So it turns out I’m useless as a blogger. This blog has basically been all Niall for the past couple of months, so it’s about time I made it official and gave up pretending I’m still a contributor here.

This is probably also an opportune moment to mention that I’ll shortly be standing down as co-editor of Vector. The official announcement will be made in the editorial of the forthcoming issue 249, so this is just a heads up that after that issue I’ll be leaving the magazine in Niall’s capable hands.

You will now be returned to your scheduled broadcast.


International Issue: Articles and Reviews Now Online

Now that our internationally themed issue 247 of Vector is officially loose on the world in paper form, we are free to bring a couple of selected items from it to you online.

Back in January 2006 we asked author Judith Berman to write something for Vector on the topic of cultural appropriation and the experiences she had of writing about other cultures with her novel Bear Daughter. Since then, Judith has spoken on a panel on the same subject at Wiscon, which started off a series of online discussions on matters of cultural appopriation. We’re pleased to be able to help contribute further to that discussion by bringing you Judith’s original Vector article, Bears, Bombs and Popcorn: Some considerations when mining other cultures for source material:

But I wouldn’t myself place all indigenous source materials off limits. For writers of the dominant society to avoid responding artistically to indigenous arts and literatures, even for the best of ethical reasons, for mainstream writers to designate minority writers as the only ones who are to write on freighted topics like race, colonialism, or the very existence of minority cultures (and making it the only employment they can get), merely repaints a corner of the colonial picture with the colors of guilt instead of greed and racism. Fictional Others may far too often be no more than a reflection of the writer’s stereotypes, or a pornography of the exotic, but only through contemplation of difference and the history of difference is there opportunity for genuine transformation of colonial relationships. Freedom of expression is a necessary condition for real conversation; the point isn’t to stop one person talking but to make sure others get heard.

The second feature article we’ve put online from issue 247 is Colourful Stories: Fantastic Fiction by African Descended Authors, by another author who was on the cultural appropriation panel at Wiscon, Nisi Shawl. We asked Nisi if she would write something for us, not about writing other cultures, (something she has already meditated on in print in her book Writing the Other,) but about her experiences of drawing from her own cultural background when writing fiction, as well as the cultural issues and traditions she saw reflected in the speculative fiction of a number of other authors of African origin:

Whether familial, social, and cultural concerns are addressed directly and at the work’s outset, as in the case of So Long Been Dreaming, or are intrinsic to the make-up of particular characters, as in the case of the conjure women of Mama Day, whether they provide a carefully constructed backdrop for the action as they do for Crystal Rain, or represent the conflicting forces at a story’s heart as in Stars in My Pocket… or Reed’s Mumbo Jumbo, the frequent presence of these concerns is of arguable importance, denoting as it does both a loss of a former social structure’s sufficiency and stability, and often, that absence’s fulfillment. Keeping in mind the idea that writers of African ancestry are more likely to reflect concerns of these sorts in their work may render visible to readers from other races depths they otherwise might miss. I hope that this essay will attract more readers to fabulist fiction by blacks, and that the possibilities inherent in the perspective I’ve sketched above, that which gives pride of place to family, society, and culture will allow them greater enjoyment of its riches.

Towards the end of her article, Nisi mentions the work of the Carl Brandon Society, which I’d like to take the opportunity to promote here too. The mission statement from their website:

The Carl Brandon Society is dedicated to addressing the representation of people of color in the fantastical genres such as science fiction, fantasy and horror. We aim to foster dialogue about issues of race, ethnicity and culture, raise awareness both inside and outside the fantastical fiction communities, promote inclusivity in publication/production, and celebrate the accomplishments of people of color in science fiction, fantasy and horror.

Last I heard, they were woefully short on British members, so come on chaps, sign up already (or donate to the Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship Fund instead if you’d rather).

As well as those two feature articles, we’ve also put up a number of reviews from First Impressions. In keeping with the international theme of the issue, two are reviews of novels in translation: Elizabeth A. Billinger’s review of Albert Sánchez Piñol’s Cold Skin and my own review of Johanna Sinisalo’s Not Before Sundown. On top of that, you can also read reviews by Niall, comparing feature writer Judith Berman’s novel Bear Daughter with Frances Hardinge’s Fly by Night, and by previous Vector editor Andrew M. Butler, discussing a bushel of John Sladek short stories.

