Tag Archives: speculative fiction

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

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Hobbits, Beer, and Theology

For fans of J.R.R. Tolkien and the literary club that formed around him in the 1930s to the 1950s, you will know how beer, hobbits, and theology go together. Each week, for a two and a half decades, a group of … Continue reading

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