We Need to Ditch the “Strong Female Character”

Clickbait title.  Also, I disagree with her premise.  We have to ditch the strong female character because most mainstream writers seem to f*ck it up?  No.  We need to teach them what it means.  But otherwise, the article is very good, and makes a lot of excellent points.

Growing up, I loved hearing the words strong female character (“SFC”). By the time I’d hit middle school I was boiling with anger. Not just because of awkward adolescence, but because I was sick and tired of seeing the same old damsels in distress and sexualized romantic interests in my favorite movies and series. I wanted more Mulans, but instead I got a truckload of Sleeping Beauties. And occasionally, an action movie or sci-fi book would deliver my semi-regular SFC.

Except they didn’t. As I grew older and better at writing stories myself, I began to notice a problem with the “strong female character.”

They weren’t characters at all.

Read the full article at Dragons, Zombies and Aliens: the Blog.

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What is Science Fantasy?

I’m delighted to announce that an except from Showdown will be featured in July’s issue of SciFan Magazine, and the entirety of my Toy Soldier story, Survivor, will be featured in the August issue!  And yes guys, you can get these in PRINT!

SciFan Magazine is a publication devoted to “science fantasy” as a genre.  So what is science fantasy?  They explain on their website in the following article.  And don’t forget to check out the footnotes, because they provide some extremely useful information!

I would say that quite a lot of what I write is probably “science fantasy,” including the Wyrd West Chronicles and the Toy Soldier Saga, and even my work for Tales of the Stellar Deep.  Other science fantasy authors include but are not limited to: Jack Vance, L. Sprague de Camp, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Andre Norton, Terry Brooks, S.M. Sterling, and Anne McCaffrey.

“Science fantasy is a mixed genre within the umbrella of speculative fiction which simultaneously draws upon and/or combines tropes and elements from both science fiction and fantasy. It also sometimes incorporates elements of horror fiction.” [1]

Science Fantasy (SciFan) is a genre that is often ignored. Not too many people are familiar with the genre, but it was originally coined in the late 1930’s by John W. Campbell, Jr. in his magazine that was (ironically) entitled Unknown.

 The Science Fiction genre is often defined as the improbable made possible, whereas the Fantasy genre is commonly defined as the impossible made probable. So then, what is Science Fantasy (SciFan)?

Read the full article at SciFan Magazine.

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Schrödinger’s Cat-Box Reaches Record Size

Hey guys! Check this out! We’ve invented a primitive Ansible! Was so excited I just had to share!

Physics and Art

A new distance record has been set for entangled communications. Entanglement is what Einstein referred to as “spooky action at a distance.” When two quantum particles are entangled, their states are then paired. An action on one particle will immediately affect the other, regardless of how far they are separated. If it occurs to you that this can result in a violation of the speed of light, then you’ll understand why Einstein was so perplexed by it. Nevertheless, entanglement does exist and we have to deal with it.

Well a new article in Science demonstrates satellite-based distribution of entangled photon pairs to places on Earth separated by 1203 kilometers. This breaks the old record by an order of magnitude! This is especially interesting to me because my novel, The Last Butterfly, proposes a far-future consequence of entanglement over very large distances. I guess it just goes to show that…

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Warfighter: Middle Earth

What a wonderful analysis! I love looking at fantasy and sci-fi battles with an eye to strategy and tactics grounded in realism. I think I have found a new Twitter account to follow.

The Angry Staff Officer

When I think of the six warfighting functions I always think of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.

What, you don’t?

Let’s be honest, one does not immediately think of fantasy or science fiction when conversations turn to Army doctrine. Most vignettes that are used to make the subject understandable to the lowly minds of company grade officers are either historical or situational. And while there is nothing wrong with this technique, are we perhaps overlooking a missed opportunity for providing a broader understanding of our doctrine?

Bear with me here.

Most of you know of my affinity for all things Star Wars, and how – as a military conflict with socio-economic and political undertones – it can actually be used to make doctrinal concepts more relatable to the average Soldier. Star Wars also has the benefit of being a significant part of American culture – more…

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