“What do you despise? By this are you truly known.”

When I first read that quotation in Dune twenty years ago, it struck me as something true and profound. It’s been incorporated into my worldview so long and so thoroughly that I don’t always notice the words themselves, even if they’re there at the back of my mind.

It’s one metric by which I judge others and myself, and it’s something that’s been in my head a lot lately not only because I am re-reading Dune and realizing what a formative book it was for me, but also because of everything going on in the world right now.

We live in an age of militant, polarized opinions. Some people share their opinions online; others go out to protest. Either way, this is always the question I ask.

I’m not a car person, so I can only describe what passed by me on my walk in my rural New England town as a retro-future, cyberpunk Indy 500 car with strips of neon green lights blinking along its edges.

It was blasting not the synthy industrial action music that is its birthright by genre, but one of the more emotional Goo Goo Dolls songs.

There’s a saying about dressing for the job you want, not the job you have. It sounds suspiciously like the kind of thing a high-end suit manufacturer might have come up with.

Anyway, I’ve accumulated quite a few outfits that make me look like a sci-fi character, so I’ve been following that dubious piece of advice either way.

One of my rewards to myself for finishing Stars Fall Out (and also an early birthday present) was a box set of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Best Star Trek ever, and best show ever.

I should’ve bought it ages ago on whatever flimsy excuse I could come up with.

Read and listen to “A Cold Glow”

The Alone in a Room with Invisible People podcast recently announced that they will be doing their second annual Halloween Special, and you know what that means!

It means that I just remembered I never bothered to post about the fact that my story “A Cold Glow” was one of the flash fiction pieces included in last year’s episode. I have a history of doing this.

Yes, that is my “handwriting.”

You can listen to it here. “A Cold Glow” plays at 24:25, but if you’re in the mood to overload on Halloween flash fiction, this episode is filled with all types of Halloween stories. Case in point: “A Cold Glow” is a sci-fi story about a kid on a space station who butts heads with the station’s computer in his quest to carve a jack-o’-lantern.

I forget how many other stories are in the podcast, but I had a lot of fun listening to a bunch of them last year while driving out to various Halloween adventures. Werewolves, witches, vampires, hauntings–they’re all present and accounted for.

The text version of the story will have a permanent home here.

We’re a month-and-a-half out from Halloween, and this post is scheduled for Friday the 13th. Works for me.

I started Thrawn: Alliances, and one thing that came as no surprise is that Anakin makes a terrible Watson to Thrawn’s Sherlock.

What did come as a surprise is that Darth Vader is a marginally better Watson.

And now I realize why I’ve been enjoying Elementary so much; it’s not a cop show: it’s what Grand Admiral Thrawn would be like solving crimes in New York.