Welcome to jennre, a data-blog for the sf-curious academic. The summaries and informational resources in this blog are intended for new readers in the genre; old hands may be familiar with most of this material.
Casual readers may enjoy browsing, but they are forewarned that most of material here is directed toward readers in search of information regarding genre-related resources. As such, certain pages are long and information-dense.
- summaries of 20th-century short stories
- descriptions and links to resources
Here new readers will find a good number of science fiction texts summarized by theme and time period (see “Categories” on the right). At this time, entries are in chronological order, as they’re being entered from an index, and most of the content is pre-1960. Texts summarized as of today: 450.
Regarding the summaries, some classics are included, but the blog also promotes obscure texts that may not have received academic attention. Please note that some of the early texts are included for their historical value only. For example, certain texts are included only because they set certain ideas or styles in play and these were later adopted–or critiqued–by other writers. In other words, I’m not endorsing all of the content in the summarized texts.
The texts covered are almost entirely short stories. The summaries are very brief; each contains a brisk plot synopsis, a suggestion as to how you might approach the text, and very general information about the author. If the text is in the public domain, there may be a link to the text. A few ISFDB entries and links to criticism are included.
Note: The synopsis may not focus on the plot (there are other sites dedicated to this purpose). I created this data-blog to track texts that might be relevant to my future research, and the summaries are a bit eccentric because they’re slanted to my interests.
Why short stories?
The short story was the operational mode of science fiction in its infancy, if not for the better part of the 20th century. Arguably, it is the most efficient method of introduction to the genre for new readers. Hence, I reviewed short stories in order research the genre and select a Master’s thesis topic–that’s what I indexed, and that’s what I have to share.
See the resources page for links to blogs and other sites with synopses of sf novels.
Reviewing sf anthologies
In “sf anthologies” you’ll find a lengthy explanation of how you might conduct a chronological or thematic review of 20th century sf in the short story mode. This section is a crash course in the genre for those unaware of the variety and number of potential texts involved. It’s also a means for veterans of the genre to identify gaps in my knowledge and, I hope, refer me to additional or superior sources.
Your comments and corrections
Your comments and corrections, to individual posts or to the blog overall, are very welcome. I apologize in advance for any errors or typos. This blog attempts to cover a prodigious amount of material, and I’m certain that human error will be found.
–August 28, 2015, last revised