Category Archives: Items of Interest

My picks for weird post-apocalyptic SF

BlueprintsPKmech.inddThis week I’ve contributed to SF Signal’s Mind Meld. The question is essentially what science fiction you’d bring to a wedding:

Something old, something new, something borrowed. . .

Recommend three books to our readers out of your list of favorites: An older title, a newer title, and title you discovered because you borrowed it from a friend or a library.

Go check out all of the great responses. My answer focuses on, as you may have guessed, post-apocalyptic SF. The best SF book I ever borrowed from a friend was Dhalgren, a marvelous and very weird New Wave beast that takes place in a fictional ruined city. To go with Dhalgren, I picked two other outstanding weird post-apocalyptic classics, something old (The Night Land of 1912), and a strange new book that more people should read (the 2012 Blueprints of the AfterLife). Head on over and whet your appetite for some very weird post-apocalyptic SF.

#SciWars 2015

We liked #SciWars so much in 2014 that we did it again in 2015. This time, we actually did it on May 4* (aka, May the Fourth Be With You). Check out the Storify of the tweeted goodness/nerdiness.

Screenshot 2015-05-06 21.06.48

*This was not really our fault.

In Partial Defense of the Prequels

The Star Wars prequels (Episodes I-III1) are not good films2. The debate is about which one is the worst film (the correct answer is Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones despite the Yoda lightsaber scene3). The prequels are, however, very useful in the overarching mythological narrative of the Star Wars universe4. I have come to think of them as integral to the story, but, like a terrible production of Hamlet, almost unwatchable (unlike the new Star Wars VII trailer).

Following the digital release of the first six Star Wars films, my kids have been preparing for the release of Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens by watching the prequels. In the minds of my kids, Anakin Skywalker’s character is second in importance only to Ahsoka Tano. This makes Anakin’s transition from hero to villain – from good to evil – extremely dramatic to them.

It also means that Daddy has had been required to repeatedly explain the narrative arc of Darth Vader. A complete explanation of Vader’s narrative arc requires the prequels to be understood, which is why I am cautiously glad the prequels exist. What follows is the explanation of Anakin/Vader that I give my kids (WARNING: May contain pop-psychology). Continue reading

Cracked

If you are going to wind up as a reference point in a Cracked.com article, it can go a lot worse than being the Internet’s ironic evidence of Senator Lyndsay Graham’s antipathy to modern information technology (I’m concerned citizen #1), even when addressing questions on modern information technology that were submitted to his office using modern information technology*.

*It is arguable that my semi-rural, South Carolina, DSL connection is not modern information technology.

Nuttier

16280779113_1f69bb9871_oLast week I posted this photo of an animation that was used regularly during the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and asked you to divine which of the multiple problems* bothered me so much. I think I’ve left you on pins and needles long enough. Continue reading