“Possible Futures” in Vex Mosaic

My essay “Possible Futures: How Spec Fic Reengineers Reality” appears today in the online magazine Vex Mosaic. It’s about how fiction, and speculative fiction in particular, helps to shape our perspectives and influence society. My involvement with Vex Mosaic can be traced back to a presentation about fiction writing that I attended at a recent Capclave.  […]

Hot sauce, salsa and spicy food

I’m from New Mexico.  In other words, I love hot food.  One of my favorite things about traveling is finding local spicy dishes.  In fact, one of my favorite reasons for traveling is to seek out new spicy foods.  And since my best friend just sent me an enormous jug of Sadie’s salsa for my […]

CNN, You’re Wasting Our Time

Let’s get this out of the way first: the only reason you’re even on is that I’m in a Geneva hotel room and there aren’t many other English-language options.  I suppose I could turn on Fox News, but that mostly exists to frighten old people.  If I actually wanted news, I’d look online, where I […]

Writing and observation

One of the insights of John Gardner’s classic On Becoming a Novelist is that writing is about how you see the world.  You can only write what you imagine or observe.  And in that sense (I’m extrapolating here) fiction is about what writers notice and find important enough to share. To be admitted into what […]

Who won the presidential debate?

Pitre on Art

In 1997 I visited the home of painter and inventor John Pitre to interview him for an article for the Honolulu Weekly.  The article never ran, but I recently came across my notes, which include this quote from the artist: Art can be an emotional thing, or it can be just a pretty picture hanging […]

How to Make Awesome Things More Awesome

Something I’ve discovered over the past year is that nothing is so cool that it can’t be made cooler. For instance: here’s the Great Wall.  Pretty awesome, right? But you know what would make it more awesome?  If China took the Great Wall, and then added a roller coaster.  And they did that: And here’s […]

Environment and Governance in China

Last week in Beijing, I felt the pollution in my lungs every time I stepped outside.  The pedestrians and bicyclists who passed me often wore medical masks. They aren’t the only ones concerned: on November 16, for example, the China Daily newspaper reported on climate changes that are “inflicting great losses on China’s agricultural production,” […]

Belief Behind Bars photos

Photos from tonight’s event, Belief Behind Bars, about the human rights situation of the Baha’is in Iran: The program.  The event took place on the top floor of the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill.  Anthony Vance, Director of the Baha’i Office of External Affairs, moderated. Senator Mark Kirk (IL) discusses bipartisan efforts to […]

Score one for writers

Google’s new algorithm update, which gives a preference to original content in search results, is a blow to content farms and a big win for writers — and readers. Here’s one of my articles, Winning on the Internet: How to Start a Business with No Experience, on a website called Sales Success Magazine, which I’ve […]


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