A post about Quaker fiction

I published a piece this week in The Friend, the independent Quaker weekly magazine, about the novelist Una L Silberrad and her novel Sampson Rideout, Quaker (1911). You can read the article here. If you've already poked about behind the Now In Print tab above, you'll find several other things I've published about Una L … Continue reading A post about Quaker fiction

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James Blish: A feminist gets angry

I finished reading James Blish’s really excellent space opera novel Earthman, Come Home (1955) in a towering anachronistic feminist rage. The novel is exciting, expertly-paced and has rightly been acclaimed as one of the truly innovative masterworks of science fiction. The edition I have – the 2010 SF Masterworks edition, as it happens – gives … Continue reading James Blish: A feminist gets angry

Running through the south of France with John Welcome and Run for Cover (1958)

This podcast was written for a miniseries on Thrillers for Gentlemen, looking at the kind of thriller or spy novel that was masculine without being brutal, and that was written about men of a certain generation who understood the value of the gentleman’s club, and worked within its rules. This time, I was exploring a … Continue reading Running through the south of France with John Welcome and Run for Cover (1958)

Following the Internet underwater in Nicole Starosielski’s The Undersea Network

This is a book for those curious about where the Internet comes from. I don’t mean, where are the servers, or what has the modem done with my document, but, where does the information come from, and go to? When I press Send in Belgium, and Juliane gets the email a few seconds later in Australia, … Continue reading Following the Internet underwater in Nicole Starosielski’s The Undersea Network

Was James Bond a gentleman?

This podcast was written for the miniseries on Thrillers for Gentlemen. I was looking at the kind of thriller or spy novel that was masculine without being brutal, and that was written about men of a certain generation who understood the value of the gentleman’s club, and worked within its rules. These thrillers were tough, … Continue reading Was James Bond a gentleman?

Male scientists save the world in Fred Hoyle’s The Black Cloud (1957)

There is so much to say about The Black Cloud: let me count the ways. (1) It’s written by one of Britain’s most pioneering, persistent and celebrated maverick physicists, Fred Hoyle. (2) It’s a fine novel in the tradition of British science fiction that speculates what would happen if (the then) present-day society had something … Continue reading Male scientists save the world in Fred Hoyle’s The Black Cloud (1957)