Category: Science Fiction Columns

The Space-Time Continuum: Women of Futures Past

My latest column for the Saskatchewan Writers Guild’s newsletter, Freelance. Whenever I lead a workshop about writing science fiction, I say it’s important to read widely and deeply in the field: that science fiction is like a long ongoing argumentative conversation, and jumping into it without being aware of what has already been said will …

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The Space-Time Continuum: The Aurora Awards

Here’s my Space-Time Continuum column from the December-January issue of the Saskatchewan Writers Guild‘s newsletter Freelance… Literary awards are nice to get. They may or may not help book sales, and they may or may not come with a cash prize, but at the very least, they’re a form of validation for authors. (As Sally …

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The Space-Time Continuum: The world of fanzines

Here’s my latest column from Freelance, the magazine of the Saskatchewan Writers Guild… Long before I ever subscribed, or even read, a copy of a professional science fiction magazine, I was reading—and even drawing illustrations for—science fiction fanzines. In those pre-Internet days, fanzines filled the place today taken by Tumblr and Instagram and myriad other …

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The Space-Time Continuum: Two Roads

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. -Robert Frost When Robert Frost wrote his famous poem “The Road Not Taken,” he clearly didn’t have in mind the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, which postulates there is a very large—perhaps infinite—number …

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Giving imagination free rein: Sheila Gilbert of DAW Books

I’m jumping the gun a little bit here, since Freelance hasn’t come out yet, but here’s my upcoming “Space-Time Continuum” column for the Saskatchewan Writers Guild magazine–an interview with my editor and publisher, Sheila Gilbert, nominated once again this year for a Hugo Award for Best Editor, Long Form. As a teenager looking for science …

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The Space-Time Continuum: Space Opera

Here’s the latest instalment of my regular column on writing science fiction and fantasy from Freelance, the newsletter of the Saskatchewan Writers Guild… “Space opera” is an odd-looking term: after all, as the marketers for the movie Alien might have (but fortunately didn’t) put it, in space, no one can hear a tenor scream a …

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TARDIS: Time and Relative Dimensions in Stories

On May 6 I was the speaker at the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild’s Write After Lunch series, and entitled my talk “TARDIS: Time and Relative Dimensions in Stories.” This is more or less the text I spoke from, although as you’ll see if you watch the archived video below and follow along, I didn’t exactly deliver it word …

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The Space-Time Continuum: In Defence of Escapism

Here’s my latest “Space-Time Continuum” column from Freelance, the newsletter of the Saskatchewan Writers Guild… Back at Weyburn Junior High I was once taken to task by a teacher for not remembering the name of the author of a book I liked. “If you don’t remember the author’s name,” he told me, “you’re just reading …

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The Space-Time Continuum: Reality in Fantasy

Here’s my latest column for the Saskatchewan Writers Guild‘s magazine Freelance… *** When someone writes a hardboiled police procedural novel, we expect it to adhere to correct police procedures in the city in which it is set. When someone writes a historical novel set in 19th-century India, we expect the details of life and governance …

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The Space-Time Continuum: Workshops

Today, while writing the next installment of my regular SF/F-writing column “The Space-Time Continuum” for Freelance, the magazine of the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild, I realized I’d never posted the previous column online…and so here it is! *** Over the years I’ve participated in a number of science fiction and fantasy writing workshops, to great effect: …

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Science fiction vs. fantasy: what’s the difference?

My column for the latest issue of the Saskatchewan Writers Guild magazine Freelance… Although science fiction and fantasy often overlap in both bookshelves and readership, they aren’t actually the same genre. Exactly where you draw the line between them, of course, is a matter of some debate. (Because, well, what isn’t?) Just do a Google …

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The Space-Time Continuum: “Dammit, Jim, I’m a storyteller, not a social worker!”

My latest “Space-Time Continuum” column from the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild‘s newsletter Freelance… *** This column I want to return to the World Fantasy Convention held in Toronto last November…and a panel that rubbed me the wrong way. Entitled “The Changing Face of YA Fantasy,” the panel was described this way: “Fantasy works for young adult …

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