And for those of you waiting on tenterhooks for the third instalment of Graham Sleight’s column The New X, it is also now up on the Vector website, entitled The walls are down, unfortunately.

Thoughts Sparked By Hearing Geoff Ryman Speak on the SF Genre

Yesterday evening I went to see Geoff Ryman and Amanda Hemingway (aka Jan Siegel) being interviewed by Pat Cadigan at the fifth anniversary of the monthly Borders evenings (every second Monday of the month, in the Borders on Oxford Street, London).

In the midst of a whole slew of fascinating topics which are best left for him to expound on himself (doing research for Was in Kansas, the inspiration behind 253, doing research for The King’s Last Song in Cambodia, the nature of small towns everywhere), Ryman briefly mentioned some of the thoughts and feelings on the science fiction genre that were behind his Mundane Manifesto. He skipped over the manifesto itself, and I will too, because, if I understand what he was saying correctly, the type of fiction it encourages is simply one specific way of manifesting Ryman’s real hope for the science fiction genre.

From what Ryman was saying last night, I took this message: science fiction too frequently engages only with its own history as a literary genre, when it should be engaging instead with the world.

The use of tropes such as faster than light travel, etc. (the kind of tropes the mundane manifesto wished to avoid in sf) is an indication that the writers who use such tropes are referring back to and “conversing” with earlier science fiction works which also used those same tropes. To choose to use such tropes is to choose to develop them in the context of the science fiction tradition. It is to choose to engage with science fiction as a self-referential literary genre. Whereas to choose to engage with the world, rather than with a genre, to engage with modern science and technology, and with modern lives and societies, well, if writers were genuinely engaging with the world around them then they probably wouldn’t still be turning up those well worn tropes. The issue is about what the use of different tropes signals about the overall approach, whether it’s inward looking or outward looking, not about whether you are or aren’t “allowed” to use those tropes.

I am increasingly looking for engagement with the actual world I inhabit in the fiction I read. I do find that this means that I’m not always that interested in reading some modern core science fiction, because some of it doesn’t seem to have to much to say about anything other than the literary genre it inhabits. I’m not particularly interested in following a heavily referential literary conversation, but I am interested in exploring the modern world through fiction. I find myself drawn to the science fiction that does actually engage with modern technology and modern culture (and I think Ryman’s fiction, a book such as Air, is a prime example of this).

I find that placing an emphasis, in reading, writing or criticism, on defining genres, on taxonomies, and in particular on defining genres according to their histories and their traditions, is a stifling practice, unless those definitions and taxonomies can be used as tools for looking beyond their own boundaries. I love science fiction, but I love it for what it can say to me about the universe I’m living in, not for its own sake.

Supporting Short Fiction Markets as a Reader

In his editorial to the latest issue of Ticonderoga Online, Russell Farr talks about how (in this case Australian) sf short fiction venues and markets need readers to keep them alive and healthy:

Unless they’re hiding it well, pretty much every independent story market right now is struggling. Struggling to find enough stories, struggling to find the right stories, and, importantly, struggling to make their story market pay.


Show me the money? Show me the readers and I’ll show you the money. I think that what Australia really needs is a whole pile of wonderful people who read fast and have large, disposable incomes. These are the people that we want to see coming along to conventions, with a big shopping bag in one hand and a fat wallet in the other.

This hit a nerve with me, because I’ve been struggling for a while with questions of whether and how I should be supporting short fiction markets and what my responsibilities are to those markets as a reader.

I love short fiction. I read lots of it. Given the choice, I much prefer to read single author short story collections. I sometimes enjoy reading year’s best anthologies as well. I occasionally read themed anthologies, though often find them to be a bit hit and miss (The Faery Reel and Firebirds were excellent, for example, but I found The Best Time Travel Stories of All Time and The Alsiso Project distinctly underwhelming). I have read various short fiction magazines in the past, but don’t get much out of reading them, and eventually always seem to find them stacking up in a corner, unread and sometimes unopened. The reason for these preferences is that I like to be able to trace patterns and trends in the short fiction I read. I find the most interesting and meaningful patterns in single author collections because I can trace how that author’s ideas/themes/writing style/etc. develop through a series of different stories. Year’s bests and themed anthologies let me trace the patterns that led the anthologisers to draw those particular stories together under that banner, with varying degrees of success and interest. I find it much harder to read short fiction in the context of magazines, because I have nothing to ground them in, no references to trace patterns to, and so often don’t get much from reading them in that sort of scattershot form.

