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The March for Science and the Unconquered Mountain

It is a strange, frightening world when we need a March for Science. I know it was a while ago and that the news cycle has passed. But I find myself thinking back to it whenever I see pseudoscience headlines or another announcement of cuts to science funding. Because the March for Science was heartening to see – the protesters, the crowds, the hilarious signs, and above all, the action of coming together as a movement and making a statement: We …

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Turning Strong Female Characters into Powerful Female Characters

Strong Female Characters are fucking great. I love them, and I’m glad we have them. And there are some really, really good ones. It’s just a shame that many storytellers have taken the shape of Strong Female Characters and run with it in the opposite direction. A History of Strong Female Characters I’m not going to tread old ground here. There are a lot of really, really good analyses out there as to why the Strong Female Character archetype is …

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The Weird and Beautiful Relationship Between Science and Science Fiction

Nature boasts some rather beautiful symbiotic relationships. There’s the honeyguide bird in Africa (of the family Indicatoridae), that leads humans to honey in return for beeswax. There’s the famous and intricate relationship between tropical clownfish and certain species of sea anemone that allow both to flourish. And of course, there’s the mutually beneficial, enduring and brilliant love story between science and science fiction. Now, at university I didn’t study creative writing or science. I studied law, international studies, history and …

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The Hell Yeah Test – How to Choose a Great Book to Read

Between the ages of around four to fourteen, I pretty much read anything within a ten-metre radius that had pages and a spine. I read trashy spy thrillers next to Lord of the Rings, and then jumped straight into non-fiction survival handbooks and guidebooks about spiders. I chewed through David and Leigh Eddings’ Belgariad and Mallorean series in weeks. It became a point of pride with me that when a new Harry Potter book came out, I’d sleepwalk through a …