science fiction Archive

Matriarchy and the Tired Assassin

Author: | Categories: Reading No comments
Much like its predecessor, Dishonored 2 is a steampunk revenge story painted in vintage graphic design tones combining genre conventions of sci-fi, supernatural fantasy, historical fiction, and action RPG into a stunning nine-chapter video game novella that is as gory and interactive as it is inventive and derivative.

Space Fiction vs. Space Discovery

Author: | Categories: Reading No comments
Much of Earth is no longer habitable; still, the child reaches for the milk, the branch drinks from the root, and time goes on. You don’t remember when or where you heard it, but every so often you yearn for the reminder that the stars look very different today.

Seeking Amnesty in an Epidemic

Author: | Categories: Authors, Reading No comments
Octavia Butler’s short story “Amnesty” is a tale in which an invasive species, called Communities, occupies desert areas on Earth and tests, uses, hires, and even “enfolds” (a sort of cocoon-like cuddle) humans for comfort and resources.

ARRIVAL and the False Dichotomy of Free Will vs Determinism

Author: | Categories: Reading No comments
ARRIVAL has been hailed for carving a space for the “literary science fiction movie,” and rightly so. Director Denis Villeneuve achieved the nearly impossible feat of making a compelling, relatively crowd-pleasing movie about linguistics, complete with a new alien language composed of 100 logograms, while also weaving in themes of

Night Radio, Collect: Listening to Ray Bradbury

Author: | Categories: Authors No comments
In the dark, being told stories carries weight. There’s a power there, for some stories, that doesn’t seem to exist during the day. When I was a child, my family would take daytrips in the car and when we drove home it would be night. My mom would turn

Aliens in Science Fiction: What’s “Out There” Has Always Reflected What’s “In Here”

Author: | Categories: Reading No comments
While science fiction has long been obsessed with robots, the genre has an even longer relationship with aliens, who are often far scarier: where they came from, how they think, and what they want are questions to which there is no comforting answer, if there’s an answer at all.

The Internet in Literature: Sven Birkerts, Jennifer Egan, Chuck Klosterman, Jarett Kobek, & Patrick Madden

Author: | Categories: Writing No comments
Kurt Vonnegut, in A Man Without a Country (as quoted by Chuck Klosterman), writes, “I think that novels that leave out technology misrepresent life as badly as Victorians misrepresented life by leaving out sex.” Yet books set before the ubiquity of the internet often grace bestseller lists and win

Big Picture, Small Picture: Context for Ursula K. Le Guin’s THE LATHE OF HEAVEN

Author: | Categories: Authors, Reading, Series No comments
This blog series, Big Picture, Small Picture, provides a contextual collage for a chosen piece of literature. The information here is culled from newspapers, newsreels, periodicals, and other primary sources from the date of the text’s original publication. “If we shadows have offended, Know but this and all is

The Best Short Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Men and Women Like Him” by Amber Sparks

Author: | Categories: Reading, Series No comments
In “Men and Women Like Him” (Guernica), Amber Sparks explores dark tourism from the perspective of a time traveling tour guide who must ensure that historical tragedies don’t change—even when those tragedies become personal.Sparks drops us right into scene in the first couple paragraphs, letting the action and scenario

Reading Across the Great Genre Spectrum: A Cheat Sheet for Transliterary Consumption

Author: | Categories: Reading, Writing No comments
When I teach creative writing at the college level, one of the tasks I always assign early on in the semester is to have my students pick out a short work outside (preferably diametrically opposed to) the student’s preferred genre, read it, and offer a brief informal presentation of