Snape & Sensibility & Sci-Fi: Remembering Alan Rickman

My blog is becoming an obituary column. Just days after saying goodbye to David Bowie,  today we face another beloved British performer's sudden departure: Alan Rickman.  Few actors can glide between genres--classics, science fiction, fantasy, and more--and bring such an unmistakable presence to every one. I'm still too shocked to attempt writing a proper tribute, so instead I... Continue Reading →

Top 5 Wednesday: Banned Books

“Ban a book? How can someone control what I read?” I demanded. It was the mid-1990s and our local librarians had asked my mother, a trusted patron with an educator’s objective eye, to evaluate a young adult novel another parent was lobbying to ban. For me, books were like oxygen: ubiquitous, essential, and in almost unlimited supply. I... Continue Reading →

The Literature Museum: Sci-Fi and Sexism

“Think of it as the literature museum,” my father told me when I was fifteen. I was a dually-enrolled high school student at the local college, and frustrated with some of the ideas I encountered in the curriculum’s so-called classic novels. Dad, a veteran English major himself, helped me contextualize the antiquated stories by likening... Continue Reading →

Recent Reads: “We” by Yevgeny Zamyatin

1984 is often regarded as the original dystopia, but Orwell himself acknowledged that the novel was somewhat derivative. His inspiration? Yevgeny Zamyatin’s 1921 novel We, evolutionary ancestor of the totalitarian sci-fi stories so popular today. It’s easy to dismiss the book as cliched until one places it on the continuum of speculative fiction and remembers that... Continue Reading →

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