SF/F Sunday: Goodnight Stars

Earlier this week, I posted about the "Sad Puppies'" reactionary campaign to hijack the Hugos. I have an addendum to that: two nominated authors, Annie Bellet and Marko Kloos, have announced that they're withdrawing their works from consideration.Both Bellet and Kloos were part of the Sad Puppies' slate, although neither sought out that support. In respective public announcements, they both stated that they don't wish to be associated with the SPs' campaign, nor do they want anyone to harbor … [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...]

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...]

Coming Soon


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SF/F Saturday: Terry Pratchett’s Death

I was devastated to learn that Terry Pratchett, the renowned fantasy author, died this week at the unfairly early age of 66. Pratchett had been suffering from early-onset dementia for several years, and while he was a vocal advocate of assisted dying, his own passing was natural. (He also worked almost right up to the end: his final Discworld book, The Shepherd's Crown, is set to be published posthumously this year.)The sad news was broken by family on his Twitter account, in a form any … [Read more...]

Photo Sunday: Dark Sunrise


For us Americans and others who still rely on the antiquated agricultural ritual of Daylight Savings Time, we "spring forward" this weekend. For the next few weeks, we'll be rising in the morning dark once again. But as discouraging as it is to lose an hour, it's a welcome reminder that spring is on its way, that sun and warmth are slowly, patiently creeping back into the world. After a long, bitter winter here on the east coast that's tried our spirits, the thaw can't come soon enough.Image … [Read more...]

Four More Solutions to Twitter Harassment


The CEO of Twitter, Dick Costolo, made headlines last week when he admitted in a leaked memo that his service has a serious harassment problem which they've done a terrible job of dealing with:We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we've sucked at it for years. It's no secret and the rest of the world talks about it every day. We lose core user after core user by not addressing simple trolling issues that they face every day. I'm frankly ashamed of how poorly we've … [Read more...]

Is Terrorism Courageous?

The religious fanatics who murdered twelve people at Charlie Hebdo's offices last week were tracked down by the French police after a two-day manhunt, ending in a shootout at a print shop in the town of Dammartin-en-Goële where both of them were killed. One of their accomplices was also killed by police after taking hostages at a kosher supermarket.Despite my earlier fears, Charlie Hebdo doesn't plan to shut its doors, and in fact their next issue (featuring Mohammed on the cover) will have … [Read more...]

Photo Sunday: Stone Wall, Winter


High walls imply defensiveness, and thus implicit hostility; they announce the owner's intent to keep others out regardless of their intentions. A low wall, like this one, says something different and more hopeful. Being only a symbolic barrier, it implies a society where people are friendly and peaceable - where common courtesy and the rule of law suffice to convince people to respect others.Image credit: mike138, released under CC BY-ND 2.0 license … [Read more...]

“Choose Faith in Spite of the Facts”

As Lewis Black once said, "He smiles so much, I don't think he has a central nervous system."

I usually don't think it's worth beating up on the purveyors of popular evangelical feel-goodism, for the same reason I don't get in boxing matches with life-size Jell-O sculptures. But I had to make an exception for this tweet from human tooth-whitening strip Joel Osteen:The facts may tell you one thing. But, God is not limited by the facts. Choose faith in spite of the facts.— Joel Osteen (@JoelOsteen) November 26, 2014Osteen is most famous for his surgically implanted smile … [Read more...]