A Padawan’s Journal, Entry #3: Hitting the (Star Wars) Books

The Star Wars Universe is really, really big. It contains thousands of alien species, a myriad technologies and philosophies, a chaos of critters, and a cast of characters whose stories have interwoven over many years and through dozens of books. … Continue reading

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The Sherman Institute for Differently-Abled Children

It is a very different place today, but as a child going over to Riverside with my grandmother, I was afraid of the high walls and gates and big grass lawns and “barrack” type buildings of the Sherman Indian Institute. … Continue reading

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A Month Without Monsanto

I know many of my friends are interested in sustainable agriculture and have justifiable reservations about the incredible prevalence of genetically-modified foodstuffs and other products in our lives today. One writer is going to try to go a whole “Month Without Monsanto” to see if she can eliminate all of these pervasive products from her food, clothing and household for 30 days . . .

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It seemed like a good idea at the time: The Slushpile Smackdown

As someone who spent many years filling slushpiles and was, indeed, discovered in one, I like to keep abreast of slushpile innovations. One such innovation is slushpile self-selection. The traditional method of sifting slush is in-house – a job usually … Continue reading

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The Competition: Pulp Sci-Fi Covers

Not to lose the thread of the argument, let us consider Trenchant Question Three: if these girls are so glamorous and so good looking, and have perfect complexions, perfect hourglass figures, shapely legs, sultry red lips and not much by way of clothing, why in the world would they even look at an overweight basement-dwelling troglodyte with mushroom-colored skin like me, the fan-dude reader?”

Hmn. Well really – if a girl’s got one choice, and one only – who’s she going to choose? The human fungus or . . .

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Casting Starfarers

Starfarers had a unique genesis.

A local sf convention had asked me to be on a panel about television science fiction. At first I was tempted to decline, because the panel always has the same structure: Somebody whips out a list of all the tv sf from the past 20 years and reads the titles and everybody agrees how terrible they all were. (Keep in mind that this panel was before some recent pretty good television sf came on.)

And then I thought, What if…

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