Tag Archives: speculative fiction

A Canticle for Leibowitz: A 10 Minute Book Talk with Brenton Dickieson

Walter Miller’s A Canticle for Leibowitz is a philosophically rich and intricately gorgeous book. What makes this philosophical SciFi novel so compelling is an endearing slate of characters. I wish I could read a whole other book about Brother Francis, … Continue reading

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Can Cod-liver Oil Cure Us of Poetry? A Thought on the Uselessness of Poets in Today’s Economy from L.M. Montgomery’s Rainbow Valley

It was probably unfair that I had this much fun in a government meeting, but it is even more unfair that the fun came at another’s expense. It is no secret that North American state, provincial, and federal governments view … Continue reading

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What is Signum Culture? A Signum Symposium hosted by Brenton Dickieson (Thursday, 2pm EST)

Signum University is a unique institution of learning. Beginning with the Mythgard Academy and a model of diving deep into some of our most engaging books, Signum University has developed an online, low-cost MA programme with majors in Tolkien Studies, … Continue reading

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O Foolish Writer: The Living Reality of an Author’s Work, with C.S. Lewis, Stephen King, and Ursula K. Le Guin (Throwback Thursday)

Throwback Thursdays are where I find a blog post from the past–raiding either my own blog-hoard or someone else’s–and throw it back out into the digital world. This might be an idea or book that is now relevant again, or … Continue reading

Posted in Creative Writing, Fictional Worlds, Memorable Quotes, Throwback Thursdays | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

A Fatal Flaw in Contemporary Writing: Thinking About Identity in Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven (Part 2)

Earlier this week I put a review up of what I think to be a strong, engaging literary sf book, skillfully written to accomplish two things that many authors could not do. First, Emily St. John Mandel has created in Station Eleven … Continue reading

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Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven: A Brilliant Apocalypse with an Almost Fatal Flaw (Part 1)

From Mary Shelley to Margaret Atwood, I have a deep interest in women’s sf and speculative fiction. It is not just a question of perspective and hearing other voices. Rather, it simply that some of my favourite writers are in … Continue reading

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Octavia Butler’s and Robert Heinlein’s Rules of Writing

My most significant alien encounter this year has been in the science fiction of Octavia E. Butler. I have only dipped into her work, enjoying her Xenogenesis Trilogy (1987-89) and a collection of short pieces, Bloodchild and Other Stories (2nd ed., … Continue reading

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Stephen King and the Genre of Genius

This year for my Stickin’ Huge Awesome Novel Winter Awesome Read (SHANWAR), I chose Stephen King’s The Stand (1978) I have never read it before and I don’t think I have ever had a conversation with someone about it. Still, … Continue reading

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The Other President: Donald Trump’s First Briefing by the Magical Congress

The President sighed, put his hands in his pockets, and looked at the portrait of George Washington above the mantle. He thrived on crowds and cheers and chaos, so had never believed that he would be relieved for the silence. … Continue reading

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The Shocking Reason Tolkien Finished The Lord of the Rings

J.R.R. Tolkien was a notoriously difficult writer to get to print. That The Hobbit found its way to store shelves was something of a publishing miracle, and it took Tolkien 15 years to write part two, “the new Hobbit,” which we … Continue reading

Posted in Fictional Worlds, On Writing, Original Research, Thoughtful Essays | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 45 Comments