Tag: Columns

The Space-Time Continuum: How a small-town Saskatchewan boy launched science fiction’s Golden Age

My most recent Space-Time Continuum column for Freelance, the magazine of the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild.  The Golden Age of science fiction, many say, began with the publication of A.E. van Vogt’s story “Black Destroyer” in Astounding in 1939. Isaac Asimov’s first story for Astounding appears in that same issue; the next contained the first story by Robert …

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The Space-Time Continuum: What do writers owe their readers?

Here’s my latest column from Freelance, the magazine of the Saskatchewan Writers Guild. The Winds of Winter, the sixth book in George R.R. Martin’s bestselling fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire, still doesn’t have a release date, six years after the release of A Dance with Dragons. (And there’s a final book, A …

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The Space-Time Continuum: Pulp Fiction

This is my latest column from the Saskatchewan Writers Guild magazine Freelance, with extra graphics! Mention “pulp fiction” these days and most people probably think of the 1994 Quentin Tarantino movie. But of course the movie’s title referenced something much earlier: fiction literally published on pulp—cheap paper made directly from wood-pulp. Pulp paper quickly turns …

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The Space-Time Continuum: Aliens in Science Fiction

Having just posted my column from the February/March 2017 issue of Freelance, the magazine of the Saskatchewan Writers Guild (see previous post), it behooves me to be more timely and post the most recent column, from the April/May issue. And here it is! I remember being confused, as a kid, the first time I encountered the …

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The Space-Time Continuum: Creating Magic Systems

This is a belated posting of my column from the February-March 2017 issue of Freelance, the magazine of the Saskatchewan Writers Guild. Don’t know how I missed posting it, but better late than never! Most fantasy stories include magic: that’s kind of what makes them fantasy. (In fact, if I had to distinguish between fantasy …

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The Space-Time Continuum: Maxims and proverbs and saws, oh my!

Here’s my latest Space-Time Continuum column for Freelance, the magazine of the Saskatchewan Writers Guild: Writers love to write about writing, probably because writing about writing is a great way to avoid actually, you know, writing. Sometimes writing about writing takes the form of a long essay or (ahem) column; sometimes it takes the form …

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The Space-Time Continuum: Frankenstein, the first science fiction novel

This is my Space-Time Continuum column for the latest issue of Freelance, the magazine of the Saskatchewan Writers Guild. It’s a modified version of a column I wrote ages ago as one of my newspaper science columns. It seemed appropriate to bring that old column back to life…bwah-ha-ha! As I write this, it’s about three …

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The Space-Time Continuum: The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction

My “Space-Time Continuum” column for the August/September 2016 issue of Freelance, the newsletter of the Saskatchewan Writers Guild. When I was growing up, in pre-Google days, my go-to book for anything I had a question about was the 1958 edition of Collier’s Encyclopedia, which my parents had bought before I was born. One thing I …

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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 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: 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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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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