Culture

fanhistorica by Linda Michaels

The Clubhouse: Save your stuff!

I had hoped to bring you a little photo journal of some of the fans I knew in Detroit and Ann Arbor in the ’70s and ’80s, but alas, such limited pictures as I had were lost in moving, and there is a shocking lack of material relating to Michigan fandom online. I promise to […]

How to Host a Big Bang Theory Party

When the tv show the Big Bang Theory first appeared, I wasn’t sure I liked it.  I mean, weren’t people laughing at the nerdy scientists as often (or more often) than they laughed with them? Well, I learned to love the show because I think it’s generally fair, even if it plays to extremes stereotypes […]

Better Than Oprah

Several years ago I interviewed an author whose book had been turned into a movie. The book had been a selection of Oprah Winfrey’s “Book Club” and he freely admitted that that selection had changed his life. It was like winning the lottery, he said. Her imprimatur made his book a “must read” for many […]

I Got Them Old Kon-Going Blues Again, Momma.

Forgive me, Janis Joplin, for destroying that wonderful album title of yours. But it is true: the urge to get up and go to a con is growing in me. Fortunately, I can do something about this, and so can many others who suffer from the same affliction. One of the recurring features in my […]

Ora Pro Nobis. The Zombies Are Coming

Pope Benedict XVI stunned the world on February 11th by announcing his abdication. In related news on your Amazing Stories channel, the zombie apocalypse is coming. Even Snooki agrees! “One day, I know that the world is going to end with zombies.”

Cat Heaven: Neko-sama in Animanga

There is a small fishing island in Japan, Tashirojima, which has been dubbed “cat heaven” because of the phenomenal amount of stray cats living there – there are more cats than people! It sounds, to me, completely idyllic – what could be better than walking out your front door to be greeted by a group […]

The Clubhouse: Looking for fandom — ConFusion at 40, Part 4

Wherefore fandom? Fandom does not equal “the science fiction market.” To be a fan it’s not enough just to be a consumer of science fiction. To be part of fandom you have to participate in fandom as a community. You have to interact with other fans. You have to do fannish things. You cannot be […]

The Science Fiction Fan’s Bucket List

I’ve been fortunate to be able to travel a lot and do many things I’ve always wanted to do.  Some of my opportunities have been work related (e.g. using the Hubble Space Telescope, and helping to decide who else has gotten to use it).  Some have just been because I’ve taken the initiative and gone […]

Living in a Glass House

Welcome internet traveler. I will be stockpiling neatly organized bits into a collective known as a blog along this portion of your journey. Do not fear for your personal safety, as I will take great care to observe the rules of hospitality during your visit.  As I am a certifiable Tech Geek, I will spend […]

Cloud Atlas Shrugged – or let the Skyfall

On Monday Skyfall was released on Blu-ray and DVD in the UK. Tomorrow Cloud Atlas will open in UK cinemas. Two films, poles apart. Skyfall, the 23th entry in probably the world’s longest running and most successful film franchise. An undemanding, commercially safe example of formula film-making and an enormous box-office hit. Cloud Atlas a […]

What Science Fiction Lacks

Good criticism and brave critics. That’s what the science fiction field lacks. For decades now, most book reviews with in the field rarely give honest assessments of a given works strengths and weaknesses. Read any given issue of LOCUS (which is the “Newsletter of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Industry”). The book reviews are generally […]

The Fed Puts Stamps of Approval on Science Fiction Authorship

Sometime after John W. Campbell died in 1971, a few science fiction fans launched a campaign requesting that the U.S. Postal Service issue a postage stamp commemorating the legendary editor of Astounding Science Fiction and Analog. I recall eagerly signing a petition for the stamp while a member of the Wayne Third Foundation, the SF […]

J. J. Abrams | starwars.com

All Your Rebel Base Are Belong to Us: In Defense of J. J. Abrams

(Or, Why Your Beloved Franchise Is About to Become More Powerful than You Could Possibly Imagine.) Since the news that J. J. Abrams will be directing the seventh installment of Star Wars hit a couple weeks back, fandom has been more or less polarized. While some rejoiced in the knowledge that their beloved franchise is […]

Remembering When Comic Books Were For Kids

One of the coolest milestones I’ve had as a parent is when my kids learned to read. Not having to change diapers anymore was great, but seeing the pride in their faces as they read to you is something no parent should ever forget. When I was a kid in the 70s, I read comic […]

I, Shebot

If this photo gives you the creeps, congratulations, you may be human. But in another few years, it may not be so easy to tell. And as usual, science fiction is largely to blame.

