Features

/Features

A category for posts to show featured items on the home page. As more are added, only the most recent are shown on the home page.

Notice About Short Stories.

I have removed the short stories 'Puddin' and 'Summer Camp' because I am seeking publication and publishers reserve all rights. Hopefully you'll see them in magazines like Clarkesworld and Asimov's.

Super Intelligent Humans Are Coming

This is an excellent overview - super intelligent humans are coming -  of the issue of genetically enhanced intelligence. Sci-fi suffers from a deep prejudice about intelligence. The super intelligent are either mad scientists or emotionless Spocks. Whilst it is true that some with high intelligence in one area can be lacking in other areas (the socially awkward nerd) the reality is that people with a high intelligence are usually gifted in most areas.

Dakini

The background mythology of Paradise is Tantric Buddhism. One key figure is that of the dakini (khandroma or sky-dancer). She is nearly always depicted naked to signal her non-attachment to the world. 

Anarchist Transhumanism

There's no hiding the fact that Paradise is a transhumanist novel and this is exactly the type of debate some of the main characters would be involved in: The Incoherence and Unsurvivability of Non-Anarchist Transhumanism.

Kepler Exoplanets

 One of the key plot lines of Paradise is the discovery of exoplanets. There has been a revolution in this field an as more powerful methods come online we can expect more exciting discoveries, perhaps we will even detect life. This article is a good overview of the discoveries made by the Kepler telescope.

Graham Ovenden (2): Persecuting The Models

Persecute: harass, hound, pursue, pester, badger, distress, victimize, bully. It's an odd thing how those who claim to be acting in the best interests of child models end up being the very people who cause the harm. In this blog I have detailed a number of examples. When Hetty Johnston pursued the photographer Bill Henson she paid no attention to the harm it would cause the model. When former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd described a photo as disgusting, the young model Olympia Nelson came out to defend her image. Then there are the highly articulate thoughts of Jessie Mann, daughter [...]

Moral Panic And The Vilification Of Graham Ovenden

I hadn't planned to write about the recent court case involving Graham Ovenden but as more and more was revealed I realised that it was essential to much that I have written on this blog. First let me fully acknowledge that much of the information has been more than adequately covered at Artist on Trial and at Graham Ovenden: Fall from Grace? What I intend to do is place these events in the context of two of the themes of this blog; the childhood culture wars and the naked child in art. In particular I want to make reference to [...]

Mexx Children’s Clothing Ad – Equal To The Boys.

I want you to look at this image carefully. What do you see? What do you think? It's an ad for Mexx children's clothing, the jeans in particular, taken by photographer Beatrice Heydiri. Personally I think this image is great. Why? Because it does not sexualise the girls. The first thing I noticed was that the girls are dressed exactly like the boys. Same jeans, same hands in the pockets pose. In other words, the two girls have not been forced to conform to conservative gender stereotypes. No pink. No cutesy dresses. No sexual differentiation. Equal to the boys. Yes, [...]

Concluding The Naked Child In Art Series

Because I'm returning to writing I'm concluding the naked child in art series (although I may resurrect it at some point). The simple fact is that whilst I have a great deal more material on hold (I haven't really begun to consider contemporary art or film) I no longer have the time or inclination to keep posting. The reason I started this project was to correct the extraordinary ignorance about the subject evident in recent controversies over the naked child in art. I think I have more than adequately provided a great many examples (far more than I originally expected) [...]

Gifted Kids: Brooke Raboutou

This one is a coincidence. In the last few days I've been fleshing out a character for my SciFi novel. Her first scene sees her doing a tough cross-country trial that includes rock climbing. She is a skilled athlete with a particular ability to climb - although she has genetically enhanced strength, speed and has deliberately halted puberty so she can maintain the perfect body for her chosen sports. So, even though she is in her early twenties she has the body of a child with the strength of an adult.Then this turns up on FB. It's a video of [...]