Given my personal preferences in terms of how and where I like to read short fiction, what do I need to do, as a reader, to ensure that more publications of the type I want to read come out? The short stories that get anthologised and collected are, in many cases, first published in short fiction magazines. Does that mean that if there weren’t any magazines there wouldn’t be as many anthologies and collections? If so, do I have a responsibility, as a reader of collections and anthologies, to support the short fiction magazines?

I don’t know the answer to either of those questions. Traditionally, the short fiction publishing model that’s been used in the science fiction genre is to start off selling stories to the magazines and then work up to anthologies/collections, but I don’t know how predominant that model actually is these days, or how predominant it needs to be. Interestingly, three of the anthologies I mention above (The Faery Reel, Firebirds and The Alsiso Project) are anthologies of original fiction and not reprints. I know alternatives to the traditional publishing model for short fiction have been suggested, but I don’t know how successful they are. Original anthologies and collections of short fiction seem to mostly be published by small presses, and I don’t know how well they do and if that’s sustainable. If the traditional model does still hold, should I consider myself to have a responsibility to support the magazines, even though I mostly don’t want to read them, but because I do want to read some of the products of the magazine market when they’ve been picked up elsewhere? It seems hypocritical to say that I want the short fiction magazines to exist and then say I don’t want to buy or read them. But if I don’t actually want to buy or read them, if the traditional marketing model is only meeting my needs as a reader in a roundabout way, then am I obliged to support it? Would I be better off supporting other marketing models, such as small presses, which produce short fiction in the kind of form I like reading them in, even if I don’t like the actual stories they’re currently publishing (Elastic Press, for example, produce original anthologies and collections of short fiction, but I haven’t actually liked any of the ones I’ve read so far)?

What I’m asking, basically, is: do I have a responsibility to buy short fiction I don’t actually like or want to read from markets that only occasionally produce, or may at some point in the future produce, short fiction I do like and want to read, for the sake of that market?

Beyond Black: Three Approaches

I recently read Hilary Mantel’s Beyond Black, which is a fine book. I found myself wondering around half-way through though, in a genuinely puzzled fashion, why I was still bothering to read it. Not in a ‘I’m not bothered about reading it, so why don’t I just stop?’ sort of way, but in a ‘I am bothered about reading it and I want to know why’ sort of way. I was thoroughly caught up in the book, but recognised that what I’d been caught by was something different from what usually catches me when I’m reading and wanted to figure out what it was. What was pulling me through Beyond Black was not plot, or narrative momentum, or a sense of moving through a story, as is often the case with the science fiction books I read. What was pulling me through, in this case, was a liking for and an interest in a character, a desire to know and understand her better.

Beyond Black is about a professional medium, Alison Hart, and her colleague Collette. Alison is a clairvoyant who earns her money through stage shows and tarot readings, and who is accompanied in her daily life by her spirit guide, Morris. Morris is a dirty little man, a “low” spirit, one of the “fiends” that haunt Alison from her horrendous childhood. The book covers a seven year period in Alison’s adult life during which Collette works with/for her, as her manager and personal assistant. But Beyond Black isn’t about those seven years, and it isn’t even really about Alison and Collette. It’s just about Alison; her life, who she is. And although it is about her past, present and future, it’s not about telling the story of the path from her beginning through her middle to her end, it’s about understanding who she is now in the light of who she was then and who we hope she will eventually become. Alison is the key to Beyond Black; if you don’t much like her and aren’t interested in her then there is no real point in continuing to read the book. Where science fiction often uses narrative to draw a reader through a novel, Beyond Black uses characterisation, so I would imagine that if you approached it as if it were science fiction (not that I consciously was, but I suppose that sf is what I habitually read, so part of me may have been subconsciously looking for the things I’m accustomed to looking for in fiction when I was reading it) then it would seem somewhat pointless.

