Weekend Coffee: April 18

Coffee

The National Abortion Access Bowl-a-Thon is almost here again! If you've got a few dollars to spare and want to help strike down barriers to choice, please donate to my wife Elizabeth and her team, At Your Cervix.• The construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea is being blockaded by protesters who believe the mountain is sacred because of a Native Hawaiian myth stating that the world was created starting there.• Just for laughs: The Journal of Universal Rejection, … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: Welcome to Atlantis

MountainValley

Atlas Shrugged, part III, chapter IAnd now, we embark on the third and final part of Atlas Shrugged. When we left off at the conclusion of Part II, it was on a cliffhanger: Dagny's plane was spiraling down for a crash landing, plummeting into a mysterious valley that seemingly appeared out of nowhere. Part III begins as she regains consciousness:When she opened her eyes, she saw sunlight, green leaves and a man's face....She was looking up at the face of a man who knelt by her … [Read more...]

The Sci-Fi Fans Who Fear Change

The Hugos, one of the most prestigious awards for sci-fi and fantasy writing, have been hijacked. After several years in which the awardees had become increasingly diverse, reflecting the broader reach and appeal of SF/F, readers discovered that this year's nominees were dominated by a ballot-stuffing campaign organized by a right-wing faction that calls itself, no joke, the Sad Puppies.The SPs' slate includes works by Vox Day, a.k.a Theodore Beale, a loathsome right-wing polycrank who … [Read more...]

Announcing: Arc of Fire

There's nothing like the feeling of being beaten to the punch. I uploaded the final edits late last week, linked all the publication pages together, and got ready to make this announcement... and then someone went and figured out the URL and bought a copy before I'd even put this post up. Clever, whoever you are!Today I'm announcing the publication of my fourth novel, ARC OF FIRE. It's the final book in my Caliel fantasy series, concluding the story from CITY OF LIGHT from last fall. In a … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: Bells and Whistles

AtlasPart2Computers

Atlas Shrugged Part II: The StrikeIn most things, the producers of Atlas Shrugged Part II were unwilling to deviate in the slightest from the book. They followed the text as slavishly as possible, keeping everything that screen-time and budget constraints would allow. But there are a few places where they chose to make changes, one of which was the climactic train-disaster scene of Part II. It's illuminating to look at the reasons why, and to see what the changes show - or fail to show - … [Read more...]

On Financial Independence

Via this interview on Vox, I came across an intriguing blog by a writer who goes by the unlikely appellation of Mr. Money Mustache. MMM, as I'll call him for short, argues that an ordinary person can save enough to retire after as little as ten years of full-time work, without winning the lottery or coming into a windfall inheritance. He did it himself, and he's happy to explain how. Much of his advice struck a chord with me, and I've found a lot in what he says that should make humanists sit up … [Read more...]

How Religious Bigotry Was Beaten Back in Indiana

GuardianStatues

Last month, Indiana's Republican-dominated legislature passed, and Gov. Mike Pence signed, an intensely controversial "religious freedom" bill very similar to the one that almost passed in Arizona last year. It was based on the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, but with several crucial differences, especially the fact that it allowed for-profit businesses to assert a religious-freedom defense in cases brought against them by private parties. In other words, it allowed them to use … [Read more...]

Coming Soon

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Friday Night Music: Transgressor

I previously used this space to feature Quiet Company, an ex-Christian rock band from Texas. They've just released a new album, Transgressor, that's a bit more polished and less emotionally raw, but I think every bit as good as their last: … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: Talking Is Not a Free Action

Atlas Shrugged Part II: The StrikeThe hallmark of Atlas Shrugged is the character filibuster: the story grinds to a halt so that one of Rand's heroes can deliver a long, apparently extemporaneous speech, explaining the philosophical grounding and moral implications of Objectivism in grueling detail. These often stretch to absurd lengths: for example, Francisco's speech at Jim Taggart's wedding about the importance of money is about 2,600 words long. Most people speak at about 120 words per … [Read more...]


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