revelation. I’m sure tabloids are going crazy somewhere. I happened to mention to a publicist at Tor that I hadn’t read the Vernor Vinge classic, and he freaked out. A week later I had a copy in my PO Box from that same publicist. Likewise my good reviewer, Shawn, was a bit surprised at this glaring hole in my reading background. He had just sent me his review for Vinge’s THE CHILDREN OF THE SKY, and I thought, “Hmm. Maybe I should really read the original. See what all the fuss is about.” After all, A FIRE UPON THE DEEP is considered one of THE classics in SF.
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Review

The Word for World is Forest

Posted: August 24, 2011 by Vanessa in Elitist Classics Meta: Ursula K. Le Guin, Science Fiction
The Word for World is Forest

Before there was Avatar there was Ursula K. Le Guin‘s THE WORD FOR WORLD IS FOREST (Amazon). Written in 1972, and the winner of the 1973 Hugo Award for best novella, Tor decided that the current furor over sustainable ecology would make this novel a timely re-release. At the very least it’s an entertaining comparison to Cameron’s blue-peopled visual extravaganza.
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Review

Little Fuzzy

Little Fuzzy

LITTLE FUZZY (Amazon), the Hugo-nominated novel by H. Beam Piper, has been getting a lot of attention recently since fan favorite author John Scalzi wrote a novel-length, Tor-published piece of fan-fic rebooting the series. Scalzi has said repeatedly that he hoped that his reboot would in turn send attention back to the original works and that people would read those books that Scalzi himself loved.

For me it worked. The book LITTLE FUZZY is available for free from multiple sources online (Amazon Kindle free version) and since I had pre-ordered Scalzi’s book FUZZY NATION (EBR Review), I thought it would be fun to read the original work and have a kind of book double-feature reading experience.
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Review

Asimov’s Foundation

Posted: February 16, 2011 by Vanessa in Elitist Classics Meta: Isaac Asimov, Science Fiction, Elitist University
Asimov’s Foundation

Isaac Asimov was an author of ideas. In the case of his Foundation series, it’s about the possibility of using science to predict the fall of a Galactic Empire far in the future. Hari Seldon is the brainchild behind mathematical sociology, aka psychohistory: predicting the future based on the actions of a large population. Unfortunately, the future is bleak, with a thirty-thousand-year dark age on the horizon. But Hari also predicts that it’s possible to close that gap to only a thousand years by safe-keeping human knowledge using his Foundations.
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Review

Citizen of the Galaxy

Citizen of the Galaxy

Robert A. Heinlein is a god in the science fiction world, and for good reason: he brought literary quality and high scientific standards to a growing genre, as well as attention-grabbing controversy. I’m sure you all know about his classics including STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND (Amazon), THE MOON IS A HARSH MISTRESS (Amazon), and STARSHIP TROOPERS (Amazon).

But did you know he also wrote juvenile fiction?
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Review

A Princess of Mars

A Princess of Mars

First written as a serial in 1911, A PRINCESS OF MARS by Edgar Rice Burroughs (Amazon) was soon after published in novel form in 1917. While the story is more adventure than science fiction, it was this Mars-based pulp that influenced the men and women who would later fuel the SF renaissance of the mid-Twentieth Century–writers like Ray Bradbury, Carl Sagan, and Arthur C. Clarke.
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Review

The Martian Chronicles

The Martian Chronicles

Happy Birthday, Ray Bradbury! He turned 90 on August 22nd (just this past weekend), and what better way than to celebrate one of his classics? A prolific writer of novels, short stories, essays, and other works, Bradbury originally published THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES (Amazon) in 1950. It’s a short story collection about the human colonization of Mars–but it’s not your traditional collection.
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Review

Dracula

Posted: June 23, 2010 by Vanessa in Elitist Classics Meta: Bram Stoker, Horror, University of Fantasy
Dracula

Nick & Steve here in a brief intro. Hopefully you, our faithful readers, are enjoying our Elitist Classics Series. One of our new reviewers, Vanessa, thought it would be a solid idea to occasionally write up a brief review of some of the Classics. We loved the idea, so here is the first one…

***Elitist Classics: DRACULA***

Before there was Sookie Stackhouse and Bill Compton, before vampires that glitter in sunlight, before even Anne Rice or Brian Lumley, there was Count Dracula.
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