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Essays

The Matter of Cloud: An Interview with Greer Gilman

This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of Greer Gilman’s spellbinding debut, Moonwise. The Crawford Award-winning novel follows Ariane on the trail of her girlhood friend, Sylvie, who has disappeared into a world curiously like the one the two friends invented together. The sequel, Cloud & Ashes: Three Winter’s Tales, digs deeper into Gilman’s complex mythos, […]

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The Precarious Now

One of the most overblown difficulties in writing science fiction is that of predicting the future. Almost every science fiction writer has spent time explaining to well-meaning relatives or day job co-workers that—except for the rare occasions when a science fiction writer gets a gig working for a think tank—we’re not futurists, we’re storytellers—predicting the […]

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What You Might Have Missed

You have spent years studying stories. Even if you never took an English lit class, never went to a writing group. You’ve watched countless movies and bonded with friends over favorite scenes, argued with family about what a line meant. You’ve sat through over a thousand hours of TV in a year.1 You’ve absorbed a […]

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Scenes from the Apocalypse

(Content Note: Racial Slurs and Racist Violence)   March 2020. Chicago is three days into lockdown and while my Facebook feed is busy baking bread, I’m testing software, researching business models, trying to figure out how to translate intimate circus cabaret shows and celebrations of geek culture into a livestream format that can give my […]

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Loving the Old Wounds

One of the greatest monologues ever written and performed for television is Don Draper’s ad pitch for the Kodak Carousel slide projector in the finale of the first season of Mad Men: “In Greek, nostalgia literally means ‘the pain from an old wound.’ It’s a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone. […]

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Pro Wrestling Is Fake (But You Already Knew That)

“It’s fake…right?” Without fail, this question (or some variation of this question: “picking the winners” is another popular response) remains the immediate follow-up upon learning that I am a professional wrestler. And yes, it’s fake. To be clear, saying “It’s fake” plays against the traditional mythos of pro wrestling. Giant muscle men fighting for championships. […]

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