Approaching Beyond Black as fantasy probably wouldn’t work either, precisely because the book presents the fantastic as being thoroughly and truly mundane. The spirits Alison encounters, and the “airside” realm they belong to, are both mundane in the sense of ordinary, but also mundane in the sense of worldly. Airside is not the heaven (or the hell) of all our stories, in fact, it’s not that much different from earthside. Yes, some spirits from airside are dangerous and to be feared because, let’s face it, some people are dangerous and to be feared, and that’s what spirits are, just people, in some cases just spiteful, cruel, stupid, thoughtless people. Who happen to be dead. For Alison, the spirit world is ordinary, everyday, the spirits in it are the vandals of her neighbourhood, the dossers, the idiots on the bus. They talk about pickled eggs and get drunk and bicker. Fantasy tends to expect a reader to recognise a difference between the mundane and the fantastic, which Beyond Black does not. Or at least, if fantasy doesn’t expect a reader to recognise a difference, it usually does expect them to view the mundane through the lens of the fantastic, whereas in Beyond Black the reverse happens, the reader is encouraged to see fantastic as mundane.

An interesting way to approach Beyond Black is, perhaps, to approach it as horror. And the horror here isn’t in the fantastic elements of the book, it’s in the grotesquerie of the some of the all too human specimens it depicts. Morris is a truly nasty little piece of work, and his compatriots can be even grosser and more despicable than he is. It’s not their status as spirits that does this, it’s the fact that they were thoroughly obnoxious, immoral, selfish, and vicious human beings. Morris and the rest of “the fiends” are horrific in the sense that they embody some of the worst qualities people can possess. They are abusers, rapists, criminals, murderers, sleazy, and mean, and violent. For the most part we don’t see those qualities in action, but we know what the fiends are like, and the horror comes simply from their persistent, inescapable presence, the fact that they’re just there, being who they are. The horror comes from the glimpse this book gives us of what it must be like to have truly horrible people lurking in your life, in your house, in your body, in your head, and to not even know how to go about thinking about how to exorcise them. There is an astonishingly effective scene in the novel in which Morris grubs his way around a motorway service station, and he’s seems so ugly doing it, and his poking around is so unpleasant that it makes your skin crawl just imagining him being there, invisibly salivating over truckers’ breakfasts. I think one of the undercurrents in Beyond Black is the thought that there are horrible people in the world and sometimes you can’t escape them. It’s not a nice thought at all.

I don’t think Beyond Black needs to be thought of as belonging to any particular genre; it has many excellent qualities that certainly don’t need to be appreciated through any specific genre-related literary lens. But I do think that approaching it as horror may enhance a reading of the book, whereas approaching it as science fiction or fantasy would almost certainly be detrimental to it.

More First Impressions

Three more reviews have just gone up on the Vector website, this time from issue 246.

Mark Morris’ Nowhere Near An Angel reviewed by Martin Lewis:

There’s another problem, though not one with the book itself. PS Publishing has a remit covering sf, fantasy, horror and crime/suspense; Vector does not. Nowhere Near An Angel is a dark thriller in the vein of Iain Banks’ Complicity. In his introduction to the book Stephen Gallagher says “This book isn’t, by any obvious definition, a horror novel, but I’d be willing to contend that it’s the kind of novel only a born horror writer could have produced.” That’s debateable but it is certainly true that no definition used by the BSFA would encompass it. Still if a book like A Thread Of Grace by Mary Doria Russell can get reviewed in these pages then there is definitely room for Nowhere Near An Angel.

Ellen Datlow, Kelly Link and Gavin Grant’s The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror: Eighteenth Annual Collection reviewed by me, Geneva Melzack:

The classification of these stories as being fantasy and/or horror could be seen as a narrowness of scope, an attempt to wall fantasy and horror up into the genre ghetto. But again, the diversity of the markets these stories have been taken from belies this argument. Datlow, Link and Grant haven’t just looked at fiction published under the banner of fantasy and horror; they’ve also included stories originally published in mainstream or young adult markets. Indeed, publishing stories such as Chuck Palahniuk’s ‘Guts’ — originally published as mainstream fiction — in a fantasy and horror collection actually adds an extra layer to the story, which provides a new method for appreciating it.

Keith Brooke’s Genetopia reviewed by Ben Jeapes:

Genetopia is set in a low-tech world of genetic engineering gone bonkers, and it is convincing precisely because it’s so low tech. The simplest effects available to the people of this world are way in advance of anything we can do now, but they are still very hit and miss. You expose people to changing vectors, maybe pray a little, and see what happens.

