Stephen's blog

Spice World - the seminal Dune story

Everyone knows Dune (you do, don't you? If not, why are you here?), and if you’ve even given this blog a cursory glance, you know that lately I’ve been obsessing about Dune more than a little.

I happened to chance onto a book called The Road to Dune in a local second-hand book store. Within this book, along with deleted or early draft scenes from Dune and Dune Messiah, was a novella called Spice World.

Brian Herbert detailed in the introduction that this story came from his father’s notes - a detailed chapter by chapter breakdown of the story. But Frank had abandoned this story, making a new start and creating Dune.  READ ON

Star Trek Discovery is not the Star Trek We Need

1966 was a time of rebellion in America: The Civil Rights movement, the anti-Vietnam war movement, the Free Love movement, were all on the rise. People were pissed — at the government, at the establishment, at each other, and at the ‘other.’

Along came a TV show called Star Trek (now referred to as The Original Series, or just ToS). In the show, we had gotten past our differences, we had gotten past greed, we’d molded the establishment. We were out to make the known world a better place for everyone, and we were actively seeking out new members. It was a very positive, stabilizing message.

Fast forward to today.

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(Spoilers for Star Trek: Discovery episodes 1&2; The Orville episodes 1-3)

The Fallacy of Comparing Modern Writers to the Golden Age of Sci Fi

There’s a conversation going on in my writer’s group about science fiction that I wanted to pull out and discuss with a larger, different audience.

In a nutshell, there’s a large contingence of up-and-coming or as-yet-unpublished writers who believe that the golden age of science fiction was in the 1980s or beyond, and that modern sci-fi isn’t as good.

It’s a conclusion that is hard to argue with, partially because the goalposts can be moved at any time. Still I feel compelled to make a case against this perspective, and I need more space to do so than would be allowed in that group.

So here we go.

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