Tag Archives: Mark Twain

Gears and God Discount

University of Alabama Press has given me permission to share the 30% off price reduction code we set up for the C19 conference with the public. That means anyone can buy Gears and God: Technocratic Fiction, Faith and Empire in … Continue reading

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Americana Music in Sci-Fi Games

There’s a fascinating video on Polygon from last week that begins by asking “Why is there so much banjo music in science fiction video games today?” (I’m not a gamer, so I wasn’t up on this trend–but I’m obsessed with … Continue reading

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More Gears and God Book Reviews

I’m pleased to share two great book reviews of Gears and God: Technocratic Fiction, Faith, and Empire in Mark Twain’s America that came out recently. Both do a fantastic job of covering the book’s focus on how dime-novel science fiction … Continue reading

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Minor Updates: Writing & Teaching

October is always a busy month that starts with a birthday and ends with Halloween. Not having any major news doesn’t mean I’m not really busy. To wit: Drafting paper for MLA presentation on Twain’s love of sea adventure fiction. … Continue reading

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Twain Trip and Strange Stars Review

I’ll have at least one more research trip to the Mark Twain Papers in Berkeley between now and December (before I present at MLA on Twain’s love of sea adventure novels). I’m hoping to work a Bay-area bookstore appearance in … Continue reading

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American Novel to 1900 (Class Details)

This summer, I’m teaching UC Davis’s “American Novel to 1900” class. I used the class to try something I’d always wanted to do–something scholar Paul Lauter did while developing the uber-inclusive Heath Anthology of American Literature–namely, asking students to prioritize … Continue reading

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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 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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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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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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My Book’s on Amazon Now

My publisher wrote to let me know that Gears and God is now available for pre-order at Amazon.  It gives the release date as July 10, 2018 (so just in time for Worldcon). You can read the publisher’s summary, the … Continue reading

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Twain and Dime-Novel Science Fiction

If you’re interested in listening to my October 11, 2017 guest lecture on “Mark Twain and the Inventor Fiction Boom, 1876-1910” the audio is now available online. You can’t watch the slideshow that went with it, but there is a … Continue reading

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Gears and God Book Editing

BOOK UPDATE: I received publisher’s final copy-edits on my book, Gears and God, from University of Alabama press last night. I have about three weeks to spend going over them, checking for accuracy or making small revisions. I’ll be doing … Continue reading

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Upcoming Mark Twain Lecture

Here are final details on my upcoming presentation at Elmira College’s “Trouble Begins” Mark Twain Lecture Series: “Mark Twain and the Inventor Fiction Boom: Technology Meets American Conceit, 1876-1910” Wednesday, October 11 at The Barn at Quarry Farm Elmira, NY … Continue reading

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I Sold My Academic Book

So here’s the big announcement: last week, I signed a contract with University of Alabama Press to publish my non-fiction book on 19th-century fiction and technology.  It will likely be out in 2018. Its tentative title is Gears and God: Technocratic Fiction, … Continue reading

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Juggling Fiction and Non-Fiction

As of this week, I’ve had interest from more than one university press for my non-fiction book proposal. My book manuscript is a study of 19th-century American fiction, tentatively titled Gears and God: Technocratic Fiction, Faith, and Empire in Mark … Continue reading

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Star Wars Fun with Samuel Clemens and Edgar A. Poe

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2016 Kansas City Worldcon: Academics and Wonderment

I’m one of the organizers for the academic track at MidAmeriCon II, the World Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention in my hometown of Kansas City, MO, in 2016. We’re looking for many types of presentations, particularly ones that will appeal to Worldcon’s broad range of attendees … Continue reading

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At Work with Twain, Millar, Vowell, and more

It’s been a busy November, so I’m giving a few updates about my writing.  Stuff I’ve done rather than write blog entries here: Finishing an entry on “science and technology” for a Mark Twain-themed encyclopedia called All Things Twain. Participating in … Continue reading

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Steampunk Images from Hannibal

Just posting some photos from the Big River Steampunk Festival in Hannibal, MO.  My parents went up there over Labor Day weekend and snapped these. As I said in an earlier post, it’s nice to see one of America’s best … Continue reading

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Doctor Who’s Connecticut Yankee References: Season 9, Episode 1

My UC Davis class on Mark Twain’s technocratic writing ended the weekend before the Season 9 premiere of Doctor Who.  I re-read A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court just weeks prior, not knowing that writer/producer Steven Moffat, actor Peter Capaldi, … Continue reading

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Mark Twain’s Town Discovers Steampunk

I recently returned from a Mark Twain conference in Hannibal, MO, and I noticed a change in Twain’s hometown since the last time I was there in 2011. There’s a lot more steampunk stuff. The town is already a tourist destination, … Continue reading

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Mark Twain “Travel and Technocracy” Class at UC Davis

The course announcement for my UC Davis “Studies in an Individual Author” class on Mark Twain went live a few weeks ago.  I’m posting the link and a screen clip here. We’re focusing on travel and technocracy, especially stories where … Continue reading

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Vote for Kansas City in 2016 at Worldcon

If you or someone you know is heading to the World Science Fiction Convention in London in 15 days (Aug 14-18), I encourage you to support Kansas City’s bid to host the 2016 Worldcon.  They’ve done a splendid job of planning. … Continue reading

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