Single climate worlds are all through the Star Wars universe – worlds that, inexplicably, have a single ecosystem – ice, desert or forest, usually. Yet they’re all habitable by humans. I can see where the idea comes from. Here on Earth we often travel from one climate to another. Islands, particularly, often have a single… More The silliness of Star Wars’ single-climate planets
I caught up with a few episodes of Shadow Hunters the other week. OK, well, I binge-watched them. Urban fantasy, as a broad genre, has been growing on me of late. It’s an intriguing juxtaposition: modern life and technology strapped up against old-style magic. And to me, it’s not really a juxtaposition. After all, the… More Does magic trump tech in urban fantasy?
There are over a million individual words in English. Most of them are quite obscure and deserve better attention than they get. This week’s is tierced. It’s from from heraldry, meaning something divided into three equal parts with different colours (‘tinctures’), thought to be of eighteenth century origin. Your challenge? Write a sentence (or two)… More The obscure word of the week is tierced
As a teenager I remember being wowed by Larry Niven’s ‘known space’ stories, including his Ringworld novels. Looking back, though, I’m not so sure about his aliens. He had two main ones – the Puppeteers and the Kzin. At the time they were pretty cool. Up until the mid-1960s, most (good) aliens basically looked human,… More I figure that Larry Niven’s aliens weren’t alien enough
This week’s short story challenge is a photo I took of a silver fern frond. The fern is iconic to New Zealand. Use the photo to inspire a 150-200 word super-short story – a proper one, with beginning, middle, end and punchline (all super-short stories gotta have a punchline) – and post it on your blog,… More This week’s short story challenge
I posted a while back on the fact that ‘psychology’ isn’t proper science, still less a valid way of understanding the human condition. To me, the problem is summed up by where ‘psychology’ was taken by one of its pioneers, Wilhelm Reich (1897-1957). Reich, like his teacher Sigsmund Freud, thought everybody was psychologically defective – it was only a matter of degree… More How Wilhelm Reich showed that ‘psychology’ is scientific woo woo
I don’t know if it’s just me, but I can’t help thinking that book covers these days – the ones that appear on Amazon and elsewhere – are all rather homogenised. Literally, in a pixel sense – they all seem to use one or another Photoshop layer-and-blend technique to float words, ghost-like, amidst artwork which… More Why Photoshop artistry makes boring book covers, even when they’re mine…