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10 vintage books you should read if you love London

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After tourists and Russian millionaires, nobody seems to love London as much as authors. Over the last few centuries some of the greatest literary masterpieces have been set in the British capital from Thackeray’s Vanity Fair to well, all of Charles Dickens’ novels. In recent years the trend has continued with the likes of Monica Ali’s Brick Lane, Zadie Smith’s White Teeth and Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones Diary. The intervening decades also didn’t disappoint and it’s my small opinion that some of the best books about London were written in the first part of the twentieth century.

Here’s a selection of novels that are fifty years and older, which not only reveal how London used to be, but also deliver some finely written and highly enjoyable reads.

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10 everyday words we got from science fiction writers

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American sci-fi writer, Theodore Sturgeon famously said, “Sure, ninety percent of science fiction is crud.” He believed that was “because ninety percent of everything is crud”, but many literary purists think sci-fi’s exotic worlds, flamboyant characters and incredibly imaginative plots make it throwaway. Yet, if they delved a bit deeper, they’d find a profound genre that’s both rich in themes and perhaps, more surprisingly, in language too. In fact, over the years it’s given us a myriad of new words, the majority of which have been created in order to describe concepts and devices that didn’t have existing words in their time. Most of these words have never been incorporated into our everyday language. However, sometimes technology catches up to sci-fi and a fictional word gets borrowed and becomes a common term. In other situations, a sci-fi author doesn’t necessarily coin a word, but uses it and popularizes it, keeping it alive and in use.

So, ready yourself for blast off as we count down 10 of our favorite out-of-this-world words and phrases from science fiction that have become part of our everyday lives.

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Femtastic Lit: History’s 10 greatest sci-fi novels written by women

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Despite the fact that women have helped shape science fiction from the beginning, female-penned novels are often mysteriously absent from the “Best-of” lists. There are many people that believe that women don’t (or even worse, can’t) write science fiction–which simply isn’t true. With this list, we celebrate some of the most influential and noteworthy sci-fi novels written by women.
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