Angels and Wormholes – sale on my book

I just put my book, Angels and Wormholes, on sale from $3.99 to 99c. It’ll be at that price for the next two weeks. I would love if you would pick up a copy. And please leave a review, if you’re up for it (Amazon reviews are really, really valuable for writers).

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Some reviews of the book (from the first draft on Wattpad):

“The story is too excellent! I’m still trying to fathom what the heck goes on in the writer’s mind for his to be able to create this well thought-out universe.”

“Wow! That was bind blowing!”

“Thanks for such an excellent story. I haven’t been so Completely chained to a book in years.”

“Just…wow. I have never read such a complex sci-fi novel with so much detail in it!”

“Wow! I really didn’t want this book to end, well done!”

“Thoroughly enjoyed it, struggled putting it down.”

“beautiful character development and diversity!”

I hope those reviews are enough to encourage you to pick up the book from Amazon. And for the next couple weeks, it’ll be cheaper than a coffee!

My Rhysling eligible poems for 2018

The Rhysling awards nomination period is running from January 1 to February 15. I’ve got a few poems from the previous year that are eligible:

My favorite of these is Goodnight. My second favorite is first date.

Please consider my poems for nomination! Thanks very much!

Book ‘The New Jim Crow’ banned in some New Jersey prisons

The 2010 book ‘The New Jim Crow‘ is banned in some New Jersey prisons, apparently because prison officials don’t want inmates reading about bias and corruption.

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I don’t like censorship. I find it morally repugnant, and I don’t think it should happen in a democracy.

On an individual level, censorship is a violation of personal autonomy. Your free will is taken away if different ways of looking at the world are hidden from you. It’s paternalistic and authoritarian. On a social level, censorship is detrimental to the health of democracy. You need to share and discuss ideas for democracy to work. That’s why freedom of speech is one of the pillars of democracy. Democracy isn’t just voting freely. It’s also reading and writing freely. Censorship is anti-democratic.

One way to fight back is by reading and promoting works that people are trying to censor. I think of it as my democratic responsibility to seek out the ideas that people are trying to suppress.

Here is a link to buy the book if you’re interested.

Publication in Abyss & Apex

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My collection of very short poems, ‘spatial arrangement‘, was just published in Abyss & Apex, where it is available online to read for free. Each poem represents notable objects in our solar system, beginning at the sun and moving outwards through all the planets (also including the moon, Pluto, “planet x”, and beyond). Check it out if you have a minute!

 

“Stopping by Woods” is about Santa Claus

For this Christmas blog post, I would like to suggest that the famous poem by Robert Frost, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”, is actually about Santa Claus.

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Let’s take a look at the poem before we analyze it:

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
by Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Who is this strange man who has stopped in someone else’s woods at night, on a snowy evening? What are all these promises he has to keep? Why so many miles to travel?

The “darkest evening of the year” would be the 21st of December. But perhaps Frost has taken some liberties here. “The third darkest evening of the year” doesn’t quite fit in the established meter, and isn’t quite as neat.

The harness bells evoke a reindeer, and the animal appears in a stanza rhyming on queer/near/year. Is “reindeer” being playfully implied by rhyme?

In the third stanza, the animal is asking about a mistake, which the speaker has stopped in the woods to check. He is checking the list (a second time).

The opening stanza introduces our speaker, and it rhymes on know/though/snow. Playfully implying “ho-ho-ho” through rhyme?

This is a poem about Santa Claus.