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Things I Can Say About MFA Writing Programs Having Never Done One

So there’s this piece going around, about what students need to do succeed as writers in literary MFA programs. A lot of it is pretty basic — show up, do the work, read good books, nurse your talent. And a lot of it is pretty bitchy — there’s a bit about how being abused as […]

About that new Ghost in the Shell movie

As you may have heard, actress Scarlett Johansson recently signed a deal to star in DreamWorks’ upcoming adaptation of Ghost in the Shell, a Japanese transmedia franchise that began as a cyberpunk manga by Masamune Shirow (the author’s pen name) in 1989. There’s a Ghost in the Shell poster hanging above my desk, in my […]

On the Sony hack, and the future of film

The Sony hack is interesting to me on a lot of levels. One, because mine was a Sony family. My dad kept our Betamax alive until I was in university. In fact, we still have two at home — my boyfriend at the time bought us another so dad could complete his editorial projects, like […]

Fun exercise: translating Lovecraft into Hemingway

One dreary afternoon last October, David and I started playing a game. (Not that kind of game.) He would read aloud a passage from H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Call of Cthulhu,” and I would try to communicate the exact same thing, in the style of Hemingway. For example: Lovecraft: The most merciful thing in the world, […]

The (f)Anthropology of True Detective

Like seemingly everyone else watching True Detective, I had my theories about who the Yellow King was. But for me, that was of tertiary importance compared to learning the answer to another question: Why the Yellow King? (Spoilers ahead, for True Detective and Twin Peaks.)

The Evil that Men Do: on being a woman watching (true) detectives

Today marks the end of Meanwhile, the 25-year period that, according to Twin Peaks lore, Special Agent Dale Cooper has waited in the Black Lodge for Laura Palmer to return and end his torment. (Spoilers.)

How to watch “Love, Actually”

There have been a lot of retrospectives written on Love, Actually this year. The Atlantic hates it. Mother Jones loves it. Jezebel makes fun of it. Having just watched it again last night as I do every year, I have my own issues with it: that “Colin goes to America” plotline is absolutely abysmal, a […]

Bad words: depicting female arousal in your fiction.

Recently, Kameron Hurley shared this piece by E.M. Kokie on the seeming dearth of language available to workaday prose writers to describe what arousal feels like in a cis female body. Said Kokie: When I found myself stuck and looking for the words, I started pulling books off my bookshelves and scanning for the romantic […]

iD: something from the butcher’s block

Over the last few days, Twitter has been all, well, a-twitter about diversity in science fiction. Most of that has to do with this piece in The Guardian, which begins thusly: Science fiction loves a good paradox. Here’s one for you: how can a genre that dreams up alien cultures and mythic races in such […]

Unpacking the data on women’s submission(s)

I was reading Damien G. Walters’ column on the “invisibility” of women in science fiction, and he brought up Julie Crisp’s explanation for the comparative lack of women publishing science fiction, from an editor’s perspective. Crisp works for Tor’s UK branch, and summed up the lack in this way: You can see that when it […]

  • Madeline Ashby…

    ...is a science fiction writer, futurist, speaker, and immigrant living in Toronto. She writes a column for the Ottawa Citizen. She is represented by Anne McDermid & Associates, and IAM Sports & Entertainment. You can buy her novels here. She has written narrative scenarios and science fiction prototypes for organizations like Intel Labs, the Institute for the Future, SciFutures, Nesta, Data & Society, and others. Her short fiction has appeared in Nature, FLURB, Tesseracts, Imaginarium, and Escape Pod. Her other essays and criticism have appeared at BoingBoing, io9, WorldChanging, Creators Project, Arcfinity, and Tor.com.
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    Madeline Ashby's books on Goodreads
    vN vN (The Machine Dynasty, #1)
    reviews: 18
    ratings: 27 (avg rating 3.56)

    Shine: An Anthology of Optimistic SF Shine: An Anthology of Optimistic SF
    reviews: 18
    ratings: 44 (avg rating 3.45)

    Tesseracts Eleven: Amazing Canadian Speculative Fiction Tesseracts Eleven: Amazing Canadian Speculative Fiction
    reviews: 6
    ratings: 14 (avg rating 3.50)

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  • Madeline 's bookshelf: read

    Designing for Interaction: Creating Innovative Applications and Devices (2nd Edition)Super Natural Cooking: Five Delicious Ways: To Incorporate Whole & Natural Ingredients into Your CookingGluten-Free Girl and the ChefPeople Crossing Borders: An Analysis of U.S. Border Protection PoliciesHalf the Day Is NightThe Magicians

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