Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

Author: Sandy Ferber


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Sentinels From Space: 1953… The Year Of The Mutant

Sentinels From Space by Eric Frank Russell

In the science fiction novel of 1953, mutants and their various abilities – especially telepathic – were apparently all the rage. Alfred Bester’s The Demolished Man, the first novel to win the Hugo Award, showed us how difficult a proposition murder could be in a society of mind readers. In Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore’s Mutant, the “Baldies” referred to in the title had to learn how to live among a society that feared and despised them.


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The Reign of Wizardry: Cagey cretans

The Reign of Wizardry by Jack Williamson

Perhaps because Jack Williamson was named the second science fiction Grand Master, in 1976, and managed to cop both the coveted Hugo and Nebula Awards, it is easy to forget that the Arizona Territory-born author did write in other fields than just sci-fi. For example, I have already written here of his marvelously scary novella “Wolves of Darkness” (1932), as well as his now-classic lycanthropy novel Darker Than You Think (1948) … two works that doubtless helped him win the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement,


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Outside the Universe: Take that, Star Wars!

Outside the Universe by Edmond Hamilton

In my recent review of the 1965 collection Crashing Suns, I mentioned that this Ace paperback gathered together five of the tales from Edmond Hamilton’s INTERSTELLAR PATROL series – a series comprised of seven short stories and one full-length novel – and later expressed a desire to read those three other installments one day. Well, I am here to tell you now MISSION ACCOMPLISHED – at least as far as the novel is concerned.


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They Came From Outer Space: 12 Classic Science Fiction Tales That Became Major Motion Pictures

They Came From Outer Space: 12 Classic Science Fiction Tales That Became Major Motion Pictures edited by Jim Wynorski

It really was a splendid idea for an anthology: Select a dozen of the most famous, beloved and influential science fiction movies of all time and then gather together the 12 short stories and novellas that had served as their source material. And that is precisely what editor Jim Wynorski did, resulting in his 1980 collection They Came From Outer Space: 12 Classic Science Fiction Tales That Became Major Motion Pictures.


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Bezill: “Let’s Talk About Sex…”

Bezill by John Symonds

And so, I have just come to the end of a lot of nine novels from the remarkable publisher known as Valancourt Books. And what an ennead they were! In chronological order: Ernest G. Henham’s Tenebrae (1898), a tale of fratricide, guilt, madness … and giant spiders; R.C. Ashby’s He Arrived at Dusk (1933), which tells of the ghost of a Roman centurion haunting modern-day Northumberland; G.S. Marlowe’s I Am Your Brother (1935),


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The Master of the Macabre: A generously stuffed cornucopia of a book

The Master of the Macabre by Russell Thorndike

Ever since I was a wee lad, I’ve been a fan of the type of motion picture known as the “anthology-horror film.”  It was 1965’s Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors that first pulled me in back then, a product of the British studio Amicus, which would go on to deliver six more similar films over the next nine years. Oh … for those of you wondering what I mean by an “anthology-horror film,” simply stated, it is a type of picture with one overarching story line and numerous stand-alone side stories included.


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The White Wolf: The other werewolf novel of the 1940s

The White Wolf  by Franklin Gregory

In 1948, future sci-fi Grand Master Jack Williamson released the expanded version of his novella “Darker Than You Think,” which had appeared originally in the December 1940 issue of Unknown magazine. The resultant full-length novel was a one-shot horror excursion for the author, and would go on to be proclaimed one of the finest fictional treatments on the subject of lycanthropy – that is to say, werewolves – ever written. This reader has experienced the book twice over the years,


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The Hand of Kornelius Voyt: Unclassifiable but most impressive

The Hand of Kornelius Voyt by Oliver Onions

It was English author Mike Ashley, writing in Newman & Jones’ excellent overview volume Horror: 100 Best Books, who first introduced me to the remarkable collection Widdershins, from 1911. While enthusing about the eight splendidly spooky stories therein, and in particular “The Beckoning Fair One,” one of the greatest ghost stories in the English language, Ashley told his audience that in them “we find a portrayal of madness that leaves the reader uncomfortably unsure about the state of reality and sanity.” Indeed,


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Widdershins: An outstanding collection of spooky stories

Widdershins by Oliver Onions

I originally picked up this hard-to-find book after reading of it in Newman & Jones’ excellent overview volume, Horror: The 100 Best Books. Widdershins is a collection of Oliver Onions‘ short stories, and was first published in 1911. Onions was supposedly a meticulous writer, writing and rewriting and rerewriting, changing words repeatedly until he felt that things were just right. And his attention to detail does indeed show. All the stories in this volume are impeccably written,


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Fingers of Fear: In Ormes’ way

Fingers of Fear by J.U. Nicolson

This will hardly be the first time that I have mentioned editor/author Karl Edward Wagner, and his so-called KEW 39 list, in one of my reviews here. But ever since 1983, when the list first appeared in the pages of Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone Magazine, it has been used as a guide of sorts by horror readers in search of something different. Those 39 novels were divided amongst three categories: The 13 Best Supernatural Horror Novels, The 13 Best Science-Fiction Horror Novels,


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Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

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