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Author Archives: Cat
I came back from PNWA this year inspired by talking to Chris Fox, author of 5,000 Words an Hour, and adopted a new writing process, which has several parts. I want to emphasize that I’m pretty sure this is not … Continue reading
Writing Steampunk That’s More Than A Glint Of Gears: Resources for Finding the Other In Steampunk and Weird Western
One of my projects this year has been fleshing out the on-demand version of the live class I teach, “Hex Engines & Spell-Slingers: Writing Steampunk and Weird Western.” I recently finished up the project and wanted to share some of … Continue reading
Here’s my schedule! If you want to meet up, please talk to me about it BEFORE the con; by the time the convention rolls around, I am always booked pretty solidly. Sat Nov 10 10:00:am Kaffeeklatche Nightclub Have a morning … Continue reading
A bit of a preamble. I often say things which are completely true, only to be confronted by people who flat out claim that I’m only making it up. That I *must* be making it up. There’s no way the … Continue reading
Guest Post: Eric Schwitzgebel Gives One-Point-Five Cheers for a Hugo Award for a TV Show about Ethicists’ Moral Expertise
When The Good Place episode “The Trolley Problem” [won one of science fiction’s most prestigious awards, the Hugo, in the category of best dramatic presentation, short form, I celebrated. I celebrated not because I loved the episode (in fact, I had so far only seen a couple of The Good Place’s earlier episodes) but because, as a philosophy professor aiming to build bridges between academic philosophy and popular science fiction, the awarding of a Hugo to a show starring a professor of philosophy discussing a famous philosophical problem seemed to confirm that science fiction fans see some of the same synergies I see between science fiction and philosophy.
I do think the synergies are there and that the fans see and value them – as also revealed by the enduring popularity of The Matrix, and by West World, and Her, and Black Mirror, among others – but “The Trolley Problem”, considered as a free-standing episode, fumbles the job. (Below, I will suggest a twist by which The Good Place could redeem itself in later episodes.)
Yeah, I’m going to be fussy when maybe I should just cheer and praise. And I’m going to take the episode more philosophically seriously than maybe I should, treating it as not just light humor. But taking good science fiction philosophically seriously is important to me – and that means engaging critically. So here we go.
There are so many of us who write, and so many voices that get drowned out. I want to tell you about one of them. I want to tell you about my friend K.C. Ball. She wrote short stories as … Continue reading
Friday 10-1 I will be at the Bards Tower in the Dealers Room. Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA) meeting 01:00 pm Location: Marietta – Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour) SFWA members, come hear about all the cool stuff we’ve been … Continue reading
Look, I love to write about terrible food. Life contains so much more of it than good food, or at least my life does. (I have limited funds and poor judgement for risk.) But more than the realism, I’m drawn to bad food because it infuses a scene with context, with a messy pathos. Someone failed before this dish was even served. Continue reading
Thursday I will be at the SFWA board meeting. Huzzah! That evening I’m planning on swinging by the Chinese Science Fiction Party. Friday, August 17 8-10 am SFWA Business Meeting SJCC 210DH Light breakfast will be provided. Come hear about … Continue reading
I sat at a desk that I shared with two other people as a piece of paper was handed to me from my boss. I was nineteen years old, my boss was my dad, and the paper was an estimate … Continue reading