To me, those two words are one of the keys to good science fiction. The writer looks at a current state of affairs in politics, society or science (or all three), asks “What if?” and their imagination creates the foundation for a story. It certainly seems like that’s the method Ted Kosmatka used [...]
British travel writer Fraser Harrison knows most travelogues are written with the writer’s home country in mind. He admits, though, that he didn’t necessarily aim Infinite West: Travels in South Dakota at British or other readers. He also is addressing “the people who inhabit the exotic land through which I journeyed.” Although writing as a [...]
Like perhaps most everyone, occasionally something strikes you that makes you think about those three or five people, dead or alive, you would invite to dinner if your could. Now anyone who reads this blog might well think that Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen are on the “must invite” list. To be honest, though, I [...]
There is a place where the literary world and the gaming industry intersect. It’s the Nobel Prizes. Once again this year you can place bets on who is going to win the Literature Prize.
Once again, Albanian author Ismail Kadare is considered a contender. As of this review, he’s one of three authors listed at [...]
Almost of necessity, dystopian literature has its roots in concerns of the times in which it is written. It is an author envisioning a potential future in which something already existing or on the horizon heads in a bad direction. What author Jane Rogers recognizes in her award-winning The Testament of Jessie Lamb is the [...]
As David Hadju documents in his excellent examination of comic books in the 1940s and 1950s, The Ten-Cent Plague, adults saw the genre as contributing to juvenile delinquency and even subverting American values. This uproar, which included U.S. Senate hearings, led to the creation of the Comic Codes Authority in 1954. Yet even before the [...]
Kafkaesque. It’s one of a handful of literary terms that is really overworked. But I challenge anyone to read Phillipe Claudel’s The Investigation without that word coming to mind. Ultimately, though, Claudel adds a surrealistic resolution that may baffle readers.
Claudel’s book tells of the Investigator, sent to an unnamed city to investigate a series [...]
Although many consider it little more than a holiday with fireworks, July 4 is meant to celebrate the final approval of the Declaration of Independence and its precepts. One of its key elements is epitomized in the phrase “that all men are created equal.” Granted, there was an inherent contradiction with the existence of slavery [...]
It’s an aphorism that is phrased various ways. Yet the truth general truth of “It’s not the idea, it’s the execution” holds true in almost any endeavor. Books are no exception.
Sociologist Robert Bartholomew and Benjamin Radford, deputy editor of Skeptical Inquirer magazine, have an intriguing concept in exploring the media’s spread of hoaxes and [...]
Too big to fail.
It’s a phrase that has become so ubiquitous that even the Federal Reserve has a definition on one of its web sites. From the Fed’s standpoint, an organization is “too big to fail” when it is “so important to markets and their positions [are] so intertwined with those of other [institutions] [...]