The Problem with “The Three-Body Problem”

From a recent review of Cixin Liu’s Nebula Award-nominated and Hugo Award-winning “The Three-Body Problem” on Big Think: “Why We Should Really Stop Trying to Contact Aliens” by Robby Berman Cixin’s writing is beyond smart — it’s brilliant — and it’s science fiction of the best kind, with mind-boggling ideas and perceptions, and characters you care about. His concept of the dark forest, though presented … Continue reading The Problem with “The Three-Body Problem”

No such thing as a good ugly woman

I’m sure many of you have seen where the NY Times put together an interactive chart that asked people to rank all the characters in Game of Thrones on a good-evil/ugly-beautiful axis. The results should be of interest to storytellers. There is a clear bi-lobed cluster. You could argue of course that this is the result of the show’s producers rather than a statement on … Continue reading No such thing as a good ugly woman

The Strange Uniformity of Madness

After coming across some references to Posadism, I recently got sucked into the art and philosophy of the ectocultures (my term). I don’t mean the Occupy movement or Anonymous, but the real deviants, people who either were (or maybe should have been) institutionalized. There is almost no coherent categorization, except that they’re all highly conspiratorial, anti-rational, and often invoke alien or demonic powers (or both). … Continue reading The Strange Uniformity of Madness

The Shipbreakers

I ran across pictures of this while doing research for settings for my novels. Both fascinating and heartbreaking. Oceangoing vessels are not meant to be taken apart. They’re designed to withstand extreme forces in some of the planet’s most difficult environments, and they’re often constructed with toxic materials, such as asbestos and lead. When ships are scrapped in the developed world, the process is more … Continue reading The Shipbreakers

Writer’s Block

A couple times now I’ve been asked how I handle it, most recently yesterday. This is my answer. I don’t think there’s a thing called Writer’s Block. What we call Writer’s Block is a collection of many different psychological faults and phenomena, some real, some imagined, so don’t fall for it. In my experience, there’s a big problem and a little problem hidden in there. The … Continue reading Writer’s Block