The Right Time for J.G. Ballard

As a kid growing up on Asimov, Bradbury, Burroughs, Clarke, and Verne, somehow James Graham (J.G.) Ballard flew under my radar. Ballard would probably appreciate that analogy. His work frequently highlights civilization’s dependence on dysfunctional technology. But when web searches for climate fiction repeatedly turned up The Drowned World, I could no longer ignore this … Read more

Recent Reads

Books are like windows. Open a book and breathe in the fresh air, or close a book and suffocate. Here’s what I’ve been breathing lately. Climate Fiction has been calling me, enough to read the gargantuan Overstory—three times the length of most books I read, and well worth it. Along with that, I recently read … Read more

Journey to the Center of the Planet of the Apes

Image credit: From the Mark Talbot-Butler collection on The sun sags in its low October arc, eclipsed now and then by the Douglas Firs that line the rural two-lane highway in Washington’s Snohomish Valley. Our destination: Bob’s Corn, a working farm that annually transforms into a fall-themed amusement park. Hundreds of cars park haphazardly … Read more

Dystopian Pop Art

A few miles north of Alliance Nebraska, an occasional silo sprouts from the quilt of corn and soybean fields. It seems plausible that we might drive for hours and see nothing else. Maybe Carhenge doesn’t really exist. It’s urban legend, a consensual hallucination with no basis in reality. Then, there it is, writhing within the … Read more

Spring Update and Roswell Awards

I had a note to get this out by end of January, but what’s the point of a deadline if I meet it? Only by my being three months late does my deadline truly attain fulfillment. Break the deadline, be the deadline. It’s not like I didn’t have an excuse. Let’s see. Mother-in-law passed away. … Read more

Joy to the Worlds: Now Available!

Fresh off the North Pole workshop assembly line: Thirteen Christmas-themed sci fi flash fiction stories, just in time to stuff the stockings of the sci fi fan in your life. The reindeer scientists at Blitzen Genetics Laboratory have discovered why noses turn red, and they present their research in my very short story, Mutations of … Read more

At the End of the Year

The three end-of-year holidays I remember from my youth—Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas—are upon us in the usual frenzied blur. But early writing deadlines have added a unique twist to this festive season. Finish my Halloween story by June? Are you kidding? How can anyone visualize a trick-or-treat mass-murder scene while spring flowers are in bloom? … Read more

Obey the Second Law

If you’re one of the faithful half-dozen who takes the time to read these blogs, I should first thank you for enduring my unedited musings and many typos. Thanks! I wonder, though, what you might think of my productivity. I often feel like I’m spinning my wheels. I’ll wake up and declare the day has … Read more

Rebirth and Alienation

There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad.—George Orwell Every day, minions labor in the clouds to come up with some new meteorological phenomena. A polar vortex, a microburst, that sort of thing. But when they’ve lost their creative mojo … Read more

Book Review: Wandering Star by Steven Anderson

I just finished Wandering Star by Steven Anderson. I read the audiobook, but it’s also available in print and eBook. Geologist Ted Holloman is on the science team of an interstellar reunification project. As he hops from one planet to the next aboard the ship Wandering Star, he avoids an assassination attempt, discovers a … Read more