Monthly Archives: March 2012

Reader Request Week 2012 #3: Why I’m Glad I’m Male

The entry on Whatever immediately previous to this one makes this next Reader Request question all the more relevant. It’s from Sarah, who asks: Why are you glad to have been born male? What do women get to do that you envy? I’ve really enjoyed your discussions of male privilege, so if you have more […]

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Guest Post: A Doctor on Transvaginal Ultrasounds

A friend of mine is a physician who wants to speak about transvaginal ultrasounds but whose position makes it precarious to speak publicly about it. So I’m letting this doctor borrow my site for an entry to speak anonymously on the matter. Obviously, I will vouch for the doctor being a doctor and being qualified […]

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The Big Idea: Nick Harkaway

You never know what you’ll find when you go to the cafe down the street — that is, if you take Nick Harkaway’s word for it. His latest novel Angelmaker owes a debt to what he found in a cafe… and more importantly, what that found thing did when it met a delightful but dicey […]

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Reader Request Week 2012 #2: Would I Lie to You?

The next Reader Request question, from Brian H., in e-mail, who asks: Do you lie? Do you lie often? Do you regret lying? The answers: Yes of course; define “often”; no, not usually. The “yes, of course,” is because everyone lies and I don’t pretend I’m the exception to the rule. The “define ‘often’” answer […]

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Reader Request Week 2012 #1: Snark and Insult

Let’s go ahead and get Reader Request Week started, shall we? To begin, this question from SMQ: You have a well-earned reputation for snark and the art of the thought-out-but-blistering retort, but unlike many you usually seem to avoid crossing the line too far into personal attacks (and are even quick to mallet those who […]

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Today’s Picky Language Question

In today’s New York Times “Wedding and Celebrations” section, this headline: The question: In a male same-sex wedding, can either partner actually be said to be “bridegroom”? There’s a technical issue with the word, to wit, a notable lack of a bride. They could each be a “groomgroom,” but that’s just redundant and/or recursive. Possibly […]

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The Big Idea: Peadar Ó Guilín

A number of years ago I interviewed two survivors of the Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571, which in 1973 crashed in the Andes and then remained lost for 72 days, forcing the survivors of the crash to eat the bodies of the dead to survive. They made a movie out of the story called Alive, […]

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Octavia Butler and John Clute the Recipients of SFWA’s Solstice Award

SFWA’s Solstice Award, given to recognize those “who have consistently had a positive, transformative influence on the genre of science fiction and fantasy,” is this year being given to Octavia Butler and John Clute. SFWA’s press release on this year’s awards is on the SFWA site; naturally I encourage you to click through and learn […]

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A Quick Review of Myself on “Alien Encounters”

Generally? I was fine. I think I may need to blink slightly more often to avoid looking crazy. But otherwise I think I was okay. And I didn’t mess up my science! Which, frankly, was a relief. I thought Nick Sagan was terrific, however. Great, warm TV presence. It runs in the family, quite obviously. […]

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The Big Idea: Lissa Price

Costco isn’t just a place to pick up a 36-pack of toilet paper or to snack on free, tiny spears of sausage, it’s also a place where you might just also pick up an idea for a novel. At least, that’s what happened to Lissa Price, who found the idea for her debut novel Starters […]

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See Me On Television This Tuesday

And not as part of America’s Most Wanted! This time! Rather, I will be on Alien Encounters, a two-part show whose first part is airing in the US on Tuesday at 10pm on the Science Channel. Here’s a description of the show: In two dramatic hours, Alien Encounters lays out a plausible hypothetical scenario for a first […]

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