Do Popular Genres Map to the Seven Emotional Pathways of the Mammalian Brain?

The eminent neuroscientist, Jaak Panskepp, pioneered the study of emotion in mammals. He is famous for, among other things, tickling rats in the lab to make them laugh, but his work wasn’t a joke. He discovered that all mammals, including humans, share the same seven emotional pathways, commonly identified as: fear, care, lust, rage, panic/grief, seeking, and play. These are not vague “predispositions” teased from … Continue reading Do Popular Genres Map to the Seven Emotional Pathways of the Mammalian Brain?

The Minus Faction Omnibus is finally here!

What the fr@^k is a ‘soft launch’ anyway? Research into purchasing behavior confirms my personal experience that in a market filled with many alternatives, readers tend to choose books with a demonstrated readership over those without. And since they don’t have a perfect window into that, they use the number of reviews as a proxy measure. Not so much the aggregate star rating, mind you … Continue reading The Minus Faction Omnibus is finally here!

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”

It was a bad sign

It was a bad sign. Ruud stopped when he saw Zen-ji standing outside the closed doors to Erasmus’s chambers. The stiletto killer straightened his velvet tie and brushed back his pomaded hair before walking up the last few steps and standing before the giant Japanaman. He didn’t look up. There was no point. Zen-ji’s colorful, curved helm kept his face hidden. Nor was there any … Continue reading It was a bad sign

Declun had said she was big, but she was SO big

Christine Adjani sat by herself at the round white table in the nook by the bay window, smiling in silence at old pictures of her and Declun, when the double doors across the living room shattered inward. The jolt of surprise sent her manicured fingers flying. Her phone landed in the corner as the young woman stood behind her chair, her wide eyes pinned to … Continue reading Declun had said she was big, but she was SO big

In which I blame teachers for things

In light of recent news, and after a brief exchange I had when I shared this picture yesterday, I’ve been thinking a lot about science and science education. I blame teachers for this mess. I used to teach science. I even taught Science, which is different than science, after one of my freshman biology students, a Christian and a creationist, asked to learn more about … Continue reading In which I blame teachers for things

Battlecry! (a gift for anyone who can see this)

I’m guessing hundreds, if not thousands, of people now read this blog (based on the combo of subscriptions and RSS hits). It’s really kind of amazing. While it looks like this blog has been active for a long time, in truth I ported it to WordPress from my website not terribly long ago — 18 months maybe? — which basically meant starting from zero. To celebrate, I’m … Continue reading Battlecry! (a gift for anyone who can see this)

Winter

“Winter” by Jason Felix I have two files labeled “Characters” and “Settings” where I dump a lot of the art I find. Flipping through those images later is great inspiration. Sometimes I take bit and pieces directly (and without shame — see Austin Kleon’s “Steal Like an Artist”), but many times the images spark a tangential idea. For example, while I do’t expect this is … Continue reading Winter

Final cover set for the completed MINUS FACTION

My superpowered sci-fi thriller THE MINUS FACTION recently concluded with the release of the seventh and final novella, Outbreak. With the conclusion comes a new set of covers that do a better job of linking the books and making it clear that, while each episode introduces and resolves conflict, they are all part of the same single story. Plus, they just look awesome! Updates will start … Continue reading Final cover set for the completed MINUS FACTION