Tag: science fiction

Con-Version XIV

I just attended a convention in Calgary. I listened to and participated in panels on topics as diverse as dinosaurs, communicating the process of science to the general public, Mars, and the social responsibility of novelists. What kind of convention deals with such a wide range of fascinating topics? Only one: a science fiction convention. …

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Frankenstein

It’s a safe bet most of those who dressed as Frankenstein’s monster on Hallowe’en didn’t do so to honor the birth of a new form of literature and a new way of looking at the world–but Frankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus, was both. At first glance, Frankenstein seems like just another Gothic novel, full of dank castles, wandering …

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Virtual reality

My first novel is coming out next month. Entitled Soulworm, it’s a young adult fantasy set mostly in Weyburn–sort of. For plot purposes, I moved the hospital of my fictional Weyburn up onto South Hill. With just a few words, I created an artificial reality, distinguishable from the real thing only by those who have …

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Science fiction prophecies

I wrote last week about attending the World Science Fiction Convention in Winnipeg. You didn’t seriously think I was going to limit myself to just one column, did you? All those science topics I talked about last week were included in the convention because science fiction concerns itself with “the shape of things to come,” …

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ConAdian: The 1994 World Science Fiction Convention

On Friday evening I attended a fascinating lecture by Dr. Jack Cohen, one of the world’s leading reproductive biologists. On Sunday, I attended an equally fascinating lecture by Dr. William Sarjeant, a geologist at the University of Saskatchewan. I wasn’t at a scientific conference or a university lecture series: I was at ConAdian–the 52nd World …

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Big ideas

At this time of year it’s traditional to make resolutions concerning the new year, review the old year or preview the coming year. Well, I don’t normally make resolutions; reviewing the old year is done far better by others; and previewing the coming year would involve precognition–which I don’t believe in. There is, however, one …

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Lucifer’s Hammer: the asteroid threat

Haven’t had anything to worry about for a while? Here, let me fix that… Sometime around the end of the ’70s I read a book called Lucifer’s Hammer, by Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven. It was a good book (a bestseller, in fact), but out of all its memorable scenes the one I remember best is …

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