on poul anderson’s brain wave

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I FOUND MY AGING COPY of Poul Anderson’s Brain Wave when I discovered Joachim Boaz’s site Science Fiction and Other Suspect Ruminations. I read Joachim’s take on Poul Anderson’s novel—he considered it “vaguely good”—and the comments submitted by his readers and I disagreed with certain observations of theirs. So, I want to address a few READ MORE

yet more on science fiction and fantasy (is this modern science fiction part 6?)

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I JUST HAD A ‘WHAT A COINCIDENCE’ MOMENT! They are not all that dissimilar from deja vu moments, except the sometimes slightly scary feeling that accompanies the latter is rarely part of the former. When coincidence occurs to me, I am usually delighted, rarely frightened into believing some form of pre-determinism, as deja vu can READ MORE

modern science fiction and the gimme part 2 – on the rule of the gimme

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ALL FANTASTICAL LITERATURE depends on a state of being known as the ‘willful suspension of disbelief.’ That is, the reader enters the story prepared to toss all skepticism aside for the sake of the story! This term was coined by Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1817 in his Biographia literaria (or ‘biographical sketches of my literary READ MORE

how many inter-neuronic connections are there in the human brain?

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“MAYBE YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND how complex a structure the human brain is. Believe me, it makes the sidereal universe look like a child’s building set. There are many times more possible inter-neuronic connections than there are atoms in the entire cosmos—the factor is something like ten to the power of several million.

It’s not surprising READ MORE

norman spinrad walks among us

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IN 1969, I MET NORMAN SPINRAD. Well, met him in the sense that I discovered his novels while I was working at Leo Matus’s newsstand. Leo carried tobacco, magazines, and sundries and was located on Public Square—smack dab in the middle of Wilkes-Barre in Northeastern Pennsylvania. He had a couple of spinners with racks for READ MORE