Five Chilly SF Stories to Help Beat the Summer Heat

There’s nothing quite like to make one think of winter. Which, don’t get me wrong, will be bitterly resented when it arrives—

Which set me to thinking about delightful stories set on cooler worlds.


Our Lady of the Ice by Cassandra Rose Clarke (2015)

Some might call building an amusement park in Antarctica visionary. Others might call the scheme deranged. While Hope City hardly grew into the Paris of the South, it did succeed in firmly establishing Argentina’s claim to Antarctic territory. Economic success can be a side-issue to nationalism.

Not that patriotism keeps Hope City’s unfortunate inhabitants any warmer. Although the community does have an export—atomic power—Hope City’s economy is threadbare. Its inhabitants remain because they cannot afford to leave.

Mr. Cabrera’s business model requires denying any alternatives to Hope City’s trapped population, the better to exploit them. Marianella Luna’s covert bid to displace imported food with local produce

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Classic Science Fiction About Extremely Long Naps

Sleep! How precious, how precarious! Perhaps we have apnea. Perhaps we own a cat who believes motionless humans are food. Perhaps we are simply aware that up to forty thousand redback spiders can fit into the volume of the average pillow. But sleep can be overdone. Imagine waking to discover that decades or centuries have passed…

This is a convenient way for an author to arrange for a protagonist not unlike the reader to tour an alien setting. Unsurprisingly, a lot of authors have taken advantage of the plot possibilities of the long sleep.

Consider these five classic science fiction examples.


Looking Backward: 2000-1887 by Edward Bellamy (1888)

Julian West falls asleep in Gilded Age America. He does not wake until the year 2000. By this time, the United States has been comprehensively transformed almost beyond imagination. On his own, poor Julian would have been completely at sea in this

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Sci-Fi and Fantasy Book Releases: September 2021

On a pink and purple background, an illustration of a woman in black with large black wings looks over her shoulder.

Steelstriker by Marie Lu
Image: Roaring Brook Press

This month we’ve got stories galore to keep you entertained as the seasons change. Read on for kingdoms in rebellion, magical murder mysteries, space shenanigans, parallel dimensions, vampires, a new Dune novel, haunted houses (and forests and lakes), short-story collections, and so much more.

Image for article titled September Is Here, and So Are 63 New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

Image: Thomas & Mercer

Constance by Matthew FitzSimmons

In a world where human cloning exists, albeit only for the wealthy, a young woman who’s gifted her own clone experiences an anomaly during a routine consciousness upload…and then wakes up as her clone after her original self is murdered. Can she figure out who’s responsible before she’s murdered again? (September 1)

Image for article titled September Is Here, and So Are 63 New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

Image: Mariner Books

The Nature of Middle-earth by J.R.R. Tolkien and Carl F. Hostetter

This new collection edited by Tolkien expert Carl F. Hostetter

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NASA is testing a straight-from-science-fiction electric air taxi

NASA kicked off testing of an all-electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft that could eventually fly cargo and passengers around busy cities in the not too distant future. 

The U.S. space agency teamed up with electric aircraft startup Joby Aviation to conduct developmental flight tests of the company’s six-rotor air taxi near Big Sur, Calif. 

The collaboration is part of NASA’s Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) National Campaign, which is working to develop air taxis, drones and other types of aircraft to move people and goods in cities and surrounding areas around the country. 

During the test flights, NASA will collect data on how the aircraft moves, sounds and communicates with controllers. 

The sound part is particularly important for air taxis meant to fly around heavily populated areas. Joby Aviation says its aircraft is much quieter than traditional gas-powered helicopters, claiming it’s “quiet enough to land in your neighborhood.” 


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