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April 2013 ISSUE

Another Word: Literatures of Despair

When I grew up, I knew what a fantasy novel was. I had my examples right there close to hand: Terry Brooks, David Eddings, Barbara Hambly, Louise Cooper, Lloyd Alexander. They were the stories deep within other worlds, where there were elves and dwarfs, or something like them. There was magic. There was a dark [...]

February 2013 ISSUE

Another Word: Reading and Writing and Moral Judgment

“I am a firm believer in whatever gets you through the night.”
—William “Bill” Boettcher, my high school Biology teacher.
A while ago, I was talking to a woman who is a Much Bigger Name in Genre Fiction than I am. She’s been publishing since I was just learning how to do all this, [...]

December 2012 ISSUE

Another Word: The Echo Chamber

There was a time, not in my daughter’s life but in mine, when information was hard to get. I can still remember a friend of mine struggling to describe a new programming trick that he was working with. He called it a hyperlink. At the time, it sounded like it might be an interesting way [...]

October 2012 ISSUE

Another Word: Practicing Dissatisfaction

I graduated from college with a BS in Biology. That’s not what you’d call a terminal degree, and the job opportunities that opened before me weren’t exactly in my field of study. I was engaged to a lovely woman who had plans to travel, and so it followed that I did too. In the meantime, [...]

August 2012 ISSUE

Another Word: Plausibility and Truth

There’s a puzzle I don’t know the answer to, but the more I look around for it, the more I see it. Most of the time, it’s amusing. Sometimes it scares the crap out of me.
So, funny story. Back in 1998, I was at Clarion West. One of my classmates turned in a story about [...]

June 2012 ISSUE

Another Word: Assimilation, Multiculturalism, and Me

A few years ago, I was at a workshop with an author who I deeply admire and personally enjoy. We were talking about community, and what made up our community, and it became clear very quickly that we had completely different definitions of the word. She meant something like "people who mutually acknowledge themselves to [...]

April 2012 ISSUE

Another Word: Reading as Performance

My main complaint, and reason my interest flagged, was that both the characters and setting seemed flat.—SF Reader on A Shadow in Summer
…an imagined world of this quality: for a city as graceful and fascinating as Saraykhet, and for such persuasively human characters.—Strange Horizons on A Shadow in Summer

One of the things that my wiser [...]