History is fluid and time is an illusion

'and lunch-time, doubly so.' (Thank you, Douglas Adams.) Enjoy this while it lasts, because there is little doubt that some Owellian little prat somewhere in the future will be shocked at the idea of "Two pints, at lunch-time" being mentioned and re-write it. As Orwell predicted: 'Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book... Continue Reading →


As a monkey, the idea of a trickster and mischief-maker, who none-the-less is the champion of mankind, stealing fire from the gods for them, has always been something of a beau ideal and role model for me. I am not very large or powerful, and my only tool is ingenuity against various gods. While I... Continue Reading →

Books as a propaganda medium

I recently came across a series of tweets by Sergej Sumlenny, discussing how Russia had used books, as well as other entertainment media, to prepare its citizens for war in general, prior to its invasion of Ukraine.  Here's an excerpt from Threadreader's aggregation of the tweets. Let's start a long thread about how Russian book... Continue Reading →

State Supported Artists…

The image of the starving artist/writer/musician in the garret has existed for a long, long time. So has the fact, in many cases. In many cases, too, at the same time as producing books or art or music that endured and is loved by millions. In sf, H Beam Piper springs to mind, but the... Continue Reading →

Dear Diary

...What a week it has been. Not just in the world sense, but also, well, I just welcomed my first grandchild into the world. I'd like him to have a good world. I am deeply grateful not to have him in a place where gunfire and screaming are his lullaby. Where pain, hunger, rage and... Continue Reading →

Banning Books Backfires

Banning books isn't anything new. Historically, governments have done it to prevent the spread of "dangerous" thoughts. Religions have sought to do so when books dealt with issues felt to be too "ungodly". Parents have asked for books to be banned when they've felt the books might teach their children values they, the parents, don't... Continue Reading →

The privatization of censorship

Fred Reed asks some pointed questions about censorship, and how it's been outsourced from "officialdom" to private companies.  Here's an excerpt. Governments never like freedom of expression. In America, though, there was the First Amendment to which ritual obeisance need be paid. How to prevent expression of Bad Thought? The answer was to have private... Continue Reading →

A cultural revolution in the usa?

Dorothy and I are enjoying a convention weekend - not the usual literary conventions, which have been disrupted by COVID-19 since early last year, but a small local con that was the inspiration of fellow author, blogger and friend J. L. Curtis (a.k.a. Old NFO).  In April last year he organized the first Foolzcon, named... Continue Reading →

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