Author Keith Brooke will be interviewed by Molly Brown at the BSFA meeting next Wednesday 28th June.

More reviews and features to come when international issue 247 comes out.


I knew we’d miss something when we put together issue 245 of Vector on movements and manifestos. And miss something we did: Afrofuturism.

Afrofuturism started out as a mailing list (owned by Alondra Nelson) with the following remit:

The AfroFuturism listserv will explore futurist themes in black cultural production and the ways in which technological innovation is changing the face of black art and culture.

Discussions on the mailing list developed into a series of manifestos and people – in particular the author Mark A. Rockeymoore in his article on the subject – started to ask the question ‘What is Afrofuturism?’:

Afrofuturism is not science-fiction. It is not a mechanical, technology driven vision of the future because an afro ain’t never been about anything constricting or orderly, in the hierarchical sense. Rather, an afro is free-flowing, loving the wind. Changing, shifting and drifting on the breeze, bending this way, puffing out or just plain swaying gently from side to side, following the whimsical inclinations of the melanated person upon who’s head it is perched. An afro can be taken from, it can be added to, yet it still retains its own natural structure, its own spiral and bouncy nature. It is flexible, yet patterned. It is about synthesis and holism. It is about accepting the kitchens and working the waves on the crown. It is about dreading, locking and following the patterns of nature where they lead, yet following a laterally delineated order. It is about the interplay between dominant and recessive genes. It is about diversity. It is about knowing purposes and determining the placement of diverse variables within their proper context.

Then author Nalo Hopkinson questioned the wisdom and accuracy of referring to Afrofuturism as a movement:

[T]here’s definitely useful perspective to be gained from looking at the complex of society, culture, science, technology and the future through an Afrofuturist lens; I was sure thrilled to find other people who were doing so, and to have an online community where we could palaver. I just fear that the “there” is being mislabelled. Calling Afrofuturism a “movement” at this point feels imposed from the outside, and implies a different kind of project than what I witnessed.

My objection does in part hinge on how I understand the word “movement,” and I’m aware that some uses of the phrase “Afrofuturist movement” seem perfectly fine to me. I only start to kick when it’s used to imply a codification of practice that I don’t think exists, or a unified direction and intent that do not jibe with my experience of the discussions of Afrofuturism that I’ve witnessed or in which I have participated.

I think she’s got a point. A lot of the science fiction movements that were mentioned in issue 245, such as the New Wave and Cyberpunk movements, were all about trying to do something new. They were about getting away from established genre conventions and making their own rules. If the movement then becomes the established convention it loses the whole spirit in which it was started. The problem with most movements is that they’re all about change, and as soon as you pin them down and define them they stop being about change, and so stop being what they are. As soon as movements require you to follow rules rather than break them, they’re dead. Movements are only interesting and useful if they open up the possibilities that are open to genre writers. As soon as they become restrictive they lose their value as movements.

Cultural Appropriation

Back in January this year Niall and I decided we wanted to approach Judith Berman to write an article on the topic of cultural appropriation for our international issue. That issue has now gone to press and as soon as it's been posted out to BSFA members we'll be putting Judith's article 'Bears, Bombs and Popcorn: Some considerations when mining other cultures for source materials' up on the Vector website. The other feature article we'll be publishing online from that issue is Nisi Shawl's 'Colourful Stories: Fantastic Fiction by African Descended Authors', in which she discusses her picks for some of the best sf and fantasy stories by writers of African descent.

Unfortunately, due to the delays caused by the problems with the mailing house, the international issue didn't make it out in time to coincide with all the online discussions of cultural appropriation following on, apparently, from a panel at Wiscon on the subject (which Judith Berman was on). Some of the online discussion I saw got pretty badly derailed (for an excellent summary of what happened and why it was problematic, read Oyce's post) so I hope that Judith's article, when it goes up, will contribute some really good, focused thoughts on the matter of cultural appropriation as an issue for writers to the ongoing debate.

Judith is a fiction writer, and in her article she talks about her experiences of writing fiction about other cultures and the issues relating to cultural appropriation that she has found herself considering in the process. I do think it's important for writers to think about and talk about these issues from a writerly perspective, which is why I was keen on the idea of asking Judith to contribute an article on the subject to Vector in the first place. But I'm also of the opinion that I have a responsibility, as an editor and as a reviewer, to think and talk about these sorts of issues too, from my perspective.

