Tag Archives: science fiction

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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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 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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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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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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Read My New Short Story at Sockdolager

I have a short story in the Summer 2017 issue of Sockdolager Magazine.  It’s called “River Styx Leads to Athens: The Nearly Complete U.L.O. Story.” It’s probably better the less I say about it.  Read it before you read the … 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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Rickman Rocked It (From Hogwarts to CBGB)

Today, news of Alan Rickman’s death flooded the internet, just days after David Bowie’s passing. He played in many sf/fantasy films, including Galaxy Quest and as Snape in the Harry Potter movies. He also did films that had a more magic-realist spin–including … Continue reading

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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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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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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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Dime Novel Sci-Fi at “God and the American Writer” Symposium

At the end of February, I’ll be presenting a paper on the Frank Reade, Jr. dime-novel inventor series at a special symposium on “God and the American Writer” sponsored by the American Literature Association. What do those early science-fiction stories–best … Continue reading

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Rediscovering Michael Moorcock: Rock Music, Multiverses, and Buckaroo Banzai Nostalgia

On the last day of 2014, The New Yorker published a piece on legendary fantasy author and editor Michael Moorcock. I’ve been rediscovering Moorcock this year, mostly due to connections in SF, music, and 80s nostalgia. As the NY article notes, … Continue reading

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Pop Songs in Science-Fiction Movies and TV Shows

This week, Tor.com posted a list of songs that did (and didn’t) work in SF and fantasy TV shows and films.  Natalie Zutter, Emily Asher-Perrin and Leah Schnelbach compiled a fun list. Face it–if you grew up without cable TV and before … Continue reading

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What Stories Were Most Popular in SF Course?

I’ve submitted final grades for my summer Science Fiction class at UC Davis.  I will post some more info about the class in the coming weeks, including a lesson plan or two for any teachers out there looking for suggestions. … Continue reading

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New Flash Fiction – “Have You Seen Lucky?”

My short story “Have You Seen Lucky?” was recently published by Abyss & Apex. Dog lovers and Replacements fans should enjoy it. While you’re there, buy a copy of The Best of Abyss & Apex, Vol. 1 which features great short … 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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KU Science Fiction: A Sketch of Pohl, Gunn, and Harrison

I’m going through all my notes from the Intensive Institute on the Teaching of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas.  I found the sketch below in notes from the first Campbell Conference I attended. Fred Pohl, James Gunn, and Harry … Continue reading

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Jack Wright in D.C., Twain and Faulkner at ALA

I spent most of Wednesday reading two Jack Wright dime novels at the Library of Congress.  Both are great examples of proto-science fiction that imagines inventors making a difference in real-world affairs. In “Running the Blockade; or, Jack Wright Helping the Cuban … Continue reading

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Story Sold to Abyss & Apex

Last week, the awesome online science fiction magazine, Abyss & Apex, accepted some of my fiction.  My short story—”Have You Seen Lucky?”—will appear on their site in 2015. I am thrilled.  I will post a link when it is released. … Continue reading

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Scott Westerfeld & Justine Larbalestier Interview is Out

The interview Laurie Glover and I did with YA science-fiction giants Scott Westerfeld and Justine Larbalestier is now out. It appears in the Spring 2014 issue of Writing on the Edge (WOE), pages 96-106.  It’s not available online, so Larbalestier/Westerfeld … Continue reading

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Forthcoming Westerfeld and Labalestier Interview

Last week, Laurie Glover and I interviewed authors Scott Westerfeld and Justine Labalestier for UC Davis’s interdisciplinary writing journal, Writing on the Edge.  I’ve been transcribing and editing for the past few days with a February 28th deadline. We discussed … Continue reading

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Short Story Sold

This morning, I received an acceptance letter from the editors at Perihelion Science Fiction accepting my short story, “Eyesores,” for publication. Perihelion is a great fiction site with an emphasis on hard SF. Definitely worth checking out if you haven’t … Continue reading

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Wild, Wild West and Steampunk Movies

I just made 13 first-year university students watch the 1999 film version of Wild, Wild West, starring Will Smith and Salma Hayek, and directed by Barry Sonnenfeld.  I feel sort of guilty. It’s a bad film.  Even Roland Barthes would … 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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