Tag Archives: Ursula K. Le Guin

The Sea a Sham Born of Uniformity: On Subverting the Normal with Gene Wolfe (Throwback Thursday)

This year I introduced an occasional feature I call “Throwback Thursday.” This is where I find a blog post from the past–raiding either my own vault or someone else’s–and throw it back out into the digital world. This might be … 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

Posted in Canadian literature, On Writing, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

“A Novelist’s Business is Lying”: A Farewell to Ursula K. Le Guin (1929-2018)

I have just heard that Ursula K. Le Guin has passed away. I could be humble about my opinion, but I want to impress upon you that she is one of our very greatest imaginative writers of the last 50 … Continue reading

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Infodump and Identification: Thinking about Fantastic First Pages with Anne McCaffrey

I’m having trouble getting into the (sort of) second Dragonriders of Pern book, Dragonquest. I loved Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonsong, caught up by the protagonist’s heartsore struggle to express her creativity in a world of martial law. In dire threat of the biological terror of … Continue reading

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When Sam Gamgee Wrote to J.R.R. Tolkien

As far as I know, no one named Puddleglum or any Pevensie has ever written to C.S. Lewis. Has anyone named Ged or Arha ever written to Ursula K. Le Guin, if there is anyone with those names? Among the various Potter … Continue reading

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Five Words We Should Banish from our Vocabulary, Or Preventing Verbicide with C.S. Lewis

As a voracious reader and great lover of language, C.S. Lewis was concerned about “verbicide,” what he called the “murder of words.” As Lewis describes in Studies in Words (7-8), verbicide happens in a number of ways: Inflation of a Word’s Value: “Inflation is … Continue reading

Posted in Thoughtful Essays | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 44 Comments

New Approaches to Academic Writing: An Unusual Marking Note for a Good Student

I am at that time of year when the marking pile on my desk is higher than my laptop screen. Like a fool, each year, I go into the marking expecting great things. So far, I have never had a … Continue reading

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