You couldn’t get any more on the nose with the title Space Viking [Amazon link] than this book, which despite it’s space opera trappings, is a re-imagining of 9th or 10th century Europe, when intrepid men like Rollo secured their domains by wits and force of arms, while
John J. Reilly’s book review of John Crowley’s The Translator comes up at an apropos time: I am digesting a history of science fiction in the twentieth century, and The Translator seems to be a good example of science fiction as a kind of secular scripture. There is
You can't get a much better summary of the strengths of the early metahistorians than this: They suggest that basic science will be exhausted, though applied science will still have possibilities. They all expect that the vital elements in society will be increasingly religious, though a fossil secular cultural establishment
When I think about the transition to Empire, this is the story that gives me nightmares. It is usually a bad sign when a very short story needs an introduction. Nonetheless, here are some links that might make this piece slightly less obscure. The general historical scenario for this story
Imperialism is a subject John often returned to, but his interest in the subject was quite different from most others. For John, what mattered were not mere national empires like the British Empire, but the Empire, the universal state into which all political and economic systems seem to eventually collapse.
Another counterfactual history, but this time one meant as entertainment. I haven't read this book, but I may get around to it at some point. “I care only if it is effective on the page. I agree with the late Ernest Newman: a great score is more finely realized when
This is a short essay by John, now nearly 20 years old. It bears recollection now. Would that John had remembered this wisdom in the run up to the Iraq War: The fundamental reality is that Earth is Eurasia. The important parts of Eurasia are its extremities. The rest of