Remembering Ursula K. Le Guin, a Science-Fiction and Fantasy Pioneer

Kimberly Bond fantasy feminism Kimberly Bond science fiction thought experiment

Science-fiction and fantasy fans are sad to note the recent passing of celebrated author Ursula K. Le Guin at the age of 88. Le Guin, a popular author known for her thought-provoking novels, added literary depth and intellectualism to a field that does not always receive the recognition it deserves. Le Guin is also honored as an early feminist pioneer who often used the flexible medium of science fiction to examine difficult issues our society is grappling with today including gender, sexuality, and equal rights.   Le Guin’s books became widely read worldwide and have been translated into more than...

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True Crime, Cheap Thrills

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I read my first true crime piece a couple decades ago. The experience was so visceral that it sticks with me to this day. It was in a photocopied zine I’d traded through the mail with another publisher. The writing wasn’t great; the author didn’t even capitalize the first word of each sentence. It was barely even an article, but more of a laundry list of atrocities committed by the century’s worst human butchers. It was late at night and I was, admittedly, a little bit stoned, which increased my immersion and made it all the more terrifying. My heart...

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Great Cookbooks to Try: Dinner for 2 on Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s Day will soon be here. There is an old-fashioned saying “the way to your sweetie’s heart is through their stomach” meaning to cook them delicious meals and to buy them yummy treats such as heart shaped boxes of candy. Some couples go out to dinner on Valentine’s Day. You’ll often find that restaurants offer special menus, just for Valentine’s Day, which is very nice, but you usually have to stick with that specific menu whether you like it or not, so you can’t have the shrimp scampi no matter how much you want it. You’ve really got to have...

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A Wrinkle in Time and Five More Fantastic Time-Travel Books by Women

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One of the most well-known time-travel books of all time is A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle. This beloved story about Meg Murry, her precocious younger brother Charles Wallace, and the forces of good and evil that impact their family is already a classic, and it’s about to become even more famous due to the new movie starring Oprah Winfrey, Chris Pine, Mindy Kaling, and Reese Witherspoon that is due to be released in March 2018. In honor of Madeline L’Engle, who was one of the first women to win the Life Achievement Award from the World Fantasy Awards,...

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Writers and the Purring Enigma of Cats

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Years ago, I shared an apartment with a cat named Ico. My roommate had abducted her from a barn as a kitten. Being from a long line of barn cats, Ico was feral by any measure. She was largely resistant to litter box training. The cat was antisocial even by loose feline standards; we couldn’t have guests, because she would always end up climbing my body like a tree, sinking her claws into my flesh as she attempted to escape the danger. She’d also stalk me and pounce on my face while I was reading a book or sleeping. Ico...

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