Category Archives: All Posts

August Updates: Book and Articles

My American Novels to 1900 class for UC Davis started last week, and I’m finishing up some big projects before fully diving into that pool. First, I’m doing final proofreading review for my “Science and Technology” chapter of Cambridge University … Continue reading

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New Gears and God Review

Last month’s issue of Nineteenth-Century Literature featured a review of Gears and God. It requires a subscription to read the whole thing, but I’m providing a link to the preview of the first page from University of California Press’ page. … Continue reading

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New Editing Gig at Mark Twain Annual

Last week, I formally agreed to be the new Book Review Editor for the Mark Twain Annual. The Annual is a fantastic journal–one that I look forward to each year. They publish Twain scholarship that takes risks, tries things, and … Continue reading

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Live at ConQuesT 50

I returned from Kansas City a few weeks back and thought I’d share some highlights from the annual science fiction convention (ConQuesT). I appeared on two panels (one on American Gods, one on Doctor Who) and had reading that included … Continue reading

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Full ConQuesT 50 Schedule

My full schedule for Kansas City’s 50th Anniversary ConQuesT SF Convention is now available under Appearances. Come by the Sheraton at Crown Center and see me talk about Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, Doctor Who, and read some of the stranger … Continue reading

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ConQuesT 50th Anniversary

The Kansas City Science Fiction Convention (ConQuesT) has updated its list of panelists. I’ll be appearing there, along with some fine writers, artists, and fans, starting on Friday, May 24. I’ll post more under the “Appearances” tab once I know … Continue reading

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Summer UC Davis Class: American Novel to 1900

This summer, I’ll be teaching the “American Novel to 1900” course for UC Davis English Department. The full information is on their course schedule page. The first three novels we’ll cover in the six-week class: The Female American, Winkfield (1767) … Continue reading

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Cambridge History of Science Fiction is Out!

I received my contributor’s copy of The Cambridge History of Science Fiction this week. This book is a thorough, thoughtful collection of essays about key developments in the history of SF worldwide. Gerry Canavan and Eric Carl Link have done … Continue reading

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This Year’s Sturgeon Short-Fiction Award Nominees

One of the coolest things my alma mater’s Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction does is facilitate the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for best SF short story of the year. They announced nominees this week. Named for the phenomenal … Continue reading

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This Year’s Nebula Finalists

Just a quick note that the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) announced nominees for the Nebula Awards this week. I’m posting a link to the full list. I just want to commend Andy Duncan, Tina Connolly, and … Continue reading

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New Review of Gears and God

U of Alabama Press just recently sent me a copy of a forthcoming Gears and God review by John Rieder that will be appearing in the next issue of Science Fiction Studies. I’ll try to get permission to excerpt it … Continue reading

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The Updates Before Christmas

The quarter at UC Davis is over, and I’m spending most of my time revising a 4,000-word entry on “Science and Technology” for Mark Twain in Context, a book forthcoming from Cambridge U Press. It’s a joy to read/re-read some … Continue reading

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Projects from Steampunk Freshman Seminar 2018

This week, students in my Fall 2018 “First-Year Seminar” on steampunk turned in their first round of creative projects. The assignment asks them to “steampunk a common object.” As you can see from the photo below, I got some clever … Continue reading

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Gears and God Signing at Avid Reader

I’m doing a reading/signing for my book, Gears and God, at the Avid Reader in Davis this Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. Please share with friends who like Mark Twain, science fiction, or U.S. history!

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Mark Twain Forum Reviews Gears and God

As promised earlier, here is a link to the full text of John Bird’s review of Gears and God on the Mark Twain Forum.  Here’s an excerpt: Gears and God is important for the way it places Mark Twain’s works within … Continue reading

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Book Review News: Gears & God; Strange Stars

Gears and God received a really positive review from John Bird on the Mark Twain Forum last week. I’m unable to reprint it, but will try to link to it in the future. Speaking of reviews, I’m thrilled to be … Continue reading

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Mark Twain Center Hosts “Gears and God” Short Essay

A few months ago, Joe Lemak from the Center for Mark Twain Studies at Elmira College asked me if I’d like to write something to promote my book for their web site. Today, they’ve published that essay, along with some … Continue reading

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Dr. Who Draws from David Bowie (Again)

This week, BBC announced the official premiere date of the new season of Doctor Who, starring Jodie Whittaker. The first episode’s title will be “The Woman Who Fell to Earth.” It’s a tip of the hat to 1970s sci-fi film … Continue reading

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Gears & God (& Me) at Worldcon 76

My box of author copies of Gears and God arrived a couple of weeks ago. I’ve also heard that people who’ve already ordered it on Amazon have received their copies in the past weeks. I’m lucky to have Borderlands Books … Continue reading

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Worldcon Academic Track and Schedule

This weekend, I’m working as the lead coordinator of Worldcon 76’s academic-track programming in San Jose. This means I’ll be moderating multiple panels, as well as attending most of the other ones. Full info is on the online programming guide. … Continue reading

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Oxford Fantasy Class

In four weeks, I taught seven novels at Jesus College, Oxford and oversaw multiple day trips. Examples? After reading Alice in Wonderland, we visited Christ Church College in Oxford where Lewis Carroll taught and took a boat ride down the … Continue reading

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Teaching Fantasy Class at Oxford

This summer, it will be my honor to cover Dr. Amy Clarke’s regular UC Davis Study Abroad class called Oxford: Portal to Fantasy. Right now, I’m having a wonderful time revisiting some classics (and reading a few new ones). The … Continue reading

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Steampunk Class Projects

Last quarter, I finished up another section of my UC Davis first-year seminar on Steampunk. Fifteen students came on board to read the VanderMeer’s short story collection, the original League of Extraordinary Gentlemen graphic novel, and watch Wild Wild West … Continue reading

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There are Two James Gunns, but Nobody’s Confused

James Gunn had two great stories in Asimov’s last month, finishing a string of works he’s published there over the last year, all affiliated with his recent Transcendental series for Tor Books. But the author is not the same guy … Continue reading

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Did Bob Dylan Use Star Trek Dialogue as Lyrics?

Since I wrote my earlier post on The Last Jedi‘s use of Elvis Costello, another famous sci-fi/rock ‘n’ roll connection has been on my mind: a minor incident in Bob Dylan’s career that involves fans thinking he had pilfered Star Trek dialogue for lyrics. … Continue reading

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