But Asimov can’t be dismissed as so many ’50s-era science fiction writers can, those who imagined a bright, shiny future where men were men, women were women and Science — with a capital S — made everything better.
As for the ability of women to grasp and write hard science fiction, Sheldon herself was playing around with hard science in her writing; her stories exhibited characteristics of hard sci-fi even before the term had come into vogue.
Mao rarely is about Mao; rather it is about what he did. It goes to great lengths to establish what Mao did and did not do, but rarely delves into why he did what he did. Mao only scratches the surface of Mao’s psyche and his motivations.
Perhaps for many who look back at World War II, the one that happened after the War to End All Wars, the most obvious lingering question is how Hitler and the Nazis came to power, and how the regime was able to do the terrible things it did, namely the holocaust.
… but I’ll be damned if I even I can ever keep straight all of the various Fëanors, Finrods, Fingolfins, Finarfins, Fingleberries, Fimbulbs and Fiddlefarts, etc. and so forth, by the time I get to the end of the Silmarillion. So perhaps we can’t quite fault Martin for this …
Let it suffice to say that perhaps Martin doesn’t always do gritty realism as well as it could be done (yet at times he does indeed), but it is a cut – a detailed, bloody one from groin to collarbone that causes bowels and other assorted entrails to fall out – above the standard bookshelf fare when it comes to quote-unquote realistic fantasy.
… where the facts end and the fiction begins. And such is the problem with Area 51. In one small but significant way, it’s also the problem with Area 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base by journalist Annie Jacobsen. …