Category Archives: essays

Satirists, Lost and Found

Last week was an interesting one in the realm of satirical literature. It brought us word of the sad passing of a modern master, Terry Pratchett, author of the Discworld novels, and also of the re-discovery of the grave of … Continue reading

Posted in books, essays, fantasy, history, personal | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ancient Aliens vs. Good, Hard Work

While recovering from recent illness and exhaustion (and under duress by another family member) I wound up watching a couple of episodes of a program designed to convince us that many of the great ancient monuments of the world were … Continue reading

Posted in essays, history, medieval technology, technology | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Finding a Balance: Cultural Appropriation and Under-representation

Writing fiction has lately become a bit of a minefield where, if you write about another culture, you risk charges of appropriation, and if you fail to include representatives of other cultures, then you are exclusionary. I have always operated … Continue reading

Posted in character development, essays, personal, Uncategorized, writing, writing process | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Arisia Convention and Interstitial Genders

If you have attended a science fiction and fantasy convention lately, especially here on the East Coast, you may have notice a fair number of people wearing pronoun ribbons.  Badge ribbons in general have been quite the rage, usually advertising … Continue reading

Posted in conventions, essays, history | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

The Year of the (dead) Goat: astrology and inner Asian sports

Chinese Astrology follows a twelve-year cycle of animals who represent the character of the year ahead, and may have an influence over individuals, based on their own astrological animal, (and all kinds of other factors).  The Wall Street Journal welcomed … Continue reading

Posted in essays, history, Mongolia, research | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

GalaxyQuest and the Everyday Hero

I’d been wanting to watch “GalaxyQuest” again after quite a long time, and finally made the chance last night.  Yes, it’s just as much campy Trekkie fun as it was before, but this time, I was paying attention in a … Continue reading

Posted in essays, fantasy, fiction, movies | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Mentor Who Knew Too Much

I often read unpublished manuscripts, either because I am paid to critique or edit them, or because I am trading beta-reading with author friends.  Recently, I’ve read several manuscripts with a common flaw:  a secondary character who knows almost everything, … Continue reading

Posted in character development, essays, fantasy, fiction, movies, writing, writing advice | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment