Tag Archives: Sci Fi

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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Joe Ely and the Question of “Sci-Fi” Country Music

There’s a great article by Dave Heaton of PopMatters about Joe Ely, one of the great Texas songwriters.  Entitled “Do iPhones Dream of Boxcars”, it covers the recently re-released digital recordings Ely did in the 1980s (long after the Flatlanders … Continue reading

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Neko Case and Kelly Hogan’s “Droids” is Awesome and Snarky

One of my favorite musical memories is watching these ladies perform back-to-back sets at the legendary Grand Emporium in Kansas City in 2000.   Now, they’re tackling science-fiction fandom and coming up with some pretty funny stuff. Some people are … Continue reading

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Generation Y, Sci-Fi, Genres, and Nostalgia

Two articles were all over Facebook yesterday and they seem really connected to me. One is Junot Díaz’s Salon interview that (despite a sensationalized title) has some excellent things to say about literary genre. The other is a clever essay … Continue reading

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Johnny Cash: Science Fiction Author

As I’ve said here before, the connections between science fiction and 20th-century popular music run very deep. If you’re a fan of both, you find yourself becoming the jelly in a giant nostalgia sandwich.  Want an example? This week, Cracked.com … Continue reading

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Not Pictured: My Nostalgic Favorite SF/Fantasy Books

Last post, I showed a picture of some books from my early reading days that I found in my parents’ basement.  They’re only a smattering–the ones that never were lost/loaned/stolen like many others.  They represent the tip of my sci-fi/fantasy … Continue reading

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Portrait of the “Artist” as a Young Fan

Here’s a foray into personal sci-fi nostalgia.  The books in the fuzzy picture below were boxed in my parents’ basement.  Some of them even have tags from a garage sale that never happened while I was away at college. Collectively, … Continue reading

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What is That Junk??

There’s a lot of junk in the photo at the top of the page.  It could be my own personal voodoo shrine.  Nope.  It’s a collection of pop culture items that I’ve accumulated over the years.  Tchotcskies.  Lagniappes.  Whate’er you … Continue reading

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Goonan’s In War Times: SF Nostalgia and Lost Jazz Giants

Kathleen Ann Goonan’s In War Times (2007)  is a splendid book, and in many ways it represented the culmination of all the threads my Topics in the Novel class considered: nostalgia, science fiction, jazz, comic books, history-as-pastiche, youth rebellion, time … Continue reading

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SF Fandom Birthed Rock Journalism (Remembering Paul Williams)

I just learned that rock critic and science-fiction researcher Paul Williams passed away Wednesday.  Anyone looking for an example of how science fiction fandom helped create rock n’ roll journalism, look no further than the first half of this interview … Continue reading

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Buddy Holly, Bradley Denton, and Bahktin

I’m almost reluctant to write about Brad Denton’s Buddy Holly is Alive and Well on Ganymede because I’ll be talking about it in my Eaton Science Fiction Conference paper on retro-futurism and nostalgia.  Instead of covering that material here, I … Continue reading

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George Lucas and Pavement: My Imaginary California

When I started dating a girl from the Sacramento Valley, there were only two northern California towns I really knew and cared about. One was Stockton, the town that produced the great band Pavement.  “Cesspool,” the people who’d been there … Continue reading

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Why I’m OK with “Sci-Fi”

Exhibit A in the ways pop culture nostalgia affects my work with speculative literature: I’m OK with the term “Sci-Fi.” A lot of folks working in SF hate the label. They see it as a dismissive term, used by those … Continue reading

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