Harlan Ellison is one of the more controversial authors out there; he has a tendancy to "tell it like it is" to an extent that will frighten the more faint-hearted reader.
His short story I Have No Mouth But I Must Scream describes one of the most frightful "computers taking over the world" dystopias.
He has been prolific in terms of novels, short stories, as well as screen plays. Most recently, he has been involved with the TV show Babylon 5, being "officially" a screenplay consultant, but also having the occasional walk on part or voiceover.
He is likely the wrong person to give a hard time as he apparently is highly skilled at the art of taking revenge. There are enough science fiction fans who are "scumbags" to keep him busy.
James Cameron's Terminator movie apparently impinged on the copyright of an "Outer Limits" episode written by Ellison; the results appear to include that Ellison did well financially on the movie, and that Cameron still gets upset at the very mention of Harlan Ellison. Sounds to me like Ellison used some of his very special non-writing skills in this case...
Known mostly as "the Tribble guy," he wrote various Star Trek screenplays, as well as some Babylon 5 screenplays, and Blood and Fire, rewritten from the The most famous unproduced episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. (Not produced because of the openly gay characters; I imagine it could perhaps be done were TNG being produced today...) He has written numerous Star Trek novels.
His Star Wolf series represents a quite starkly different view of interstellar war, providing some formal Game Theoretic analysis...
The War Against the Chtorr is his long-standing series where people tend to harass him about When is the next volume going to come out? The fifth book in the series may be the most long anticipated book in science fiction short of Ellison's [Last Dangerous Visions]...
A general bookseller that carries a wide variety of books, including a goodly variety of science fiction. I've submitted some book reviews there.
A project that seeks to make available to the public texts from wide-ranging list of out-of-copyright books. This involves classic novels, various religious references, historical works, and various governmental papers/constitutions.
This includes some early science fiction including books by:
Jules Verne (in both French and English)
Edgar Rice Burroughs
They've got some peculiar ideas as to how one would value the books (global figures involving "billions of dollars" just don't make sense when people are clearly not willing to contribute more than "thousands of dollars" per year...), but certainly the project provides some worthwhile service to the global community.
Here are a host of sites with online books, not all science fiction:
Samizdat Press is devoted to the free distribution of books, lecture notes and software. Our special focus is material of a pedagogical nature.
Terrorism and Science Fiction
The interesting observation has come out that one of the very few uses of the term "Al Qa'eda," the name of Osama Bin Laden's organization, was as the title for Isaac Asimov's novel "Foundation." If you read the novel, you can find some seeming parallels between its story and the recent terrorst actions.
Before taking such claims too seriously, consider that Isaac Asimov was a Russian-born, American-raised Jewish atheist. None of these qualities would be terribly likely to commend him to Osama Bin Laden's religious beliefs...
The Spanish Prisoner: An In-Depth Essay (lost, alas...)
This fascinating David Mahmet movie has a really, really, really deceptive ending. You should be very suspicious about the ending. The process hasn't been recovered. At least one of the Marshals has lied to Ross. Ask yourself what is supposed to happen next to Mr. Ross now that the film is over...
The really clever moment that the viewer should ask themself about: " Is the mother with the child at the airport a plant?" If she is, that certainly explains the little smile on Susan's lips at the end...
This novel is an exceptionally good piece of "fan fiction" telling a tale of Mordorian troops that had another mission to complete after the end of the Battle for the Ring. It begins with the premise that "history is written by the victors", and takes the rather contrary view that Sauron, Mordor, and the Orcs are not "inherently evil." Rather...
The Elves are fairly evil. (They are treated as plenty ambiguous in LOTR, so this is not a stretch.)
They originally came from the magic-prone continent, Aman, to Middle Earth.
The magic has been failing, since the First Age, but the Elves of Middle Earth wish to retain what they can of it. Sadly, this doesn't mean making the "best possible Middle Earth," but rather, a cheapened Aman.
Wizards, led by Gandalf, are generally favorable to the "hold to the magic" position, and hence favor the Elvish position.
Sauron is more enlightened than we are encouraged to imagine, and, as the magic dwindles, is trying to develop, amongst the peoples (particularly of Mordor), science and technology to replace magic.
Sauron constructs the One Ring, in order to provide a temptation to divide Isildur and Gondor, and allow his kingdom to continue to expand.
Gandalf discovers the ring, and, realizing what it is, reuses it as a means to put Aragorn into power over both Gondor and Isildur, and further draws in the Riders of the Mark, using them to destroy Sauron and reduce Mordor.
The "grand mistake" is that the wizards give the Elves the Mirror of Galadriel, thereby essentially giving them the remaining potent magical power, guaranteeing that the Elves will be able to construct their barren garden, a sad image of what they had had in Aman.
Now enters The Last Ring Bearer. It presents a rather different picture of the battle against Mordor, and then introduces us to a new "fellowship", namely a Mordorian scout unit that had been away at the time of the destruction.
The orcs and trolls aren't so inherently evil.
In contrast with (for instance) the visibly illiterate Rohan, the Mordorians value education and learning.
The Nazgul turn out to be distinctly less evil, and are not merely dead kings.
The quest: To destroy Galadriel's Mirror.
The means: the mechanism would be telling, but the tale involves a series of "spy battles", the thrust and parry of not-very-visible action by the assorted secret services of Gondor, Isildur, Mordor, and the Elves.
Note that the illiterate Rohan haven't got a secret service. Nor do the hobbits, who are never directly mentioned.
Publishing home of Daniel Keyes Moran, author of the "Continuing Times" saga, with notable character Trent the Uncatchable.
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