Tag: SF

Worldbuilding Wednesday 2/12/20: Rejected Transformers

As the picture above ** suggests, some Transformers just never made the grade. Since part of the fun of them are those oh-so-easily parodied names, here’s a list of those Autobots and Decepticons who never should have been born. I’ll call them Aborticons.   Aborticons Cosmiclutter Dirtbag Lumplizard Dinofart Kittenstrike Hysteridemic Crunkbrawl Skysnort Menhonk Hypimple …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 2/5/20: Transformers

Do you know American President Ronald Reagan is to thank for the success of the Transformers franchise? In the early 1980s Hasbro executives noticed a line of Japanese toys called the Diaclones, which were robots that transformed into vehicles. They thought the concept had merit, so the company licensed them to be sold in the …

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The Years of Rice and Salt
[Reading Challenge 2019]

The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson Random House, 2004 [Challenge # 6: An alternate history] Kim Stanley Robinson’s alternate history novel The Years of Rice and Salt caused a sensation in the SF world when it came out in 2004. In this timeline, the Black Plague kills off the entire population …

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The Silver Metal Lover [Review]

The Silver Metal Lover by Tanith Lee DAW, 1981 The Silver Metal Lover is perhaps Tanith Lee’s best known novel after her three Flat Earth books. It may be the most beloved. Though an abiding Lee fan I was immune to its charms for many years until finally deciding to read it last summer. The …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday
States of Confusion 8/28/19:
xxxx (West Coast)

I’ve looked at alternate U.S. states before on this site here and here, but frankly, where things really start to get whacky is on the West Coast. But you knew that, didn’t you? Being the most populous state in the union California tends to get divided up a lot. It seems fresh proposals come down …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 7/31/19: Detective Novels

The gruff private eye who investigated crimes with a world-weary cynicism had his start with author Dashiell Hammett amidst the throes of Prohibition when organized crime ran amok. Paperbook books began to be widely available in the decade after, and the two combined for masterpieces of vintage kitsch like the above (actual) novel by Fredric …

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Gender Pronoun Tyranny

Some months ago I decided to write a short story featuring a genderqueer, nonbinary protagonist to see, in part, how it could, and should, be done to make them human and relatable. The SF book above, released in 1992, did it by creating a new pronoun for the titular character: Cry. Cry was the pimp/madam …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 5/15/19: States of Confusion
xxxx(The American Heartland)

Not a lot seems to happen in the American Heartland, even in the U.S.A. of an alternate world. The exception is the world of Star Trek, where Captain James T. Kirk (remember the T stands for Tiberius) is stated in canon to have been born in “a small town in Iowa.” When the series was …

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The Geek Feminist Revolution [Review]

The Geek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley Tor, 2016 Kameron Hurley is one of a new generation of feminist SFF writers who began to publish in the 2010s, when social media began is phase of near-ubiquitousness, a cornucopia of hype, much of a geek-related. By geek I mean SFF in its many media — games, …

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Alternative Truths III: Endgame Released

My short story “Gold and Ivory” appears at the end of this marvelous collection!     Alternative Truths III: Endgame is the final volume in the best-selling Alternative Truths series from B Cubed Press. Edited by Bob Brown and Jess Faraday, Endgame features 30 of today’s best writers and political thinkers taking a look forward …

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