Adventure, Dystopia, Fantasy, Pulp Fiction, Reviews, Science Fiction

Number 36: Recommended by a Favorite Author

The Heads of Cerberus: The First Alternative Worlds Novel

Francis Stevens

I admit I was not a fan of the last dystopian novel I read. So I went back in time a little to see what I could find. And lo and behold, the pioneer of the time travel genre herself, Francis Stevens!

I love science fiction for its timelessness. Despite, or because, it deals with the future, its tone has not changed much since it began. Sure, we aren’t still debating the morality of the microscope (like Margaret Cavendish’s Blazing World), but the tension between skepticism of new technology and embracing it for the creative potential it unlocks is a consistent theme.

Heads of Cerberus was written in 1919, but it still feels current. I think part of the reason for this is because she does not try to imagine the technology that might exist in Philadelphia in 2118, which might read as silly today. Technology is stalled at 1918 levels, and society is the thing that is drastically restructured.

Stylistically, it works. Pulp entertainment at its finest!

Also, I took some liberties with the category. Rather than being recommended by a favorite author, The Heads of Cerberus was actually recommended by the Monster, She Wrote audiobook I was listening to. It has introduced me to some of my new favorites.

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