Category: Science Fiction Columns

The Space-Time Continuum: Cynicism vs. hope in science fiction

The Hunger Games may be getting all the attention right now, but there’s a long history to dystopian science fiction. War of the Worlds, Brave New World, 1984, A Canticle for Leibowitz, A Handmaid’s Tale…the list goes on and on. I’ve written some myself. Dark and dangerous futures are, of course, ripe settings for fiction. …

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The Space-Time Continuum: The shape of things to come – science fiction predictions

(My Space-Time Continuum column from the May issue of Freelance, the magazine of the Saskatchewan Writers Guild.) Science fiction is popularly perceived as being concerned with predicting the future. It’s not hard to see where that notion comes from: after all, over the years science fiction has gotten quite a few things right about the …

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The Space-Time Continuum: These Are a Few of My Favorite Links

We already live in a science fictional future: your pocket, after all, probably contains a powerful communicator/computer with which you can log onto a world-spanning information network. Not surprisingly, science fiction (though not overly successful at predicting its rise) has taken to this futuristic resource in a big way. But how to choose which sites …

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The Space-Time Continuum: You got science in my fantasy!

As I write this, I’m about to fly off to the World Fantasy Convention in San Diego, where I’ve been assigned to moderate a panel entitled “You’ve Got Science in My Fantasy!,” featuring fellow writers Gregory Benford, Yves Meynard, Brent Weeks and L.E. Modesitt. The panel is described this way: “In Operation Chaos, Poul Anderson’s shapeshifters’ …

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The Space-Time Continuum: Steampunk

Here’s my latest column for the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild’s newsletter Freelance… *** They’ve become a fixture at science fiction conventions: people wearing goggles, leather coats, high laced boots and aviator caps, carrying strange devices of glass, brass and leather. They look old-fashioned and futuristic at the same time. They’re aficionados of a sub-genre of science …

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The Space-Time Continuum: Science fiction poetry

My latest column for Freelance, the newsletter of the Saskatchewan Writers Guild… *** In his novel Time Enough for Love, science fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein included a number of aphorisms supposedly taken from the notebooks of his centuries-old central character, Lazarus Long. One of these I have ever since taken a kind of mischievous …

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The Space-Time Continuum: In praise of Locus

Here’s the latest of my SF/fantasy columns for the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild’s magazine Freelance. *** For most of the world, Charlie Brown is only a beloved cartoon character with a round head. But for those immersed in the science fiction and fantasy genres, Charlie Brown was also the nickname (though he hated it) of Charles …

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The Space-Time Continuum: Sturgeon’s Law doesn’t always apply

My latest column for Freelance, the magazine of the Saskatchewan Writers Guild. *** Ever heard of Sturgeon’s Law? It does not, as you might think at first glance, regulate the caviar industry in Russia; rather, it is a general description of the world around us. Formulated by the late science fiction writer Theodore Sturgeon, it …

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The Space-Time Continuum: Defining My Terms

When I was a high school debater, in the dim, distant past, I always began debates by defining my terms. So let me begin this new regular column in Freelance the same way: by defining what I’m going to be talking about. I’m going to be focusing in this column on what is referred to …

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