Blog Posts

That time I made a music video

The school year ended today at Thetford Academy, where I worked for two years, teaching math and English to English schoolchildren. It was an interesting, challenging time. While I’m happy to be back home, I also miss it very much.

I wish it were #NotMyCanada, but it is, so let's talk

So it’s Canada Day. Whoo! PARTY TIME! Crack open those drinks, lay out the snacks, enjoy the sun—sigh. I can’t do it, guys. Look, if all you want to do with your day off is party, this blog post is not for you. I can’t just join in this year, for two reasons. Firstly, this year is important, because later this year we are having a federal election.

Report cards are not the problem here

Yesterday Martin Regg Cohn wrote in the Toronto Star about how the work-to-rule action by ETFO is harmful to students because of the inconvenience and delay it causes in notifying parents about those students’ final marks. He says: Marks don’t matter. Achievement goes unnoted.

Trends I'm sensitive to in current science fiction

This post began as part of my review of The Man Who Sold the Moon. I began contrasting Heinlein’s subject matter with what’s hot in SF these days. Gradually I realized I was eliding too much in my attempts to be as succinct as possible, so I was faced with the choice of expanding an already long review … or excising most of the discussion. Fortunately, I have a soapbox all my own where I can put this kind of stuff. First, a disclaimer: science fiction is a diverse field.

An open response to “Teachers have no right threatening education”

Dear Mr. Lavallee, You wrote a letter to the editor that appeared in The Chronicle Journal on Saturday, April 11: “Teachers have no right threatening education.” Your letter communicates a great deal of frustration with teachers, arguing that we suffer from a sense of entitlement, that we strike because we aren’t satisfied with how easy we already have it. You ask us how we “dare” to “hold our kids’ education hostage.” The truth is, the decision to strike is never an easy one.

On binge-watching

Two interesting television-related things happened this weekend that have me thinking about our (and by that I mean, my, I suppose) relationship with consuming new television shows in 2015. Firstly, Netflix released the first season of Daredevil, a “Netflix original” series it produced with ABC Studios for Marvel.

Currently Reading

Book Reviews

Fall on Your Knees cover image

Sometimes the best books are the books that are actually more than one story. Fall On Your Knees is a difficult book to summarize, or review, in a way that could do it justice. It is one of those sweeping multi-generational pieces of historical fiction, but at the same time it’s really just a story about four sisters. Against the backdrop of Cape Breton Island and New York City from the turn of the 20th century all the way to the advent of World War II, Ann-Marie MacDonald shows us how the good and…

Trouble

Non Pratt

Trouble cover image

Juno is a fun movie. Ellen Page nails it as the title character, conveying exactly the intended idea that a lot of the weirdness about teen pregnancy comes from our hang-ups, as a society, about young women/girls. In the movie’s desire to concentrate on how Juno navigates this brave new world, however, Michael Cera’s character—the babydaddy—plays only a minor role. That’s fine for the story Juno wants to tell. But I basically think now of Trouble as “like Juno, but with a father involved.” Not the…

The Golden Mean cover image

Let me summarize this book for you.

Aristotle: Join me, Alexander. Feel the power of the Dark Side.

Alexander: Never!

Aristotle: Alexander, I AM YOUR FATHER.

Alexander: No!

Aristotle: Look within your heart, Alexander, which is actually a heart, and is not merely the shadow of an ideal heart, because how the hell did Plato think that would work anyway? You know it to be true.

Alexander: Noooooooo!

Aristotle: *chops off Alexander's hand with a light-sabre*


—wait, no, sorry, that’s Star Wars. Let’s try this…

The Quantum Universe: (And Why Anything That Can Happen, Does) cover image

The universe is big. Mindbogglingly big. Our minds have trouble conceiving of the vastness of the universe, on either scales of time and space, or their unified presentation as spacetime. And the moment we think we might possibly be able to get used to this idea, it becomes apparent that the very foundations of our universe are small. So small, so tiny, that the energy required to probe these depths is nearly as impressively vast as the scale of the universe they conspire to create. This is The…

The Change (Animorphs, #13) cover image

The titles of Animorphs novels might seem mundane, but they are always appropriate. The Change begins as another supposedly simple Animorphs versus Yeerks plot. It turns out to be so much more. Still, an alternative and equally appropriate title might have been The Hope.

Following the revelations from The Andalite Chronicles, Applegate finally returns to the perspective of the most marginalized Animorph, Tobias. Trapped in hawk morph, a nothlit, Tobias can’t exactly contribute to missions in the…

Coyote Horizon cover image

Do you ever read a book only for it to be exactly what you expected? Not exactly what it promises, mind you, but to have all your expectations confirmed. That’s what happened here with Coyote Horizon. With only vague memories of Allen Steele’s first colonial SF adventures, I was vaguely optimistic about this book. I was looking forward to some politics, some wilderness, some alienness—and that’s what I got. Coyote Horizon, like its predecessors, aptly demonstrates that science fiction books do not…