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Science fiction, science fact, and all that's in between ...

Last Build Date: Sat, 25 Mar 2017 14:23:41 +0000


Literature as laboratory

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 14:23:41 +0000

Nailed it, Naomi. Every utopia contains a dystopia. Every dystopia contains a utopia. The conclusion I’ve come to through extensive speculative fiction voyaging is that the best we can hope for, probably, is to create a society that tries hard not to leave people out. And to be vigilantly alert to the people we are … Continue reading Literature as laboratory

The caul of the wild

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 13:55:53 +0000

… when you blame McCandless for being naive and failing to learn anything about the problems he would face in the “wild”; or when you blame Knight for living off the land the way a Yosemite bear or suburban racoon might, that is as “the land” now presents itself, you are really, if unintentionally, mourning an … Continue reading The caul of the wild

The critical utopia vs. the consumptive picaresque

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 13:14:15 +0000

Three things make a post, as we used to say. Here’s Yuval Noah Harari — whose book(s) I really need to make the time to read in full — being roundtabled at Teh Graun: The key issue is that because our power depends on collective fictions, we are not good in distinguishing between fiction and … Continue reading The critical utopia vs. the consumptive picaresque

Poor scribblers!

Thu, 16 Mar 2017 17:08:41 +0000

Truly dissatisfied persons, maybe more than anybody else, take a large proportion of their experience from books. Or they find they can double their experience, and make a second pass at the day-today, by writing it down. Poor scribblers! Such people are closest to a solution, and yet to everyone else they seem to be … Continue reading Poor scribblers!

The present tense and the present tension

Fri, 10 Mar 2017 13:42:26 +0000

Present-tense narration is now taken for granted by many fiction readers because everything they read, from internet news to texting, is in the present tense […]. Past-tense narration easily implies previous times and extends into the vast misty reaches of the subjunctive, the conditional, the future; but the pretense of a continuous eyewitness account admits little … Continue reading The present tense and the present tension