Category Archives: Articles

Fact and opinion: reviews, writing articles, or interviews.

Connie Willis essay, other things…

Posted on June 25, 2015 by

3891536336_0d52c64a4c1.jpgI have a post up on called “Where to Start with Connie Willis.” The title’s self-explanatory, and there’s a lively conversation in the comments thread about how communications technology does or doesn’t fit into her work, and whether the age of the smartphone has left Willis’s main body of work looking somewhat dated… and also, of course, how much that may or may not matter.

In completely other news, Child of a Hidden Sea is on the Sunburst Award Honorable Mention list, in the YA category. Peter Darbyshire of The Province has a write-up on some of short list folks from B.C. here.

Darbyshire, by the way, also writes as Peter Roman and when wearing that hat he is the author of The Mona Lisa Sacrifice, among other fabulous things.

Kelly and I are heading out tonight to see the National Theater in HD and Helen Mirren broadcast “The Audience.” I tell you this mostly because I am feeling “Three Things make a Post”-y.

I am still a bit behind on e-mail, but catching up bit by bit.



Howler Monkeys on the #Buffy Rewatch

Posted on February 5, 2013 by

Okay, not really. But the essay this week is called: “Mom, the stork brought a howler monkey!”

Gottacon went great and I’ll try to post some photos soon.

The Irreplaceable, Indispensable, Unforgettable Xander on the #BuffyRewatch @tordotcom

Posted on January 22, 2013 by

Xander gets a not-actually-evil twin and does the Snoopy Dance. I wrote about it in the usual place, at the usual time.

I am more than halfway through the rewatches now and I know that some of you visit them via the links here but aren’t big on joining the Tor comment threads. This is, of course, totally fine! But if you have something to say about the rewatches or the show, or anything BtVS related, do consider yourself invited to do so.

Latest #amreading post – Little Star

Posted on November 9, 2012 by

I read Little Star because the first chapter was on offer at and the description intrigued me. I am so glad I did. It is a dark, disturbing thriller. It’s indisputably a horror novel, but it’s up to the reader to decide whether it’s truly supernatural, because the characters are at once profoundly alien and yet they live in our world, and their lives take a direction where real people go.
(I will note that Alex Brown was less impressed by this ambiguity.)
Written by John Ajvide Lindqvist, author of Let the Right One In, and translated into English by Marlaine Derlagy, Little Star has the same clipped quality of Stieg Larsson’s Girl Who Went Boom books, but the prose is overall less clumsy and the story was deeply compelling.

This book, and the two by Christopher Beuhlman I’ve mentioned earlier, make me hope that straight-up horror, in the grand Eighties style of the books I reread last summer, might be making a comeback. What do you all think?

Here’s the cover:

Alyx wants to be Friends with Facebook on Facebook

Posted on October 25, 2012 by

Facebook is messy; this probably will be too.

I initially signed up for Livejournal because Spike was there, and I loooooove Spike. And it was Keff who encouraged both Kelly and I to get Facebook pages.

I looooove Keff. So you see the trend here.

I decided, at the time, that the page should be a public space. So it has remained. Anyone can friend me and will stay that way unless they spam, flood or set off my Creep Alert. And if it ain’t fit for the whole Interwebs to hear, I don’t say it there. (This has become my policy, speaking very generally, about posting anything, for reasons that should be obvious. But in case they’re not, heeeere’s Scalzi!)

What I put into Facebook is largely generated elsewhere. Status updates, often in the form of Tweets. Pictures from Instagram and Flickr. Lately, pins from Pinterest. Notes that are links to blog entries. I also answer any e-mails that come to me there.

What I take back out of the great blue river of updates, posts, videos, pictures, game invites, event invites, and you name it?

First and no big surprise: with OMG so much fiddling!, I’ve learned to have Facebook forward, to my e-mail, what the Close Friends list is up to. Many of the people I used to read on LJ are Facebookians now. I want to know every little thing going on with my beloved peeps. (We may need a new word for benign stalkage of willing loved ones. Following seems imprecise.)

Second: I like to make ten or twenty Scrabble moves a day and I have a handful of friends who humour me in this. If you play the official Scrabble app on Facebook and you’d like to say you creamed a novelist who can’t learn not to make cool words like LIZARD or VORTEX, even when HA would yield twice the points, this is the one game invite I will notice and accept.

And in most cases I won’t even send you this shot of myself waiting for you to make your next move. That kind of nagging is reserved for poor, dear, much put-upon Liz.

I sent this picture to L to hint that she really should make a Scrabble move now.

Third: A reasonable percentage of my inlaws and nearly all of my genetic relations are on Facebook. I have wonderful filtered lists that let me check out baby pictures, complaints about the weather in Alberta (land of snow, guys, come to the coast where we have crocuses in January!!) and whatever else they’re thinking about. Which is just damned nice. It’s not as good as being there in May or June. It beats the hell out of being there in February. (Daffodils! Tulips! The first cherry blossoms!)

As for all the other lovely people who aren’t my best buds and family? I look at the updates, if somewhat randomly. I get writing links, political stuff, news items, cat macros, videos of Kristen Bell bawling her eyes out over sloths, announcements to the effect that McKinley has a bear in her backyard tree, David Gerrold’s recent juicing disasters, Hallowe’en costumes and other stuff. If I like them, I even “Like” them.

But Facebook is something I often need to sieve: lots pours through it, and I’m trying to find stuff I connect to personally.