Critical Linking for June 30th, 2015


This was a virtually impossible task. Put together a list of 50 must-read science fiction books and don’t make anyone angry. Science fiction is the most discussed and argued over genre in literature but it actually goes way beyond books and into film, TV, video games and even toys.

This 50 Essential Science Fiction Books is interesting both because of the well-considered constraints on the list and some quite decent discussion in the comments.


Zadie Smith has been recruited by Claire Denis for the writer-director’s new film, a space adventure set beyond our solar system in a future “that seems like the present”, according to Screen International. Smith, author of the award-winning bestselling novel White Teeth, will write the script with her husband, Nick Laird, and Denis.

Unexpected, but exciting. 


If you subscribe to our Velvet Crowbar e-letter, you may remember that a few months ago we announced an upcoming run of a limited number of bookends, manufactured from the lumber salvaged from the house of famous author, Ray Bradbury. Each bookend set is branded with a series number and the icon “451 F,” to commemorate Bradbury’s best-seller, Fahrenheit 451.

An odd memento, but better than than the scrap yard.


Pull the right book in Sir Peter Jackson’s house and the bookcase will open to Bag End – the home of Middle Earth hobbit, Bilbo Baggins. The Wellington movie director may have finished creating trilogies set in J R R Tolkien’s Middle Earth but he’s turned his home into a fantasy playground complete with underground tunnels, castle ruins and a liveable hobbit hole.

I think we might have uncovered why The Hobbit movies were, shall we say, a little indulgent.

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