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Isaac Asimov gave science fiction its Sherlock and Holmes with his uneven ninth novel, 1953’s ‘The Caves of Steel’

May 11, 2020

By Matthew E. MillikenMEMwrites.wordpress.comMay 11, 2020 The legendary science-fiction writer Isaac Asimov published his first novel in January 1950. By the end of 1953, 10 Asimov books were in print: • Pebble in the Sky, his first book, which forms the Galactic Trilogy in conjunction with The Stars like Dust (1951) and The Currents of […]

A detective journeys to a strange colony planet in Isaac Asimov’s classic mystery ‘The Naked Sun’

April 17, 2020

By Matthew E. MillikenMEMwrites.wordpress.comApril 14, 2020 The Naked Sun struck me as an obvious choice of reading material for a science-fiction fan during a quarantine. This 1956 novel by the legendary Isaac Asimov is the middle leg of a trilogy of detective stories featuring Elijah Baley, a detective in New York of the distant future, […]

‘The Best of Kim Stanley Robinson’ showcases the author’s ambition and versatility

April 19, 2020

By Matthew E. MillikenMEMwrites.wordpress.comApril 19, 2020 Roughly a quarter-century ago, I read a story in a science-fiction magazine or anthology about an American writer who had been commissioned to write an introduction for a volume commemorating the 20th century. The tale was published, I suppose, in the 1990s, and was set at least a year […]

Plodding pacing and a wooden narrator make reading Jack McDevitt’s ‘Octavia Gone’ feel too much like a chore

July 14, 2019

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com July 14, 2019 Octavia Gone, a recently released Jack McDevitt novel, is the eighth novel in the author’s Alex Benedict series. I’ve previously read Polaris and Seeker, respectively the second and third books in this science fiction sequence, and I thought that the new entry has a lot in common with those […]

Contemplating the silver-screen impact of various science fiction masters, part 2

September 17, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Sept. 17, 2016 Yesterday, I took a quick survey of the number of feature films based on the work of several different science fiction grand masters, taking into account some of their TV adaptations as well. Now, I conclude that all of the stuff I wrote about adds up to… Well, not very […]

Contemplating the silver-screen impact of various science fiction masters, part 1

September 16, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Sept. 16, 2016 In 1975, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America presented its first ever Grand Master Award to the prolific Robert Heinlein, who ultimately authored 32 novels and 16 anthologies. The writer, who died in 1988, is probably best known for his novels Stranger in a Strange Land, The Moon Is a […]

‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’ launches an unlikely protagonist onto a heroic journey

August 9, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Aug. 9, 2016 Last month, my Sibling-in-Law’s family was once again kind enough my parental unit and I to join them for part of their annual summer visit to Ocean City, Md. This year, fortunately, I wasn’t suffering from dental pain, and no violence to books was inflicted during the trip. […]

Why, robot, why? A technophobic Will Smith investigates mechanical murder in 2004’s frustrating ‘I, Robot’

February 4, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Feb. 4, 2015 When the science fiction action film I, Robot was released in 2004, it received reviews that I remember as being tepid at best. So it was mainly by happenstance that I picked up the movie — it was part of a combo DVD with Independence Day, the 1996 action vehicle […]