Burn Your Books

Welcome internet traveler. I will be stockpiling neatly organized bits into a collective known as a blog along this portion of your journey. Do not fear for your personal safety, as I will take great care to observe the rules of hospitality during your visit.  As I am a certifiable Tech Geek, I will spend […]

In Fear Of Dub: How Should You Watch Your Anime?

Ever since foreign film and television have become popular in the English-speaking world (and title cards were a thing of the past, of course), there has been the great debate over whether subtitles or dubbed-over voices are the more appropriate method of viewing material in other languages.  Many, many, many anime fans will tell you […]

Is Science Killing Science Fiction?

Gregory Benford shared this on facebook, asking if this notion was true: Strahan, Jonathan, “Introduction,” Edge of Infinity, Solaris, 2012. This is just a short introduction to Strahan’s latest book of short stories, but he has some fascinating ideas here. He explores what he calls “the Fourth Generation” of science fiction. “Science fiction publishing is […]

The Rise of the Zombies

With zombie rom-com Warm Bodies opening to strong reviews and good box-office last week zombies have moved out of the horror ghetto into the PG13 friendly mainstream. This is a remarkable development, but what is going on? The modern zombie was first sighted in 1968, in George A. Romero’s now classic Night of the Living […]

The Galapagos Frontier Thesis

The formative American experience was the conquest of the western frontier. Would science fiction and fantasy exist without the frontier model? What does Japan’s parallel conquest of Hokkaido tell us about the legacy of colonial expansion?

Anime Mondays with Morgana! An Introduction

Happy Monday, everybody!  I’m very excited to be joining the Amazing Stories Magazine blogging staff.  Every week, I’ll be posting something new, mostly focusing on anime!  Anime is an interesting and widespread topic, and I think it’s going to be very insightful (for myself as well as the readers) to write about it in the […]

Who Let the Dog Out?

Author J. M. Barrie is best remembered for creating Peter Pan, but I’m extremely fond of his comic play The Admirable Crichton – especially when he has Ernest Woolley whine, “I’m not young enough to know everything!” I’ve concluded this quote isn’t just about the confidence that naivety gives to the young. It’s also about […]

Blind Geek For Beginners

Folks who read my author bio will have realized I lead an interesting life or that I have a passion for Starbucks. No wait, that wasn’t it. Yes, you will have noticed that I’m something of a hardcore gamer and that I’m visually impaired. Granted, the latter does make my chosen love of all things geeky a […]

To the Dadcave!

Whether you’re a new dad, or a dad starting out the new year, it’s time to think about yourself. Christmas, Thanksgiving and Halloween before the New Year were all about the kids. But they’re over. Now you’ve got a few quiet months with hopefully no yard work and some time to actually relax.  Do you […]

Scientists and Stereotypes

Older male (check), glasses (check), white lab coat (check).  A scientist!  Even without the funny hat or breaker full of red liquid, everyone recognizes the stereotype. Stereotypes can be based on a nugget of truth and can be useful in situations when there isn’t much time to figure out what’s happening, but they can also […]

The Elves of Japan

In Japan, even the elves are different. Fantasy novelist Satoru Sato has won a place in the postwar fantasy canon for his uniquely charming creations, the Korobokkuru.

Satan’s Imagination Stations

I was 8 years old, and I had gotten my greedy little hands on a copy of The Hobbit. I read it by nightlight early in the morning before my family awoke. The Lord of the Rings followed shortly after, and I even wrote my grade five book report on the plot structure of the […]