RogerBW's Blog

Science Fiction Nitpicking 07 September 2017 - 3 comments

Why do science fiction fans have a reputation for caring about nitpicky details that no normal person would regard as important?

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On Distinguishing SF from Fantasy 30 June 2016 - 3 comments

One might naïvely suppose that this would be an easy distinction, for both books and games. Fantasy has dragons; science fiction has spaceships. But there is a set of ideas, loosely correlated with the SF/fantasy divide, which to my mind make a greater difference to the feel of a story than do trappings like those.

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How I enjoy mystery stories 11 June 2016

The mystery story when done well is an extreme form of the story problem, which one can enjoy both on the level of normal fiction with characters and plot and setting and so on and on the level of working out whodunnit before the author reveals the solution.

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Taxonomy of the Occult Secret Service 13 May 2016 - 13 comments

John Dallman invented the term Occult Secret Service to describe the Laundry novels of Charles Stross (from 2001) and the Broom Cupboard novels of David Devereux (from 2008). It's become popular in other fiction and in role-playing games. Is it useful to analyse it further?

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