Psi-fi: New Literary Genre

I have been wriggling against the sci-fi label since I accidentally wrote my first sci-fi novel a decade ago. I didn’t mean to write sci-fi, but the story had an AI android in it. I don’t even like sci-fi. I’m … Continue reading

Natural vs Artificial Intelligence

This briefing by Nick Bostrom on the dangers of artificial intelligence takes up a serious and legitimate question: Should we be more cautious as we go about trying to improve artificial intelligence? What if an AI became so smart it decided to take … Continue reading

Gratuitous Poetry

Margaret Atwood cut her writing teeth on poetry and it shows in her novel, The Blind Assassin, perhaps too much. Her phrases are carefully constructed, a virtue in any writer, but Atwood’s choices often stand out as slightly too clever, … Continue reading

What is Consciousness?

What is Consciousness? If I had unlimited time and money, I would waste it on the University of Arizona’s annual conference on consciousness, called, optimistically, “The Science of Consciousness.” Of course there is no such science. One can (I can) … Continue reading

Jack Reacher Outsmarted

Andy Martin’s deconstruction of Lee Child’s twentieth, and hopefully last, Jack Reacher novel, Make Me, is at first glance an exercise in flamboyant grandstanding pretending to be hagiography.   At least 80% of the book is filled with tangents not … Continue reading

Jack Reacher, Serial Killer

“Make me,” a schoolyard taunt, is the title of Lee Child’s 20th and possibly final Jack Reacher novel. The first one, “Killing Floor” came out a decade ago (1997) and the series has been on the top of the sales … Continue reading

Pitching Vs Writing

I think I’m recovered from my New York Pitch Conference, a week in the city trying to learn how to pitch a novel manuscript. I came back with a mission: to re-write my manuscript, incorporating all that I’d learned. Trouble was, … Continue reading

Show Business for Writers

I spent a week in New York City attending a conference on how to pitch a novel to an agent or editor. Selling fiction is the least appealing part of the writing adventure. I write because I enjoy the thrill … Continue reading

Searching for Chris Hayes

I like Chris Hayes.  I like his news/talk show on MSNBC, “All In.”  I’ve  enjoyed him since he started out in a 5 am TV time slot. He’s the smartest pundit on TV. Lately though, I’ve been unable to watch … Continue reading

Haunted House!

This short haunted house tale is celebrated as a classic of the genre, a top-seller since its publication in 1959, although I don’t normally read haunted house stories so I can’t judge that.  Nevertheless, it accomplishes the goal of presenting … Continue reading