Culture and Conflict: What That Means for a Half Caste

From 2007 to 2009, I lived on Aitutaki, in the Cook Islands, and had the pleasure and challenge of experiencing a culture very different from my own. Hannah Williams is the daughter of one of the dear friends I made during that time. She has her own unique perspective on the two cultures she has inherited and the struggles of living in both those worlds. My own experiences with clashes of cultures started before I was even born, when my New Zealand born father made a fateful trip to the Cook Islands in 1989, where he met my Cook Island…

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Culture and Conflict: Just Results

It can be easy to see only the negative connotations of culture clash–fear, hatred, violence–but are there times when our cultural differences cease to matter? Times when our differences are beneficial? Today’s guest, author Alistair Kimble, has some answers to those questions and much more. What I’m writing about today is culture clash. When I first received the topic, Boy George fronting The Clash cluttered my eyes and ears with discordant images and sounds. And while I don’t think Boy George and The Clash would have ever worked, the truth is, well, maybe they would have found a way if…

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Culture and Conflict: The Morality of Culture

In an attempt to accept diversity, we will often defend behaviour we find strange or unacceptable as a difference of culture. And while it’s generally good to embrace cultural differences, is there a line where culture ceases to be a valid defense? Today’s guest blogger, author Nathan Elberg, discusses culture and morality. Some things are disgusting.  Pedophilia for instance is considered intolerable, despite its being promoted by writers such as William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg.  Their advocacy for evil did nothing to harm their positions as cultural icons.  There are grey areas as to what constitutes a child.  Loretta…

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Culture and Conflict: Literature and Culture Clash

Most stories, fiction or non-fiction, contain some kind of conflict–cultural or otherwise–but what about the actual medium itself? Author Nowick Gray considers the culture clash between corporate media and literature and what that means to society. In my recently published novel of the Arctic, Hunter’s Daughter (Five Rivers, 2015) the very basis of the plot, themes and character development is the clash of cultures. The era depicted (1964) is one of Inuit transition from traditional life on the land into settlements; and the story’s tension is driven by pressure from the bureaucracy of the South to conclude justice on its…

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Culture and Conflict: What the Okal Rel Saga is All About

When we put out the call for guest bloggers, Lynda Williams was a natural fit. Her Okal Rel universe is fraught with culture clash. In this post, she talks about the many sources of cultural conflict in her books. Readers who like their culture clash played out through characters where no one is 100% right about anything, will enjoy spending time in the Okal Rel Universe. Imagine politically sophisticated high-tech invaders clashing with biologically empowered tribal leaders, known as Sevolites, who are, themselves, the advanced technology. Or a conquering Sevolite warrior who can’t understand why “take me to you leader”…

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Culture and Conflict: Permission to Speak Freely?

When Josh and I put out the call for guest bloggers for this series, we wanted to hear from people with real life culture clash experiences. Former US Marine Garvin Anders has those experiences in spades. In a candid post, he discusses how tricky communication can be between sub-cultures within cultures. Culture clash can happen in a lot of different ways and I’ve experienced most of them, if I may be excused some vanity. I am a hearing child of deaf parents. I grew up in Oklahoma but live in Arizona. I am a Marine surrounded by civilians. I am…

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Culture and Conflict: Canadian Vs. American Science Fiction

Today’s guest knows his science fiction! Aurora Award winner Robert Runté explains the differences between science fiction from two seemingly similar countries. Most SF writers, editors, publishers, and readers would accept that the SF genre represents something of a different subculture, often at odds with the mainstream literary establishment. Much less recognized, however, are the cultural clashes within the genre. I’ve spent much of the last 35 years talking about the differences between Canadian and American speculative fiction. We tend to think of SF as an American genre, because it often reflects American values and themes, but Canadians write it too,…

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Culture and Conflict: Imperfections of Perception

  Today’s guest, Tyson Seuret, examines how a simple symbol can divide cultures. On February 4, 2015, The Huffington Post published an article about an 18-year-old woman in India. She was a woman of passionate creation—a poet, student, and activist for inter-faith collaboration and togetherness. She was considering studying at universities outside of her country of birth, and she was now confronted with the possibility that she must use a nickname, or an alteration of her name to do so. Why? Because this young woman was named for the Hindi symbol for well-being, prosperity, and goodness of heart that is…

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Culture and Conflict: Imagined Realities

In 2014, I had the pleasure of speaking on two panels at VCON with today’s guest. Ron S. Friedman is a Canadian SF/F author but his roots began in Israel. Have you ever been in an argument with someone to the point where you realize that you and your counterpart simply have different, unbridgeable point of views? As if each of you grew up in a parallel universe, and that no amount of data and supportive evidence can change the other person’s mind? If you did, don’t be alarmed. That’s perfectly normal for how a modern Homo-Sapiens’ brain works. Last…

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Launch Day: Warpworld Vol.3 GHOST WORLD

At last, it’s time to launch the latest chapter in the Warpworld saga… Go ahead and press the button, we won’t tell anyone. Oops, now you’ve done it! Yes, Warpworld Vol. 3, Ghost World is out and we’re pleased as the proverbial punch. What can you expect in book #3? Well, this is a spoiler free zone but here’s a taste: A NEW STORM IS COMING Somewhere through the warp gate, buried in the ruins of a long-dead civilization, a strange machine could be the key to the Storm that threatens Seg Eraranat’s world. But does this ghost world hold…

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