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The End of an Era

I moved to Oakland in September of 2008, for a number of reasons. Some were very clear to me, others didn't become clear until years later. I'd learned a little about Oakland in my 18 months in seminary in Berkeley, from forays to Oakland for hanging out, events and the White Horse, of course. I met Ruth in Oakland - she is a long-time Oaklander.

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This. Country. Is. Crazy.

Yesterday, I'm sitting in my room in Oakland, and I hear a series of gunshots very close to my house. I look out of the windows, but don't see much. The police block off the street, and apparently, someone was at least gravely injured, but I haven't heard details. But of course, this was only one of many incidents of gun violence, in Oakland, in Californai, and in the United States. 

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Scarcity Consciousness, Disintermediation, Piracy, and Being a Writer

This blog entry comes from an interesting discussion (both on and off-list) that has been going on the Broad Universe email list. It started with someone posting about a site that pirates ebooks. I'll start out by saying that I am not trying to make a living as a writer, and making money at writing was never my goal or intent. This is not to say that I would mind making a living being a writer. In fact, I'd very much like that.

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Beasts of the Southern Wild

I don't usually review movies on my blog, but here's a second in a row. I think if I'd seen a more balanced set of views on this movie before I saw it, I'd not bother to write this (then again, I probably would not have bothered to see the film.) So first, let me get some things out of the way.

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Don't forget capitalism

I was reading this op-ed peice about the tragedy in Colorado. It's a good and balanced view of the politics around gun control. I think it's reasonable, and deals with the fact that for the most part, both sides talk past each other. But he mentions, then sort of discards something important. A quote:

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Bifurcated Life

I'm one of those people, you know, the people with a "country home."  Of course, my primary home is a room in a collective house, and I share the cute, little "country house", but still. Right now, I feel like I'm living a bifurcated life.

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The relationship of science to science fiction

Since I've been a sci-fi fan for a long time, and since I've actually been a scientist, I've always been interested in the relationship between science and science fiction. An old colleague of mine from Hampshire thought we should do a course on this, and I'm sure it would have been a great course. As a science fiction writer, I generally try really hard to follow basic science, even when it might be inconvenient. 

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Fashion Statements

I was in my car, on the way back from a shopping trip to *cough* Whole Foods, when I spied a man and what seemed to be his female partner and their little kid. They were young, and he was wearing his jeans past his you-know-what, and that little litany began in my head, "why...?" Then, I realized something about fashion. Now I would say that I never really liked what is called "fashion," and I've never been one to be fashionable (I thought.) I realize what's true is that I don't like fashions from other people's subcultures.

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Open Doors

 

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What I'm working on now

I figured I'd tell folks what I'm working on now. I'm about 30K words into the sequel of "The Right Asteroid," which I have playfully called a space opera. That novel told the story of a time, almost 100 years in the future, where there are all sorts of colonies and activities in the solar system, and a lone asteroid hunter named Max discovers an alien probe. The backdrop is a fight for Mars independence, a very old secret about an alien base on the Moon, and political intrigue on Earth.

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