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Posts by Stephen
“I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.”
If you know your Science Fiction, and maybe even if you don’t, you recognize the iconic line from the HAL 9000 in Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece, 2001: A Space Odyssey. HAL was the artificial intelligence who, while incredibly smart, was driven to violence by the directives provided by his human creators.
Artificial intelligence is a staple of science fiction, and it’s a trope that enables writers to examine what it means to be human, what it means to create life and what our responsibility to that life we create actually is. And further, it enables us to tell stories about what that life might want to do to us in return.
There have been brilliant examples of stories in the AI genre. Colossus: The Forbin Project is a terrifying vision of what could happen if the tools of war are handed over to a machine intelligence designed to make war more efficient. The Terminator, with all it’s lean savagery, is another take on what happens when the machines come online and want control. (more…)
Other than in my first attempt at novel writing, which we shall speak of no more, for it is legendary in its awfulness, I write queer characters. They aren’t all queer, but my heroes are. The whole raison d’etre of both my standalone novel, Chasing Cold, and my Maverick Heart series is to write the kind of heroes I loved growing up, but make them unapologetic in whatever flavour of queerness they called their own.
In the early days of what would eventually become Soul’s Blood, I submitted to a press in Edmonton run by Candas Jane Dorsey. As it turned out, I was going to be in town, and she very graciously took me to lunch and gave me feedback on my very early efforts. And one of her comments formed a cornerstone of how the novel and series would grow.
In the initial incarnations, Keene and Daevin were initially forced apart because Daevin’s father was bothered by Daevin being in love with a man. It was the late eighties/early nineties when the novel was first conceived and I was living in a city where there were no Pride celebrations, no businesses that specifically targeted the queer community, other than the one gay bar. In many ways, we still lived our lives in shadow. (more…)
I have loved Space Opera since I was three.
That was when the original Star Trek series aired on one of the only two channels that were available in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada in 1966, and it was something we, as a family watched. I remember my mother being certain that the sight of one alien in the closing credits (Balok from The Corbomite Maneuver) would scare me too much, so she charged my sisters with distracting me so I wouldn’t see it.
Of course, when I finally did, I wasn’t bothered at all.
Star Trek truly entered my consciousness in the Seventies during first run syndication after school. When I rediscovered it, I would race home and hope it was one I hadn’t seen yet. Not that it mattered. I watched them over and over, poring over every detail, memorizing the look, the ideas, the performances. I tried over and over to build the Enterprise with my Lego. And this was back in the day when there weren’t any specially shaped blocks, just flat bits, rectangles and squares. My love for the show just continued to grow. (more…)
In lieu of a post here this week, I was fortunate enough to write a piece over at Spoonie Authors Network this week. Inspired by a conversation I had with a friend at Glad Day Bookshop during Pride this year, that set off a host of thoughts about my body and how I feel about it.
I’m a bad blogger. I admit it. I have neglected my site for far too long. I released a book, finished rewrites on a second and signed a contract for it.
Blogs posts? Nada.
Excuse me while I hang my head in shame.
I’m a writer. It’s kind of my thing. I mean, I have a dull, yet well paying day job with benefits and lots of vacation and stuff, but the writing is the thing that gets me going, that makes me feel like I’m not just taking up space and emitting carbon dioxide. I love the act of creating the worlds and the people and moving them around. I even enjoy the times I have to do horrible things to them.
Yes, I like curry a lot. I found this one to try for Christmas Dinner, because me attempting turkey would surely end in disaster.
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs (Original recipe calls for breasts)
1 medium onion – thinly sliced
15 oz can chickpeas – drained and rinsed
2 medium sweet potatoes – peeled and diced
½ cup coconut milk (Recipe calls for light, but I used the full fat version)
½ cup chicken stock – low sodium
15 oz can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons curry powder – salt-free
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon red chili powder (Recipe calls for half this amount of cayenne. Could use red chili flakes as well)
1 cup green peas – frozen
2 tablespoons lemon juice
cilantro – optional garnish
In the bottom of the slow cooker, whisk together coconut milk, chicken stock, tomato sauce, curry powder, salt and cayenne.
Add chicken breasts, onion, chickpeas and sweet potatoes. Using tongs, gently toss ingredients together to ensure evenly coated.
Cook on Low for 8 hours or High for 4 hours.
Stir in peas and lemon juice 5 minutes before serving.
Serve over rice and with plenty of fresh cilantro.
I have been remiss in posting this here, after blanketing my social media with the news. I’ve signed a contract with Bold Strokes Books to publish my next book, Soul’s Blood (and hopefully, the sequel, Gatecrasher, too) We’re in early days right now, in a bit of a holding pattern, but aiming for publication next fall. The ball is rolling though!