If John Galt Invented the Internet


A hero's work is never done. I've been recapping Atlas Shrugged, including the movies, for over two years, and the end was finally drawing into sight. But now I've found out that yet another adaptation is being planned, this time a TV series. The new producer, Albert S. Ruddy, plans on taking some liberties with the source material:The main thing, Mr. Ruddy said, is to honor Ms. Rand's insistence on making a film for the future. That means redrawing its capitalists and creators, who go on … [Read more...]

Dark Heart Now Available For Free!


Happy Halloween!Because it's the season for tricks and treats, I've got one to offer. For a brief time only, I'm making my first novel, DARK HEART, available for free (update - see below). It's a fantasy epic set in a world where mortals rose up, overthrew the old gods and took their places, only to find that divinity isn't all they dreamed it would be. If you haven't read it yet, now's the opportunity you've been waiting for!Here's the capsule summary:Three gods rule the world … [Read more...]

SF/F Saturday: The Culture

For all its virtues, Star Trek was a series that often failed to do justice to its own ideas. We're told that Starfleet is just one small part of a vast, advanced utopian civilization, but that means that the settings and characters of the various TV shows were atypical representatives of the Federation. We only ever saw brief glimpses of what ordinary life in such a society would be like.Iain M. Banks, who died tragically early in 2013, did better with his Culture sci-fi series. Like the … [Read more...]

If Ayn Rand Wrote Shakespeare

If you're not reading the comments on my Atlas Shrugged posts, you're missing half the fun. Commenter Sneezeguard's excellent "Cobra Commander Dialogues" have brought a whole host of supervillains flocking to Galt's Gulch, including Doctor Doom (in three parts so far!) and even the ghost of Stalin.But the latest post has spawned one of my favorite memes yet. When I pointed out that Ayn Rand scorned Shakespeare as an insufficiently pro-capitalist view of life, several commenters have been … [Read more...]

The Post-Work Society


Laziness is a good thing.For as long as civilization has existed, people have been trying to live as well as possible with as little work as possible. That drive has created kings and kleptocrats who get rich by robbing their subjects, but it's also led to every technology that makes work easier, from horse collars to steam engines to industrial robots.Think of how few people in the industrialized world work in jobs that have a direct connection to the necessities of life: agriculture, … [Read more...]

So Wrong For So Long: On Liberal Biblical Reinterpretation


Following up on last week's affray over cognitive dissonance in pro-LGBT Christians, I have one more point I want to make.Liberal and progressive believers have a variety of theological rationalizations for why they remain in a church that's historically been an unrelenting enemy of people like them. One of the most common is that God is continuing to deliver new revelations, updating and overwriting old beliefs, and they have faith that this will eventually result in all believers … [Read more...]

SF/F Saturday: The Half-Made World

Something I've often wondered is why so many great or classic fantasy stories are set in a real or fictionalized Europe. Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, C.S. Lewis' Narnia series, Robert E. Howard's Conan series, Terry Pratchett's Discworld, The Wheel of Time, A Song of Ice and Fire, Susan Cooper's The Dark Is Rising, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell... the list goes on and on. And it can't just be chalked up to European fantasy authors being more popular, since some of the authors of these … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: Ayn Rand on Mike Wallace


PBS' "Blank on Blank" web series animates and dramatizes classic interviews conducted with famous names. They contacted me this week to let me know that they've just released a new episode centered on Ayn Rand's 1959 interview with Mike Wallace, about her philosophy of moral selfishness. As she always did, she claimed that it was objectively true, completely unique to her, and the most important innovation in philosophy in the history of the human race.Wallace also quizzed her about her … [Read more...]

Marital Rape in the Bible

The newest Christian site making the rounds on atheist Twitter is Biblical Gender Roles. The author says only that he's a white man and a conservative Christian (so of course he's qualified to tell everyone else how they should conduct themselves in accordance with his archaic notion of gender roles). Today I wanted to focus on one of his recent posts, which is exactly as awful as you'd expect given the title: "Is a husband selfish for having sex with his wife when she is not the mood?"In … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: The Cobra Commander Dialogues

If you've been reading the comments on my Atlas Shrugged posts, you've probably seen the hilarious "Cobra Commander" dialogues written by commenter and jet-setting billionaire playboy author Sneezeguard (that's how he requested to be credited).In it, the fictional evil overlord inserts himself into the plot of Atlas Shrugged, accompanying the characters and trying to comprehend the difference between Rand's heroes and villains, and learns for himself that even evil has standards.I've … [Read more...]