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Guest Hosting Escape Pod

For the second year, Escape Pod, The Science Fiction Podcast Magazine, is celebrating women and non-binary authors through a series of episodes called Artemis Rising.

The latest show, Episode 520, includes an Escape Pod exclusive story called "Singing to the Stars"
written by Alana McFall and narrated by Amanda Fitzwater.

It was my pleasure and privilege to guest host this episode. If you listen, I hope you enjoy!

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Happy 5th Birthday, Learn Liberty!

The Institute for Humane Studies launched Learn Liberty exactly five years ago, inspiring students and professors to engage with the ideas of freedom – anytime, anywhere. Five years, 400 videos, more than 26 million views. And they’re just getting started. You can find all of my Learn Liberty videos here.

Here's one of my recent "behind the scenes" videos...



Do you have a favorite Learn Liberty video? Let them know on LearnLiberty.org, Facebook, and Twitter. Happy #LLcakeday!

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Happy birthday, Jules Verne!

Happy birthday to Jules Verne (8 February, 1828 – 24 March, 1905)!

Jules Verne Statue


"The sea does not belong to despots. Upon its surface men can still exercise unjust laws, fight, tear one another to pieces, and be carried away with terrestrial horrors. But at thirty feet below its level, their reign ceases, their influence is quenched, and their power disappears. Ah! sir, live--live in the bosom of the waters! There only is independence! There I recognise no masters! There I am free!"
- Jules Verne, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870)

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Happy birthday, Yevgeny Zamyatin!

Happy birthday to the father of modern dystopian fiction, Yevgeny Zamyatin (1 February, 1884 – 10 March, 1937)!

Untitled


“It is said there are flowers that bloom only once in a hundred years. Why should there not be some that bloom once in a thousand, in ten thousand years? Perhaps we never know about them simply because this 'once in a thousand years' has come today.”
― Yevgeny Zamyatin, We (1924)

We


Happy birthday also to time_shark, and happy early birthday to alitalf, mayree, infostudent, akaihyo, vonjunzt, wiredwizard, moglaikhan, griffith_gwyn, mr_earbrass, mollypunkin, cookiefleck, firiath, nihilistic_kid, alicia_stardust, ankh_hpl, dqg_neal, xerum525, homespunheart, jagash, settiai, rosamundeb, and kalquessa. May you enjoy many happy returns of the day, my friends!

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In this X-Files revival moment, I thought I'd share a couple of older X-Files-ish goodies for those of you like me who want to believe.

* My "Looking Back on Genre History" StarShipSofa tribute to The X-Files features my "whirlwind tour" of the genre ancestors of Agents Mulder and Scully of The X-Files -- in other words, a discussion of the history of science fiction investigators in literature and television. It begins about 13 minutes into the podcast. You can stream or download it here. If you listen, I hope you enjoy!



* Some time ago I compiled a list of post-colonization/post-apocalyptic X-Files and Lone Gunmen fan fiction stories that feature all or at least one of the Lone Gunmen characters (Melvin Frohike, John F. Byers, Richard "Ringo" Langly). My current list is no doubt incomplete, so any suggestions or recommendations would be welcome. Many thanks!

My list thus far with descriptions and links, in alphabetical orderCollapse )
It's official! I'll be a guest speaker/program participant at the following science fiction cons this spring/summer: RavenCon, ConCarolinas, and MidAmeriCon II/The 74th Worldcon.

My most recent "Looking Back on Genre History" segment is my third (and last for now) discussion of Star Wars inspirations. This is a stand-alone segment discussing the inspirations behind the Republic's transformation into the Empire, and you can find it here on Episode 419 of StarShipSofa. (My two-part look into the science fictional and historical inspirations behind the Jedi of Star Wars include Part 1 here and Part 2 here.) This is my 80th "Looking Back" segment! If you listen, I hope you enjoy!

Happy birthday, Edgar Allan Poe!

Happy birthday to Edgar Allan Poe (19 January, 1809 – 7 October, 1849)!

"Poe Returning to Boston" - L3007227


"Alone"
by Edgar Allan Poe

From childhood's hour I have not been
As others were--I have not seen
As others saw--I could not bring
My passions from a common spring.
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow; I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone;
And all I lov'd, I loved alone.
Then--in my childhood--in the dawn
Of a most stormy life--was drawn
From ev'ry depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still:
From the torrent, or the fountain,
From the red cliff of the mountain,
From the sun that 'round me roll'd
In its autumn tint of gold--
From the lightning in the sky
As it pass'd me flying by--
From the thunder and the storm,
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view.

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Happy birthday to Charles Brockden Brown (17 January, 1771 – 22 February, 1810) and Anne Brontë (17 January, 1820 – 28 May, 1849)!

"Yet I will persist to the end. My narrative may be invaded by inaccuracy and confusion; but if I live no longer, I will, at least, live to complete it. What but ambiguities, abruptnesses, and dark transitions, can be expected from the historian who is, at the same time, the sufferer of these disasters?"
- Charles Brockden Brown, Wieland: or, The Transformation: An American Tale (1789)

Ormond, or The Secret Witness The Tenant of Wildfell Hall


“Are you hero enough to unite yourself to one whom you know to be suspected and despised by all around you, and identify your interests and your honor with hers?”
- Anne Brontë, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848)

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Alan Rickman, R.I.P.

I was invited to share my interpretations of and opinions on The Force Awakens -- including my five-point rebuttal to the "derivative" objection -- in an extended interview on MuggleNet Academia with hosts Keith Hawk and the Hogwarts Professor himself, John Granger, as well as my fellow Potterphiles Emily Strand and Shannen Michaels.

Check out MuggleNet Academia Lesson #41: "Lightsabers and Wands"! If you listen, I hope you enjoy.



I should mention that some of my comments on "Rey's Theme" from John Williams's score for The Force Awakens were inspired by the insights of the brilliant David W. Collins on Rebel Force Radio's "Oxygen Vol. 25: The Music of The Force Awakens, Part 1." Highly recommended!

Note: I'm still recovering from my recent illness, so I've fallen behind in my replies to comments. I'll be catching up soon!

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