Critical Mass is an Adelaide-based SF discussion group that continues to meet after many, many years of existence. For a long time it was based around a volunteer speaker each month, and some of the best talks I’ve had the opportunity to listen to come from those guest speakers. I will always remember John Foyster’s awe-inspiring demolition of one page from Dan Simmons’ Hyperion, Zoran’s introduction to the Thomas Carnacki books, and Julliette’s discussion of Mary Sue in fan fiction.… Read the rest
Author Archives: Adam Jenkins
A few years ago, a colleague and I had the cunning plan of supporting a new crowdfunded project every two weeks. We’d get cool stuff, it wouldn’t cost too much, and we could support creators – in particular, in my case, those involved in SF projects. I don’t know if she ended up continuing with the project, but looking back on my own activities it seems that I’ve managed to keep the desired average right where we’d planned, so that’s something.… Read the rest
One of the delights of SF is that it often raises interesting philosophical questions; as Adam discovered, this is even true of the short story form…
In the Trolley Problem it is proposed that you are standing by a lever next to tram tracks. The lever controls a switch through which you can change the path of the tram (if this was set in Adelaide it would be less of a dilemma, as here it is impossible for a tram to turn right).… Read the rest
Written by Kaiu Shirai and illustrated by Posuka Demizu, The Promised Neverland (Yakusoku no Nebārando) is a weekly manga series published by Shonen Jump. The series has climbed rapidly in the popularity rankings, and is now regarded as one of the most popular of the Weekly Shonen Jump mangas … Read the rest
I’ve been playing video games since the Atari VCS first hit the market and watching movies for even longer. I still spend way too much time on both. However, the combination of the two has not proven to be quite as appealing as I might have hoped.
The problem is, (with a few significant exceptions), video games aren’t noted for providing great cinematic plots.… Read the rest
Every week there’s only one TV series which brings everyone in our house into the same room (technically, what this actually means is that it draws my son away from his computer, but it is the same end result) – My Hero Academia (also known as Boku no Hīrō Akademia). We’ve been watching it almost every week since it first aired.… Read the rest
Salvation, a US science fiction thriller TV series filmed in Canada, is a surprisingly enjoyable yet odd show. It starts with Liam Cole (played by Charlie Rowe), an MIT student who discovers an asteroid that is due to collide with the earth, creating an extinction-level event that will destroy all of humanity.… Read the rest
Robots are inherently cool. Accordingly, I’ve long wanted to build robots, but until a few years ago I wasn’t making any progress. The big problem for me (other than cost) was the skills required. Robot construction requires a mix of mechanical engineering, electronics and programming. The third I could do, but the first two were much more of a challenge.… Read the rest
A look at the 17th centenary SF writer, Margaret Cavendish, the Duchess of Newcastle, based on a 2017 talk given to the Critical Mass SF discussion group.
Virigina Wolfe in 1929 wrote of Margaret Cavendish:
… Read the rest
What a vision of loneliness and riot the thought of Margaret Cavendish brings to mind! as if some giant cucumber had spread itself over all the roses and carnations in the garden and choked them to death.