Will science fiction become fact?

If you've been a fan of science fiction for any length of time, you know that writers have continually postulated building spaceships in space, rather than on a planet;  spaceships that never actually land, but remain in space, sending shuttles, passenger vehicles or lifeboats down to the surface and bringing supplies, cargo and passengers up; ... Continue Reading →

Childlike Enthusiasm

I've been listening to a linguist, John McWhorter, on his passion for languages via the podcast Lexicon Valley. One of the things I realized recently is that the reason I'm enjoying it so much isn't just that I have this deep affection for the English language (although I do). It's the charm of it. It's... Continue Reading →

Homo Sapiens ad Astra and the Butterfly

This is a republication of an article I wrote on my blog a while back. It bears repeating to the Mad Genii, as it is directly related to writing science fiction. We change, on the most fundamental level. We change in an astonishingly short time, and that change is not limited to butterflies. Humans adapt... Continue Reading →

I need a new word

Or possibly an old one, because I'm sure this issue has been discussed before. Something like “MacGuffin,” but with a different meaning. I want a word for “pseudo-scientific rationale that allows science fiction writers to get past known scientific problems with a story.” You know, like positing wormholes to account for FTL travel? I blame... Continue Reading →


Convergent and divergent evolution As a zoologist (yes even ichthyologists are zoologists) the way species from different continents with little or no genetic relationship can end up… looking like they might be cousins. Hedgehogs and echidnas. Or if you’re going to look at long, thin sticky tongues and a diet of underground insects, pangolins, anteaters... Continue Reading →

How to Read: Science Edition

Last week I'd offered to do a full write up of how to read scientific paper critically, and asked if there was any interest in such a topic. No one asked for this, but here you are anyway. I did the research, and I've got nothin' else! Besides which, it's a fascinating topic to me,... Continue Reading →

Getting the Science Right

I'm tired. How tired am I? Well, I had a moment yesterday where I didn't look closely enough as I wrote and scheduled a post and I have put my planned MGC post up on my blog. In my defense, the backend of wordpress sites looks remarkably similar. However! I will extrapolate out of my... Continue Reading →


“I really don’t mind if you sit this one out, My words but a whisper, your deafness a shout.” (Jethro Tull, Thick as a Brick) I’ve just heard that The Chronicles of Davids is being released on the third of September. I have a story in this alongside such luminaries as David Drake and David... Continue Reading →

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