One of my jobs as an editor, as I see it, is to create a forum where people can have much-needed discussions about important matters such as cultural appropriation. To create a forum where people can feel comfortable bringing up and addressing issues that might be difficult to talk about. To create a forum where voices, especially voices that aren't often heard, can speak. In practical terms, this means inviting the discussion of cultural appropriation into the forum Niall and I are creating with Vector, by commissioning articles on the issue and blogging about it.

My role as an editor is as a facilitator for the discussion, but the role of reviewer I sometimes take up is part of that discussion. It's important for me, as a reviewer, to be able to recognise cultural appropriation, because if I don't recognise it and fail to point it out then I'm colluding with it, becoming part of the appropriation. Though that sounds as if there's a clear cut line – this is cultural appropriation, this isn't – and I don't think that's the case at all. In fact, I'd guess that the most common role as a reviewer participant in discussions of cultural appropriation is the role of asking the question of a work: is this a case of cultural appropriation? There might not be a clear cut answer to the question in most cases, but in attempting to address it a reviewer may hopefully illuminate some of the factors involved in appropriating culture that we should be alert to.

So, what is cultural appropriation, then, if we're to recognise it when we do see it? In my mind, only a dominant culture can appropriate other cultures. So when we're talking about cultural appropriation we're mostly talking about members of the dominant Western culture appropriating from cultures that are minorities in the Western world. The way a reviewer approaches a work and asks questions about its relationship to its cultural sources will therefore inevitably begin by establishing what culture the work primarily sits in and thinking about how it relates to the culture it's using as its source of inspiration from its primary cultural position.

According to Yoon Ha Lee's report on the Wiscon panel, one of the panel participants, Ekaterina Sedia, when talking about how to go about writing other cultures without appropriating them, said something about needing to understand the culture you're writing about, acknowledge it as the source of inspiration for your work, and be aware of how you're presenting it. I think these points are useful things for reviewers to think about. If the cultural inspiration behind a work goes unacknowledged, but the reviewer spots it, then I think it's the duty of that reviewer to point out the work's cultural sources and ask about its relationship with that culture. If the cultural sources behind a work are acknowledged, then I think it's the reviewer's duty to do at least some reading about that culture before sitting down to review the work. A reviewer will only be able to think about how well an author has understood and presented a culture if they know a bit about that culture to begin with. Admittedly, it's sometimes going to be tricky to be able to tell whether a writer has failed to understand a culture or whether they've made their own creative alterations to the aspects of the culture they've chosen to work with in the full understanding of what it is that they're altering, but this is why it's worth considering how they've presented that culture as well as whether they understand it. It's not really a matter of understanding, it's a matter of what comes across in the writing, but obviously a good understanding will help make sure the presentation of the aspects of the source culture used is respectful.


Look, we have a blog! And a website! We, by the way, being the editors of Vector, the critical journal of the British Science Fiction Association: myself, Geneva Melzack, and my co-editor Niall Harrison.

We’ve put some articles from issue 245, which was the first issue Niall and I edited after taking over from previous editor Andrew M. Butler, up on the website, as well as some articles from issue 246 which has just come out. We plan to post a couple of articles and a selection of reviews from each issue online, to give a bit of a flavour of what we’re publishing in Vector, and hopefully to spark some interest in the kind of issues we want to use Vector to talk about.

I’d just like to take this opportunity to pimp the stuff from issue 245, which was on science fiction manifestos and movements. In his article ‘No More New World Orders‘ Martin Lewis explores some of the genre’s major movements by looking at the books that are thought to represent them. Meanwhile, in ‘Morning Children,’ the first of his regular columns for Vector, Graham Sleight ponders the implications online communication is having/will have for sf movements. The rest of the issue also included articles by Ian McDonald and Trent Walters on the Mundane manifesto, Norman Spinrad on the New Weird, and Meghan McCarron with a brief and terrible history of Infernokrusher.

Niall and I will be using this blog to point out more of the great articles we’ll be putting on our website, so expect to hear more soon about the articles we’ve already put up from issue 246, which was the Review of 2005 issue. And we’ll also be blogging about the interesting writings we find around and about on the ‘net, and posting our own thoughts on various matters to do with sf, books and reading.

Note: Links redirected to Internet Archive in February 2021.