Windows into the Imagination

Thursday, June 30, 2011

In the Ether: News from Southern - The Next Big Things

I was reading the Southern Review of Books today and wanted to pass on some news I found very interesting.

The Next Big Thing

I've been having discussions with people who write Speculative Fiction and we were all wondering about the 'next big thing.' Vampires and Werewolves have been done to death and if I never see another fanged, semi-human creature who sucks blood or sprouts a snout, I will be very happy.

People are looking for something else now, hopefully. But no one seemed to know what that was. At least none of those I talked to.

Then I read something in the July issue of Southern Review and found this:

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

In the Ether: Being Writer, Part 2 - Small Presses

There are a lot of writers out there, even more wanna-be writers breaking into the business and just as many avenues of advice on how to be a successful writer. I'm not talking about the craft of writing for which there are plenty of reference sites; I am referring to the suggestions on how to lift your book from the realms of obscurity.
Not that I'm that successful at it. I've had some minor successes and lots of…let's call them learning opportunities. Hopefully this will help someone out there who is navigating a different part of the maze. What could it hurt? The more pieces of the puzzle we have, the clearer the picture.

Monday, June 27, 2011

In the Ether: Being Writer, Part 1

Like the eternal question, 'what does it mean to be human?' today's blog is about a less eternal but no less fascinating, at least for me, question, what does it mean to be an author at a time when the industry is undergoing such upheaval?
There is no publishing industry crystal ball we can look into to tell us how it will take shape. One thing is for sure, there will be winners and losers. That's the nature of the game. Adapt or sink into the oblivion of a footnote in history.

Friday, June 24, 2011


I was going to do another Science:  Fact or Fiction feature, but something else caught my attention, and in a way, it could be a portent for things to come.

It's been on the wind for months. Rumors here. Whispers there. A conspiracy-theorists wet dream.

Another political assassination? No. It's….

Monday, June 20, 2011

Where Were You When the Internet Took Over the World...

Where were you when the internet took over the world? A exaggeration perhaps. It’s no judgement day a la Terminator, but the world has suddenly gotten a whole lot smaller, as close as our iPhone screens.

It's been interesting watching the evolution of social media the last couple of months. From the voices of the common people crying out for freedom, to the attention-seeker fuelled riots of Vancouver, each has been a wakeup call to the power of this form of expression.

The signs were there…

Friday, June 17, 2011

Science Fact or Fiction: Liquid Armour

 Clark Kent steps into a phone booth (though he might find it a challenge to find one these days) shedding his mundane business suit and reemerges as our skin-tight costumed superhero. He streaks off into the clear blue skies, breaking all known laws of physics, to do battle with the super villain of the day. Bullets bounce off him like matchsticks...wait a minute...

It might be fun to be a superhero who can bend bars with your toenails, but what I want to know is...what the hell is his skintight costume made of?

Those bullets aren't just bouncing off his rock hard chest, they also seem to have no effect on his costume. Have you seen Superman finishing off the villain and afterwards look like he's been set upon by a group of crazed Glee fans?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

From the Editor: Social Media Redux

It's ironic that I was blogging about the influence of social media on Monday. Little did I guess what would happen last night.

So what role did social media play in the events in Vancouver?

News: Oh, Vancouver...

I'm in  a condo, staring out over False Creek and a gorgeous boardwalk area in Vancouver. Then I turn a bit to the right and blooms of smoke rise from the downtown core. Three helicopters hover over the area and on TV I wonder if I'm witnessing the beginnings of WWIII. Nope, it's just Vancouver losing to Boston in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup. What?

Sigh. I can't believe it. A disappointing family event to be sure. It hurts to lose after going 3-3. We could have used the burst of hope of winning. Earlier there had been such pride in the streets. People wearing Canuck shirts and symbols proudly. As the game got closer, random people began shouting in the streets, getting a head start on the anticipated celebrations. People left their cars at home and took transit in. Everything was ready.

Unfortunately, not for a celebration... but shame on the streets. A bunch of hooligans without anything better to do, determined to cause a riot.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Social Media Explosion

On Monday, May 2nd, at 1 AM Pakistani local time, a Twitter user with the handle, 'ReallyVirtual', tweeted this to a San Francisco-based microblogging service:
Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event)
Shortly afterwards:
A huge window shaking bang here in Abbottabad Cantt. I hope its not the start of something nasty :-S
This was soon followed by a succession of rapid-fire tweets telling of a helicopter crashing, a family dying and then soldiers cordoning off part of the neighborhood and searching door-to-door.
Welcome to live coverage of the death of Osama Bin Laden by an unwitting computer programmer
…and a new era in social networking.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Science Fact or Fiction: Wearable Computers

Imagine this…you arrive at a party, all decked out to the nines. It's an important event. A woman comes up to you, smiles. "Hello, Frank. Do you remember me?" Unfortunately, you don't because you have a memory like a sieve and are about to fumble through, faking an acquaintance you don't recall, hoping she'll drop some clues before you make a fool of yourself. Her name would be nice.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Future of Reading - Or How I Learned to Love My Kindle

What is the future of the publishing industry? The consensus appears to be…no one really knows and anyone who claims they do must have precognition and as scientists will tell you, that is a class 3 impossibility.
Change is happening. That's a given. But what is that change?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Science Fact or Fiction: Teleportation - Or Take Me Home the Quick Way

Just imagine it. You're in dreary cubicle, working your life away on some mind-numbing project. What you wouldn't give for a short break. Maybe a quick jaunt to Paris to enjoy a golden croissant and a perfect cup of coffee at a sidewalk café.
Step onto my teleport and I'll have you there and back in a jiffy.
Fantasy, you say? Science Fiction surely.

Captain Kirk and crew step onto the transporter platform in Star Trek, and get whisked away to an alien planet.
In Blakes 7, Kerr Avon and his crew step onto the teleport pad, wearing a bracelet that enables the transmission of matter as pure energy.
In SG-1, Jack and his intrepid team steps  through a  stargate built by the ancients.

But is teleportation possible?