SF/F Saturday: The Long Earth

TheLongEarth

Terry Pratchett is famous for his Discworld fantasy series, but he's tried his hand at science fiction as well. His most recent effort in this vein, in collaboration with the author Stephen Baxter, is The Long Earth, which is based on an idea that predates the Discworld books and that he's only now decided to bring to life. The premise of The Long Earth is humanity's invention of a device called the "stepper", which makes it possible to travel to parallel universes. But these universes come … [Read more...]

The Richard Dawkins Facepalm Watch, Vol. III

Facepalm2

I used to admire and look up to Richard Dawkins; I really did. But it's becoming harder for me to remember why. Over the last few years, my esteem for him has sunk lower and lower in response to a steady stream of callous, ill-thought-out or just plain ignorant remarks he's made. And last week, he hit a new low: Learned a useful new phrase this week: Social Justice Warrior. SJWs can't forgive Shakespeare for having the temerity to be white and male.— Richard Dawkins … [Read more...]

On the Morality of: Self-Plagiarism

In my last link roundup, I mentioned a damning story that leveled charges of rampant plagiarism against Chris Hedges, a left-wing writer who really loathes New Atheism. According to the story, which was published in the New Republic after other progressive outlets declined to run it, Hedges has lifted ideas, sentences and whole passages without attribution from many other people's work, from fellow reporters at Harper's to Naomi Klein, Neil Postman and Ernest Hemingway (!!). Even though I'd … [Read more...]

Male Entitlement Is a Deadly Drug

When I wrote about atheism's MRA problem, I wrote that it was imperative to drive these sexists off because of the harm they do through harassment and threats against women. Now there's a much more graphic and horrible example of the threat posed by misogynists: a mass shooting in the California town of Isla Vista this weekend, in which seven people died including the shooter. The apparent killer left a video monologue ranting about how he had been unfairly spurned by women, whom he accused … [Read more...]

Is the Internet Killing Religion?

HumanityInSpace

In recent weeks, we've seen a fierce debate ignited by a study which argued that the Internet is responsible for the dramatic growth in American religious disaffiliation over the last two decades. Since 1990, the number of Americans with no religion has skyrocketed by almost 25 million people. The study's author, Allen Downey, believes that the increasing uptake of the Internet is the best-correlated causal factor. While I'm not committing myself to Downey's conclusion, I find it very … [Read more...]

Friday Night Music: Fitz & the Tantrums

At long last, spring is in sight. Time to celebrate the season and usher in warmer weather with something upbeat, and I've got just the thing: Fitz & the Tantrums, an infectiously catchy soul-pop hybrid from L.A. Like Of Monsters and Men, another of my favorites, they trade off between male and female vocalists (in this case their lead singers Michael Fitzpatrick and Noelle Scaggs) to good effect: What's been running through your head lately? … [Read more...]

The Twitter Report: The Secret Purpose of Twitter

I probably shouldn't have said this in public, but now that the cat's out of the bag, I might as well tell you all as well. It all started a few days ago with a question about what the median number of Twitter followers is among active accounts. It turns out to be surprisingly low - less than 100 - and people with just 1000 followers are in the 96th percentile. This prompted me to make the following observation: I'd always assumed you'd need to be pushing 5 digits to qualify for … [Read more...]

Announcing: Broken Ring

Last autumn, I published my first novel, DARK HEART, an epic fantasy in a world where mortals rebelled against the gods. Today I'm happy to announce that the sequel, BROKEN RING, is now out! If you liked the first book, I'm confident that this one is even better. Here's the synopsis: One month out of every year, the constellation of the Ring rises in the night sky above the world of Caliel. But one year out of every ten, the brightest star is missing, and the Ring becomes... the … [Read more...]

Coming Soon

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Friday Night Music: The Temper Trap

Here's a little something for your Valentine's Day from the Temper Trap, a band that I just recently came across though they've been around for a while. This is from their 2009 debut, Conditions, which is another of the rare albums I can easily listen to all the way through. It's a minimalist video, but a damn good song: What music has been running through your head lately? … [Read more...]


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