Placing Names: it is a thing!

Well, about three years and a field of poppies later, the combined efforts of a zillion scholars have arrived on my desk in a physical manifestation of printed paper, green bindings, and a snappy little dark red trident logo! Placing Names is a thing! They actually printed it and sent it to all us editors […]

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Agit-prop 2016: Democratic Socialism Wants You

Just before the New York primary I noticed this sign posted on the Quincy Street billboard in Harvard Yard.   This is directly across the street from entrance to the Harvard Art Museum, at the gate between Philosophy, Robinson and Sever Halls.   It is a fairly good traffic spot in the mornings. Whoever posted this has […]

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The Magic Flight of Thought

  Today I was talking to my sister (Happy Birthday, Chi!) and we were chatting about the crazy speed of new technology.  How strange it is to collapse our life experience into a series of new devices and how they affected us, and then try to imagine what it is like to be born digital, […]

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A Mirror Full of Noir: Tyador Borlú Gets Lost

Just finished China Miéville’s The City and the City, a very satisfying, even inspiring, book, rich with metaphor and symbolism.  It is like a film noir, set in a mythical Eastern European city — I’m convinced it is partly based on Prague — where populations living in mutually incompatible paradlgms “unsee” each other. The beauty […]

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Readercon 24, Where did we go from here?

Last year at Readercon, there was an emotional dust-up over a sordid harassment incident, in addition to a scary and unexpected medical emergency for one of our favorite editors. At this year’s Readercon, we were spared this additional drama, and found ourselves sailing through a very mellow and enjoyable con. Of course, it was great […]

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The warm stream conquers the cold

Reading “The Second Marxian Invasion” about the Strugatski Brothers by Stephen W. Potts. Apparently this was Potts’ thesis at UC Berkeley and it is fascinating reading indeed. Tracing the utopian, socialist, and totalitarian themes in Russian fantastika literature from it’s earliest origins in the late 18th Century, the author describes how various Russian writers reacted […]

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The Republican Party as Flying Saucer Cult

Watching the Republicans flail around in psychotic convulsions at the CPAC finally seemed to have convinced some Americans of what I have observed for most of my life, namely that the GOP is the party of the criminally insane.  The recent bile-spewings of Rush Limbaugh and Alan Keyes, are nothing new.  It is rather sick […]

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