The Hobbit

ROBERT A. HEINLEIN’S JUVENILES: Are they still good? (Part One)

I seem to be unable to do single columns about stuff I’m passionate about. Heinlein is no exception. Robert A. Heinlein, who was characterized as the “Dean of Science Fiction,” though he was not necessarily the oldest or the best writer of SF during his lifetime, began his writing career before he went back into […]

I Can’t Compete with CGI!

When I was in senior high school (thirty looong years ago) I had an appointment with a career counsellor. I had an aptitude for art and was interested in science.. Based on these two pieces of information he told me that I should pursue a career in computer art. I laughed in his face. You […]

When Hairy Met Scaly

“Do not annoy a dragon, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.” — Author Unknown A myth about ancient map makers is that they’d adorn the distant uncharted areas with “Here Be Dragons”, presumably a McDonald’s-like warning to sailors about “Over 1 Billion Eaten” and counting. But in truth, only one such map […]

Weaned on Science Fiction and Fantasy

One thing that’s been abundantly clear to me, as someone weaned on video games, is how indebted we are to science fiction  and fantasy.  Final Fantasy’s core concepts―its monsters, its ridiculous evil antagonists, its specific names―come straight from fantasy authors, and those that didn’t come secondhand from Dungeons and Dragons and other tabletop experiences. While […]

The British Are Coming…Again

I’ve always thought that US TV shows have the ground covered when it comes to science fiction TV shows (although the UK has the longest running show Doctor Who to brag about). But occasionally the UK produces some great new content. Being Human is one show, which was picked up and spun into a US […]

In the Beginning…

Memorable first lines can not only make-or-break a story, these quick literary introductions can become just as iconic as the entire body of work.

There and Back Again, or, How I Got Scared Into Science Fiction

Science Fiction is one of the great loves of my life. I have spent some thirty odd years reading, critiquing, discussing, collecting, watching and dreaming it (I won’t talk about writing it, at least not yet). I cannot now clearly remember my life before SF and most certainly cannot imagine my life without it. If […]

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 […]

The Unsavory Racism of Middle Earth

The concept of race in Middle Earth bears a strong resemblance to racist concepts that were popular during Tolkien’s youth. Readers need to be aware of these concepts and guard against taking them literally.