Archive for March 18th, 2014

My Experience at the Festival and a Chance Encounter

‘s fair enough to argue the point that China, and Beijing in particular, is a land of contradictions. We hear about the country’s politics, it’s focus on a political system that is not quite true to its Maoist origins, we hear and read about the pollution that can often result in illness and a general […]

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Ling Chen at the Bookworm Literary Festival

At last Tuesday night’s Global Science Fiction discussion, the highlight—from my particular and subjective perspective, at least—was Chinese SF writer Ling Chen. She spoke through a translator, which was itself an event within the event. Her lengthy, animated responses to the questions were rather baffling at first—after a few minutes one could scan the room […]

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Two days with a popular historian

The assassination of a relatively minor figure, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, triggered an escalation of events that nobody really wanted or anticipated, causing World War I. Or so high school history led me to believe. I’ve been carrying this around as a “fact” for many years, and I’m sure many others who were semi-awake […]

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