My life in outer space


Please be warned that this blog may contain spoilers. My aim is not to just provide a review of selected works, but to place them within a context relating to other works and authors, which may in some cases mean giving away some of the plot.

I discovered Science Fiction via 1950s B movies at a very tender age, and upgraded to literature when I was about 11. I have been addicted to SF ever since.
The literary SF is a very different beast to that of film or TV, which generally lags thirty years behind what is going on in short stories and novels. One would have thought, with the advent of CGI, that intelligent SF movies would finally be produced. Of course, it does not require CGI for intelligent SF to be produced on the screen. Some intelligent SF has of course been produced for cinema and TV, but sadly, very little of it.
Fans of SciFi, as opposed to SF, are far more interested in the romantic relationships between their heroes than the science.
That’s fine, so far as it goes, but these series tend to be romantic dramas with a futuristic setting.
I think it was David Pringle that said (and apologies if I am misrepresenting him) that long running SciFi series tend to devolve into soaps. This was most apparent in ‘Star Trek – Voyager’ where the romantic entanglements of the crew (which became somewhat ludicrous at times) became more important than the SF elements of the storyline. Meaningless technobabble was slotted into the scripts, usually involving ‘anomalies’ or ‘polarities’ in vague connected strings, to cover up the lack of any discernible science.
And yes, we still have this in SF literature, but I feel that there are many authors pushing the boundaries and putting out a quality product, as there have been for well over a hundred years. I’m hoping to introduce people to some of this history and maybe reintroduce those just as, if not more, familiar with this wonderful legacy than am I.

Roddy Williams

3 responses

  1. Hi Roddy,

    Just to say that I have linked to your blog and publicised it: SFF Blog Links

    Keep up the good work!


    December 12, 2014 at 4:34 pm

  2. Roddy – Thanks for the site! Lots of good stuff here.

    Here’s something that might be of interest to you and your readers:

    I hope you get a chance to take a look, and your feedback would be welcome

    David Ritter
    Cambridge, MA

    January 3, 2015 at 5:50 pm

  3. Pete Young

    Hi Roddy,

    My apologies for leaving a message here, however I can’t find an e-mail address for you.

    I’m putting together a couple of high-quality PDF fanzines on British space opera, and my plan is for each decade since the 1930s to have a variety of commentary and reviews on books from readers and authors. I’m probably going to press in Spring 2016.

    I particularly like your review of Brunner’s ‘The Psionic Menace’, and it’s exactly the kind of thing I’m after. May I have your permission to reproduce it alongside the book (with full attribution, of course, and links back to your website)? This is for a freely distributed fanzine, so I will not be profiting from its use.

    My background: I’m a two-time winner of the UK’s Nova Award for the SF fanzine Zoo Nation, and also a frequent guest editor of the Hugo-winning fanzine Journey Planet. I also edit the fanzines ‘The White Notebooks’ and ‘Big Sky’ (possibly the first SF fanzines from Thailand), and these space opera fanzines will be part of the run of Big Sky. You can see previous issues at, where it’s available for free download.

    Look forward to hearing from you!

    Kind regards,

    Pete Young
    Hua Hin, Thailand / Reading, England

    November 17, 2015 at 6:30 am

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