Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for the ‘Science fiction’ Category

Vernor Vinge’s A Fire Upon the Deep

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I had forgotten how much I enjoyed this novel. Doing a quick re-read.

Written by LeisureGuy

24 September 2014 at 10:14 am

Posted in Books, Science fiction

Be careful what you write

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UPDATE: There was more than the novels. Here’s a follow-up.

A teacher wrote a science-fiction novel set in the far future (2902), and in the novel are two school shootings (a topic I imagine most school teachers think about from time to time, given their responsibilities).

Apparently authorship is now considered some sort of crime. Robby Soave posts at Reason.com:

A Dorchester County, Maryland, teacher was taken in for an “emergency medical evaluation,” suspended from his job, and barred from setting foot on another public school. Authorities searched his school, Mace’s Lane Middle School in Cambridge, for weapons. As classes resumed, parents worried that their children were in danger, so police decided to remain on the premises to watch over them.

What happened? The teacher, Patrick McLaw, published a fiction novel. Under a pen name. About a made-up school shooting. Set in the year 2902.

If you’re having trouble figuring out which part of that was criminal, or negligent, or even inappropriate, you’re not alone. From WBOC:

Early last week the school board was alerted that one of its eighth grade language arts teachers at Mace’s Lane Middle School had several aliases.  Police said that under those names, he wrote two fictional books about the largest school shooting in the country’s history set in the future.  Now, Patrick McLaw is placed on leave.

Dr. K.S. Voltaer is better known by some in Dorchester County as Patrick McLaw, or even Patrick Beale.  Not only was he a teacher at Mace’s Lane Middle School in Cambridge, but according to Dorchester Sheriff James Phillips, McLaw is also the author of two books: “The Insurrectionist” and its sequel, “Lillith’s Heir.”

Those books are what caught the attention of police and school board officials in Dorchester County.  “The Insurrectionist” is about two school shootings set in the future, the largest in the country’s history.

Phillips said McLaw was taken in for an emergency medical evaluation. The sheriff would not disclose where McLaw is now, but he did say that he is not on the Eastern Shore. The same day that McLaw was taken in for an evaluation, police swept Mace’s Lane Middle School for bombs and guns, coming up empty.

But coming up empty did not stop the authorities from punishing McLaw: . . .

Continue reading.

And here’s a follow-up story by Soave.

Surely there must be some other reason, right? Surely.

Written by LeisureGuy

2 September 2014 at 8:36 am

“Rise Up from Science Fiction Monoculture!”

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Written by LeisureGuy

9 August 2014 at 11:21 am

Posted in Books, Science fiction

Daniel Keyes, author of Flowers for Algernon, dies at 86

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A powerful book—and a surprisingly good movie. Here’s a brief obituary in the Washington Post.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 June 2014 at 8:02 am

Posted in Books, Science fiction

Polywater revisited

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I remember polywater vividly. It appeared, it caught everyone’s attention because of the fictional ice-9 in Cat’s Cradle, and then it disappeared as quickly. Here’s a little look back, thanks to TYD. As the author points out, science works: a new idea or process appears, a lot of people test it, and if it doesn’t survive, we continue, in a process quite similar to evolution.

Written by LeisureGuy

9 November 2013 at 11:22 am

Science fiction titan Frederik Pohl dies, aged 93

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An obituary. I strongly recommend memoir, The Way The Future Was., If you read science-fiction at all, and you’ve not read it, click now and buy a (secondhand, inexpensive) copy at the link. It’s simply totally wonderful, and Pohl was in the thick of it when the foundations were being laid. Do Not Miss.

Kevin Drum has a nice post.

Written by LeisureGuy

3 September 2013 at 2:16 pm

Posted in Books, Science fiction

The 100 Best Sci-Fi Stories by Women Writers (Read 20 for Free Online)

with 4 comments

Take a look.

Written by LeisureGuy

1 August 2013 at 2:18 pm

Posted in Books, Science fiction

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