Thursday, December 15, 2011

Musings and Meditation: Reflections on Science Fiction, Science and Other Matters (Book)

Science Fiction Magazines. Cave Paintings. A Dinosaur Heart. Y2K. Golden Age. The New Wave. Writing Science Fiction. Language Translation. The End of the World. Awards. Conventions. Monomyth. Nostalgia. Great Writers. Calendars. Interesting Science. 

Musings and Meditation: Reflections on Science Fiction, Science and Other Matters by Robert Silverberg is a coffee break, bedtime read, waiting for the bus type of a book. Don’t expect to sit down and read it straight through. It consists of 75 essays that Silverberg wrote between 1995 and 2010 primarily for Asimov's Science Fiction magazine and, in a few cases, book introductions. Most of the essays are four pages long, and they are loosely grouped by topic, which helps the ole brain navigate a bit easier from essay to essay.

As I went from essay to essay, I had different reactions. Sometimes I was bored. Sometimes I was taking notes. Sometimes I wondered why the heck an essay was in a book that was aimed at Science Fiction readers. Sometimes I was practically yelling “Now this makes sense!” For example, when I was reading the Hugo winners, I confess, I just didn’t get some of the books. Now I understand that they were part of the New Wave writing movement. I found out a lot about Science Fiction magazines. One of my favorite pieces of information was that Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics actually originated with the editor John Campbell. I scribbled a whole list of books, short stories, and authors to add to my reading list. I enjoyed the information for aspiring Science Fiction writers. I felt a little thrill when I saw references to some of my favorite authors. If I knew someone who liked Science Fiction as much as I do, I would definitely buy them the book for the holidays.

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