It Smelled of Oil and Hot Metal


The title may appear strange, but it’s a quote from Inside Science Fiction by James Gunn, a nonfiction book about the origins and history of SF. Gunn is a grand master, and perhaps the leading authority on SF. And his statement, “it smelled of oil and hot metal”  depicts well the nature of the genre. His words aptly describes SF’s brash and crude image. But as Gunn puts it, the genre was ignored by everyone except its fans. Who it would seem, kept coming back for more.

I’ve only finished the first two chapters, but what can I say? I’m impressed by Gunn’s mixture of informative story telling, and humorous anecdotes. Quite honestly, it’s hard to put down.

I’ll write about it in later posts. But if you’re interested in the genre for personal reasons, or just trying to get a better understanding as a SF writer,  I suggest you get a copy. You’ll enjoy every page.


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