Tag Archive for War on Terror

Thanks to All My Commentators!

I’d just like to send out a big THANK YOU to all the readers of my article, “The Absence of 9/11 in Science Fiction,” who took the time to write me and point out books or stories that I had missed in my (admittedly somewhat cursory) search.

Stories you mentioned included:
“Pipeline” by Brian Aldiss
“Dawn, and Sunset, and the Colors of the Earth” by Michael Flynn
“Family Trade” series by Charles Stross
“There’s a Hole in the City” by Richard Bowes
“The Things they Left Behind” by Stephen King
“Closing Time” by Jack Ketchum

Novels you mentioned included:
Paladin of Shadows series and The Last Centurion by John Ringo
A Desert Called Peace series by Tom Kratman
Orson Scott Card’s Ender books written post-9/11
Variable Star by Spider Robinson
Quantico by Greg Bear
Illium and Olympus by Dan Simmons

I didn’t include Robert Ferrigno’s books, such as Prayer for the Assassin, because they were marketed as thrillers, rather than science fiction (although Robert apparently emailed Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit to complain that he was left out of my survey, so he, at least, considers his books to be SF, despite how they were labeled by the publishers). The same goes for John Birmingham’s novels, which have been marketed as military techo-thrillers (although his Axis of Time series is certainly SF).

Three cheers for crowd sourcing! I’ll have to take a look at all of your suggestions, then post a revised version of my article to incorporate them. Stay tuned!

New Article on 9/11 and Science Fiction


Having just visited New York City, and with the tenth anniversary of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 rapidly approaching, I wanted to write a survey of how 9/11 and the subsequent War on Terror have been reflected in works of science fiction and fantasy. What my admittedly limited research (primarily web searches and consultations with my own library) suggested surprised me — the events of 9/11 and the War on Terror have hardly been touched upon by speculative fiction writers at all, particularly in comparison with the volume of works written in response to earlier national traumas and upheavals of the 20th century.

I make my case for the relative paucity of 9/11-related speculative fiction here, and also suggest some possible reasons as to why this is so. I hope you find my article informative and thought-provoking (perhaps debate-provoking).

Having lost my cousin Amy to random holiday gunfire on New Year’s Eve in New Orleans in 1994, I know a little what it is like to lose family to senseless violence. Amy’s mother never fully recovered from the shock. My thoughts go out to all of our fellow citizens who lost loved ones ten years ago, who will be feeling their old wounds perhaps torn open anew by the anniverary and the memories it brings.

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