Monday, October 5, 2009

My Periodic Table of Science Fiction REBORN!


When the lamentably titled but greatly-missed webzine SciFiction went under, it took with it Michael Swanwick's Periodic Table of Science Fiction. Recently, even the unauthorized mirror site went down, apparently because some other working writer pointed out to the proprietor that publishing people's work without their permission is simply not nice. Which meant that if you wanted to read those stories, you either had find a copy of the out-of-print PS Publishing book or else know Serbian.

MSPToSF, if you came in late, was a series of 118 short-short stories, one for each element in the periodic table, which were written and posted in order, one per week, over the course of roughly two years. During much of that time, I was also writing and posting a weekly series of 80 short-shorts for Eileen Gunn's webzine The Infinite Matrix, one for each of the etchings in Goya's Los Caprichos, which I titled The Sleep of Reason. Writers used to turn pale and cross themselves when I walked into a room.

Well, I've posted the MSPToSF stories again, here on Blogspot. I don't have the nifty clickable periodic table interface that the SciFiction website had. But all the stories are there for you to read, and a pretty nifty batch they are too, if I do say so myself.

You can find them at Or just click here.

You can still find The Sleep of Reason online by clicking here. I have to warn you, though, that in deference to Goya's dark vision, some of it is pretty bleak stuff.

At top: The cover for the book version of The Periodic Table of Science Fiction. I always loved that woodcut.



Oz said...

Writers still turn pale and cross themselves when you come into a room. I've seen them do it when they think you aren't looking.


Jeff Prucher said...

It's nice to have these easily accessible again. People who relish the old interface can still read the original version on the Internet archive, although it's pretty slow.

Unknown said...


Blogger allows tables, so using the table from the Internet Archive, it's possible to recreate the interface. I'm not sure how much of the CSS stylesheet can be used, so the interface may not be as nice, but it would still look like a periodic table. Let me know if you want to do it, and need help.