Do you know the story of Salamongue Greymouth, Waspkeeper of Hell?

“No? I’m not surprised. His story was left out of the canon of the world religions. It taught the wrong lesson for the priests, you see. “Salamongue was a minor angel who, in the great conflagration, spoke against patience and understanding, choosing instead to condemn his rebellious brethren with fire and damnation for daring to question the divine. Not openly of course. He spoke only … Continue reading Do you know the story of Salamongue Greymouth, Waspkeeper of Hell?

Setting and Hardboiled Detective Fiction

I was listening to some lectures on the detective novel on the plane, and the dude really had some neat points. (Go figure.) But first, for background, you have to know that American detective fiction, sometimes labelled “hardboiled,” grew out of the English detective novel, which tended to be very genteel. The detective in the English stories, for example, was always protected by law and … Continue reading Setting and Hardboiled Detective Fiction

In the Beginning: a very short history of religious thought

It starts with a crisis, the singular belief that defines the religious history of our species: that this world, full of suffering, where the race does not go to the swift nor food to the hungry, cannot be all there is. That there must be something more. So it is, the divine singularity, the unity of creation, shatters. And mankind is left separated from the … Continue reading In the Beginning: a very short history of religious thought

An Awareness of What is Missing

 The other day I mentioned Isaac Asimov’s (and my) agnosticism-qua-atheism and how it’s different than a militant atheism (in The Proper Use of the Pitchfork). Whenever it comes up, I invariably get asked to join an atheist group. I never do. Atheists, I’ve found, are very poorly fraternal (although I’m sure there are exceptions). Like an eternal opposition coalition, doomed forever to sit on the … Continue reading An Awareness of What is Missing

Superpowers and Quantum Biology: Origins of The Minus Faction

According to Stan Lee, at least in one interview, he came up with the idea for Spider-man after seeing a fly on his wall. He knew that animals served as the inspiration for many superheroes — Batman, anyone? — but felt that insects were underrepresented, and eventually settled on our little eight-legged wonders. He wasn’t wrong, of course. Indeed, the first superhero ever, a character … Continue reading Superpowers and Quantum Biology: Origins of The Minus Faction

Oh, you’re THAT kind of writer

today my family invades my peaceful denver writing retreat. cue alien invasion film score. it’s always interesting to see the different reactions when i tell people i’m a writer. i’m almost to the point where i can predict it based on context, or even location. on ello or goodreads for example, most (read: not all) people seem to think — absent any other cues — that … Continue reading Oh, you’re THAT kind of writer

Carnival of Loss

in my writing i often tackle the carnival-esque-ness of contemporary culture, but i do so ironically. much of the media we consume is self-consciously mythic, which doesn’t necessarily mean it has swords and wizards and shit, although obviously some of it does. it means it fills the role of myth. back before culture was lifted out of space-time, before wrist watches and a money economy, … Continue reading Carnival of Loss

The Myth of the Batman, or Why I Love Reboots

Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns casts a long shadow over the Batman mythos. Not only is it considered paradigmatic for the character, it’s also considered part of the larger comic book canon. I very much doubt DC is interested in challenging that status with a reboot of the premise. But they should. Batman isn’t just a comic book character. Not anymore. He is, like … Continue reading The Myth of the Batman, or Why I Love Reboots