Vengeance is a common theme in fantasy fiction, and it is striking how well certain FF authors tell the truth about what a messy business it is. Are there parallels one could draw to life in America today? I think so. We live in a society where social media offers a robust and pervasive platform for condemning evil people but no framework for forgiving them even when they repent.
The Naive Optimism of Reading Challenging Books
With the new year comes new resolutions, a common one being to read new books that challenge you. The idea is that doing so will expand your mind, make you a better person. But is that the inevitable outcome of such an endeavor? English professor Micah Mattix doesn't think so.
Book Review: ‘You Are What You Love’ by James K. Smith
What if we are not primarily thinking creatures, but creatures of habit? What if we are not driven mainly by what we know, but by what we love? My review of this incredible book by James K.A. Smith.
The Stupid Case for Professors of Stupidity
A blog post at Nautilus argues that we need a whole new class of experts who study the science of stupidity. But don't such people already exist?
How the Used Bookstore Near Me Stays in Business: Update May 16, 2019
I share about a recent visit to my local used bookstore. How has it stayed in business while Amazon dominates the market?
An Assortment of Kings: Update April 15, 2019
In which I got some sweet books from a used book sale and started reading Sanderson's 'The Way of Kings' despite initial misgivings. Brief updates too on my essay and fiction writing.
Book Review: ‘Doomsday Book’ by Connie Willis
Connie Willis' award-winning sci-fi novel 'Doomsday Book' is one of the few time travel stories where a female perspective forms the core of the drama. Is it worth the read?
Make the Most Beautiful Thing You Can: Update March 25, 2019
"None of us know what will happen. Don't spend time worrying about it. Make the most beautiful thing you can. Try to do that every day. That's it." ~Laurie Anderson
Questioning the Grocery Store Poets: A Review of ‘The Omnivore’s Dilemma’
I review Michael Pollan's popular book on food production and going local, and reflect on the merits of his proposal.
(Not Quite) Getting Over Cyber Punk
In a Slate op-ed published earlier this week, author Lee Konstantinou argues that "something is broken in our science fiction" and that we need to move beyond the cyber punk aesthetic. Perhaps, but there's one particular insight of cyber punk we should never abandon, which is that technology doesn't just serve us, it changes us---and not always for the better.