Bookshelf Essentials: The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. Le Guin

A year ago this week science fiction lost one of its wisest and most profound voices, the singular Ursula K. Le Guin. In commemoration, we thought it would be fitting to launch a new type of post, Bookshelf Essentials, with a tribute to one of her masterworks, The Dispossessed.

Above: the 1975 Panther Science Fiction UK edition of The Dispossessed. Cover art by Colin Hay.

The Bookshelf Essentials series highlights books that we believe deserve a place on every speculative fiction fan’s shelf – foundational classics of the genre as well as works that we have found personally meaningful. The Dispossessed (1974) fits both categories. Having won the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards for best novel in 1974-75 it also stands as one of my personal favorite novels. It remains a lasting influence on my political and literary perspectives, and the book that opened the door for me into Ursula K. Le Guin’s remarkable and broad body of writing.

Over the course of her long career Le Guin published more than 20 novels and 100 short stories, mostly (but not exclusively) fantasy and science fiction. She was also an accomplished poet, essayist, and translator of works to

Review: The Terror

Review: The Terror

Last weekend I binge-watched AMC’s ten part horror mini-series ‘The Terror’ (Dec 2018). A hauntingly tragic tale inspired by Sir John Franklin’s ill-fated 19th century Arctic expedition. The show is a slow-burner whose ominous mood gradually scales the ladder from frustration to despair to hellish chaos. Simply put; I was blown away and I offer you some spoiler-free thoughts.

‘The Terror’ is based upon Dan Simmons’ 2007 fictional interpretation of the same name. I haven’t read the novel, but I was previously familiar with the original mystery.

On the 19th of May, 1845 two Royal Navy ships, the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, set sail from Greenhithe, England in an attempt to make the first crossing of the fabled Northwest Passage. The mission would take the ships into one of the most hostile environments of the Northern hemisphere, the partially charted wastes of the high Canadian Arctic.

The Terror AMC

Above: Summer sea ice surrounds HMS Erubus and HMS Terror

In command of the expedition was 59 year old Rear Admiral John Franklin on the flagship Erebus and Captain Francis Crozier in charge of the Terror. With a combined roster of officers and crew totaling 129 souls and

The Agent: Fiction from CG Inglis, Part 6

Happy New Year!

Sci-Fi-O-Rama is leaping into 2019 with the sixth installment of A Colour Like Orange: Stories from a Broken World“, a series of interlocking stories from Toronto writer CG Inglis.

In this month’s story we follow two agents of the Institute on the hunt after a major breach in a secure laboratory. A new hole has been ripped in the fabric of reality and somebody has got to close it before it swallows the city whole.

CG Inglis takes us behind the goggles and into the hardboiled world of the Capital’s most feared authority in “The Agent“.