Category Archives: essays

Fundamentals for Life

I was recently cleaning up my hard-drive and reorganizing a bunch of files, deleting old things and, not coincidentally, searching for some of my idea notes for a new project when I came across a file entitled simply “Fundamentals.”  I … Continue reading

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The Problem of Plagues. . .and other Medieval Usage Issues

I am working my way through my editor’s notes on Elisha Mancer, book four in The Dark Apostle series, and encountering the difficulty of words.  Words are, in a novel, the primary tool for delivering the story.  In a historical … Continue reading

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Anti-technology Fantasy and the Author’s War Experience

This past weekend, I was delighted to spend at Readercon in their new location in Quincy, Massachusetts. Here is the description of one of the panels that got me thinking: If Thor Can Hang Out with Iron Man, Why Can’t … Continue reading

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Maps and Direction: Exploring a Metaphor

I recently stopped in at a local gas station/convenience store to look for a local area map that will help me think about where to buy my next house.  The woman next to me in line immediately asked where I … Continue reading

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How do you Keep an Author in Suspense?

I am an avid follower of the Bulwer-Lytton contest for a truly terrible opening sentence for a book–entries are now open for 2016, if you are so inclined.  At the very least, you should click through to the 2015 winners … Continue reading

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After “The End”

I have had the experience several times now of reading a book that I am very much enjoying–right up until the end.  Then the work either fizzles out, simply stops, or blatantly kicks me in the teeth (as a reader).  … Continue reading

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Alien Intelligence, Close to Home

Thanks to a clever octopus in New Zealand who escaped back to the sea, there’s been a lot of talk lately about animal intelligence.  A recent book by Frans de Waal  questions whether we are even smart enough to know … Continue reading

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