Author Brenda Cooper’s Wilders, the first of a two-book series dubbed “Project Earth,” ticks off all the main boxes for solarpunk. … More Review: Wilders’ solarpunk world engages despite a problematic protagonist
Wired for Story explains storytelling in the context of brain science and human evolution. For me, it clarified some of the truisms of writing, while shedding light on why storytelling matters. … More Review: What science teaches writers about storytelling
Science fiction is more than spaceships, lasers and aliens. Some novels remind us that ordinary academic science can be quite dramatic. … More Review: Watermelon Snow needs more to reach its ambition
How would you like to order up the weather, just like you order a pizza with pineapple, but no anchovies? That’s the fantasy that comes to life for Bronwyn Artair, a weather forecaster for a rural New England TV station in the novel, Weather Woman. … More Review: Weather Woman is a fantasy about control and illusion
Author Robin MacArthur shows how to demonstrate climate change’s impact without the necessity of thrilling drama. … More Heart Spring Mountain is a poetic approach to the emotional consequences of a changing world
Robot fed Dr. Smith lines that set up the most creative insults ever hurled at a computer. … More Why I miss the old Dr. Smith and Robot in the Netflix Lost In Space reboot.
Yes Means Yes is at once a seminar on the law concerning sexual assault on campus and the story of a young woman discovering its complexities at a personal level. … More Review: New novel tackles sexual assault on campus amid the #MeToo debate
If you want to understand the Chinese mind, read its science fiction. … More You’d better start reading Chinese science fiction right now
I was hooked by the BBC America television series The Last Kingdom, but the hook is loosening and I may spit it out. … More Grow or die: What happens when a story’s protagonist doesn’t change?
In the year 2037, all the uber-wealthy will be Canadian. Because they will have all the NiceCoin. … More Review: Don’t worry. Everything will be fixed by 2037. Or will it?
The legends of King Arthur and the Round Table are possibly the most abused of the West’s mythic texts, more than the Greek myths, and certainly more than venerated texts, such as the Bible. It’s amazing they’ve survived almost 1,500 years of telling and retelling by most of Western Europe’s cultures, aristocratic Victorian poets and … More Review: Thank God King Arthur will survive ‘King Arthur’
Climate change is one of the most difficult subjects to tackle, and I admire any writer who attempts it. Though the reality of climate change is not in doubt—repeat, NOT in doubt—so much of its impact is speculative. Scientists can predict the rise of sea levels, the melting of Arctic and Antarctic ice, more powerful … More Overheated: A weak narrative undercuts the urgency of climate change
Warning: Lots of spoilers. The movie Star Wars: Rogue One is a fun way to pass a couple of hours on a Saturday afternoon, especially if you’re a kid without much exposure to the Star Wars franchise. For anyone who has a bit more experience with the series, or who thinks much about storytelling, the … More Star Wars: Rogue One has a peculiar relationship with death
How do you measure greatness in science fiction television? … More I’ll remember this Black Mirror episode until I’m dead and buried.
We rarely think about our relationship with time. Life is just one damned thing after another. One word follows another. Cause and effect follow the arrow of history. What if you had a different relationship with time, one in which you perceived past, present and future happening at once, so that you know the future … More Aliens, linguistics, and disruptive storytelling make Arrival must-see sci-fi
Possible spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen Arrival. The release of the movie Arrival last month prompted my interest in Seattle science fiction writer Ted Chiang. He has published only 15 short stories, novelettes, and novellas in print, including “Story of Your Life,” the inspiration for Arrival. He’s won Nebulas, Hugos, and host of other … More Ted Chiang’s sci-fi genius arrives with laser-like precision
I’ll be honest. Movies based on comic books don’t interest me. The only reason I went to see Doctor Strange over the weekend was Benedict Cumberbatch. I’ve become a major fan after his performances in the latest BBC version of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries and his movies, particularly The Imitation Game, in which he played … More Review: Doctor Strange: It’s All Benedict Cumberbatch
America is going through another paroxysm of racially tinged violence, reminding everyone of our failure to reconcile our history with our ideals. In my own lifetime, the country has experienced urban riots (e.g, Watts in Los Angeles), violence after the Rodney King verdict, and last week, two more in a long string of deaths of … More Review: Augments of Change salient in a time of racial tension
As a writer who likes to look at speculative fiction through the lens of climate change, I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to read Monica Byrne‘s debut novel, The Girl in the Road, published in 2014. Though its portrait of two women connected across time and space is classified as science fiction by some, … More The Girl in the Road: Literary fiction with a sci-fi overlay
Successful science fiction and speculative fiction reflect the hopes and anxieties of their day, the same as any other narrative art. Asimov, Heinlein, and Bradbury were men of their times. Writing at the peak of American technological, military, and economic power after World War II, much of their work was infused with can-do optimism. Sci-fi’s … More Review: Science fiction exists to explore the possibilities of change