Stealing Other People’s Homework: “The Man Who Invented Tomorrow”

Stealing from the best this time.

James Gunn’s “The Man Who Invented Tomorrow“, an excerpt from his The Science of Science-Fiction Writing, looks at the career of H. G. Wells, how he invented futurology, and the inspiration and influence of his most famous science fiction works.

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Stealing Other People’s Homework: “Leave the Capitol”

Leave the Capitol

I reviewed a bit of Arthur Machen for this blog and have read a bit more.

Lee Arizuno’s piece from The Quietus website has a good survey of his work.

Fans of the musician Mark E. Smith (I’m ignorant of his work) will be interested in Smith’s use of Machen.

Stealing Other People’s Homework: “The H. G. Wells Problem”

What’s the H. G. Wells problem?

Well, according to Darrell Schweitzer, it’s Wells’ anti-Semitism.

I must admit I wasn’t aware of that aspect of Wells. His love of eugenics and Joe Stalin, yes.

I could quibble with some of Schweitzer’s piece. I will just say that plenty of people in the early 20th century, including Jews, were fond of eugenics

Stealing Other People’s Homework: “Edgar Allan Poe’s Literary War”

edgar-allan-poe-300x183

An “indirect descendant” of Edgar Allan Poe, Harry Lee Poe, looks at the cultural war between the Bostonians and Edgar Allan Poe over the merits of Southern literature.

He shows how it contributed to the sabotage of his reputation after Poe’s death.

For me, though, the most interesting thing is that Poe, author of several, largely forgotten today, humorous tales criticized Northern writers as lacking in humor, a deficit not found in Southern writers.

Stealing Other People’s Homework: “Russell Kirk and the Haunting of Piety Hill”

Russell Kirk

I’ve been reading SD Tucker’s two part series on Russell Kirk in Fortean Times“. It’s part of his “Strange Statesman” series.

The installments mostly look into the strange occult beliefs of various politicians and political philosophers. Kirk, however, was more than a political philosopher. (Jerry Pournelle considered Kirk his political mentor though Pournelle definitely did not share Kirk’s anti-technology views.)

He was a noted a writer of weird fiction, fiction that demonstrated the synthesis of his political and occult beliefs. He was a friend of Ray Bradbury.

Kirk biographer Bradley J. Birzer looks at the professional and thematic relationships between Kirk and Stephen King and how Kirk’s paranormal experiences showed up in his fiction.