Culture and Conflict – Guest Blog Series

Diversity. Multiculturalism. Inclusion. In the context of human relations, these words evoke warm feelings. Who wouldn’t want a world where people of different races, cultures, and beliefs can co-exist peacefully, each enriching the other? And yet you have only to open your computer, turn on the news, or read the newspaper to see how far from this ideal we are. Cultural conflicts have incited hatred and violence since the beginning of recorded history—and undoubtedly since the beginning of the human race. In my own lifetime, growing up in a quiet suburb in a supposedly peace-loving nation, I have witnessed the…

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Full of Win

My extrans wanderings are almost at an end, which means our poor neglected Warpworld blog will soon come back to life. But I had to take a moment out of my travels to share some news. Today Josh and I learned that Warpworld Vol.1 won an Honorable Mention in the 2014 Eric Hoffer Book Awards (Commercial Fiction category). The Eric Hoffer Awards recognize excellence in independently published books–something I support with much waving of arms and yelling of "WHOOP!" Since I did not expect a science fiction novel to even make it onto the shortlist, this Honorable Mention comes as…

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The Truth Inside the Lie – Lynda Williams

The Highway and the Universe In my teenage years, my faster-than-light method of travel needed to be scientifically plausible. That’s when I invented reality skimming, inspired by an enrichment course in space-time physics in my high school years. Fig 1 Rel Ship in space But by the time the Okal Rel Saga shaped up into meaty stories about people, the underpinning technology had to map to something more emotionally real. Philosophically, this became the wear and tear of living (shimmer damage), and the risk of losing one’s grip and drifting into depression or ennui (time slip). Physically, however, the inspiration…

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The Truth Inside the Lie – Douglas Smith

On Writing About a Different Culture My recent novel, The Wolf at the End of the World, takes place in modern-day northern Ontario and continues the story of the Heroka, my human-like shape-shifting race that I introduced in my award-winning story, "Spirit Dance." Along with the Heroka mythology, The Wolf incorporates Cree and Ojibwa stories and traditions. Now, I’m a white male of British descent writing about First Nations culture and beliefs. Any author who writes about a current culture other than their own risks being accused of cultural appropriation. That risk is even greater if the writer belongs to…

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The Truth Inside the Lie – Nathan Elberg

The World is a Wild Place People are different. Not just in appearance, or restaurant preference. Not just in intelligence, but how they apprehend the world. You might say there’s a pencil on a table. A Pacific Islander would say that the table lumps. You might say there are a few pencils on the table. The Islander would say the table lumps severally. You might say that your father’s brother’s children are your cousins, while your male siblings are your brothers. In many societies though, your father’s brother’s children might be just as much your brothers as your male siblings. You might believe in fundamentals, like honesty,…

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The Truth Inside the Lie – Eileen Kernaghan

The Alchemy of Historical Fiction When I begin a historical fantasy set in a real time and place, I have an unspoken contract with my reader. I’m free to create new adventures for real historical figures – events and situations that are not recorded in the history books. But I can’t – or at least I shouldn’t – relocate them in times and places where history tells us they couldn’t possibly have been. When I write in the cracks and empty spaces of documented history, I try not to change the things that we know to be true. My research…

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The Truth Inside the Lie – Andy Rogers

Let the Voyeurs In The most transformative lessons in my life are the ones that make me consider the sort of person I want to be. I’m talking about, ‘Who am I?’ in those I’m-all-alone-and-there-ain’t-nobody-that-can-ever-find-me-muhaha kind of situations. How do I truly want myself to behave? We all garb ourselves in various personas when we are subject to the perceptions of others. I hope for myself that I make reasonable choices with regards to how I behave in public. But at my core, what kind of person do I wish to be when I’m completely safe from scrutiny? I think…

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The Truth Inside the Lie – Matthew Hughes

What Would Winston Churchill Say? I spent most of my adult life as a freelance speechwriter, writing mainly for CEOs (they don’t mind spending extravagant amounts on themselves) and the occasional politician.  I didn’t know I was a born speechwriter until I wrote my first speech, while working as assistant to a Member of Parliament.  I discovered I had the rare knack of being able to hear a speaker’s voice and speech patterns in my head, then write the text so that the words sounded natural. Mostly, I wrote bread-and-butter jobs, an endless succession of Chamber of Commerce luncheons and…

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The Truth Inside the Lie – Noah Chinn

Prisoners of Gravity Next week on Second Nature… If those words ring a bell, you remember one of the best weekly TV interview shows a kid could have growing up. In 1989, TVOntario launched what was one of the most unusual interview show in Canadian television. It interviewed authors. Science fiction and fantasy authors. Keep in mind this was at a time where fandom wasn’t quite where it is today. Today conventions have hit a kind of mainstream critical mass that didn’t quite exist in the same way 20 years ago. This show was a glorious celebration of geek culture…

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The Truth Inside the Lie – Nina Munteanu

The Battle of Grunwald and the Fate of the Teutonic Knights My part in this piece of history really started sometime in 2008 with the vision of an incredible image by Croatian artist Tomislav Tikulin. It was the image of a magnificent knight, standing in a war-littered mire and gazing up, questioning, at the vaulted ceiling of a drowned cathedral. A great light shone upon the knight in streams of white gold. It sent my imagination soaring with thoughts of chivalry, adventure and intrigue. Who was this knight? With that image imprinted inside me, the next nexus moment came when…

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