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Alas for Gene Wolfe

Gene Wolfe, one of the greatest of science-fiction writers, has passed away. His work was subtle and superb. Wolfe wrote paragraphs you could lose yourself in, like a labyrinth, and come out a changed person on the other side. He thought profoundly about what story-telling means as few other writers have. He was honored inside the genre and sometimes outside it, but deserved far more honor in both places. Any account of 20th-century American literature that omits Gene Wolfe is incomplete.

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Your Public Domain Day Report, 2019: YES!!!

Today, at last, is Public Domain Day in the United States. For the first time in decades, some American copyrights were actually allowed to expire naturally, a mere thirty-nine years later than planned. So after years of blogging, every January first, about what wasn't entering public domain and what would have entered public domain under earlier laws, I can finally blog about what is entering public domain.

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Advent in Herod’s Kingdom

Long before Christmas season was a consumer extravaganza starting just after Halloween, it was a period of solemn religious reflection starting four Sundays before Christmas. For some of us, it still is. In America that means it's both. I experience, and enjoy, the secular Christmas of eggnog, gift wrap, and Dean Martin, but I'm also mindful, maybe a bit more each winter, of Advent and its quieter demands. We're in the bleak midwinter, of the season and sometimes of the spirit. And midwinter's never seemed bleaker than when I watch the news.

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Harvard and David Hogg

Parkland survivor David Hogg, one of the most talented of that talented crop of activists, just got into Harvard. I’m happy for him. He was immediately attacked on social media by haters who called him unqualified. But he is a perfect example of Harvard’s long-standing admissions process, the “holistic” method they’re currently being sued over. That method is once again favoring a white kid. But it’s a reasonable and smart decision by Harvard.

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Doctor Cleveland's picture

My First Short Story in a While

As previously mentioned, I have a new short story out this month: my first in 21 years. I am very happy about this. And, as promised, here's a taste and a link to the full piece. I hope you enjoy it.

The thing that broke your heart was, he could still fly. Nothing else to call it. There he was in those silly clothes, going wherever he pleased and not falling, as if gravity were just some tired social pretense and he’d grown too old to bother. But it wasn’t the same.

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Writing Short Fiction, Then and Now

I used to write short stories. Then, for many reasons, I stopped writing fiction. Today I had my first story published in more than twenty years. (It will be posted on the web in two weeks, and I will link to it then. If you can't wait, the issue's for sale here.) More stories may be along; we'll see. If it takes another twenty-one years, I'll have something to look forward to in 2039.

It's a little strange returning to an art form after two decades away. One of the things it means is that in my old stories, no one has e-mail. Most people didn't. Or cell phones. Any temptation to dredge up old pieces is held at bay by the fact that they've become historical fiction.

So what else has changed?

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Where Is Donald? Veterans Day Edition

Today, Veterans Day 2018, the President of the United States stayed in the White House. He did not go to Arlington National Cemetery to lay a wreath. He did nothing to commemorate Veterans Day. The excuse was a forecast of rain. This makes no sense.

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The Death of Whitey Bulger

I never thought I would be upset to see Whitey Bulger die. But somehow that happened. Because Bulger's death, like Bulger's life, promoted organized crime.

I'm seeing a lot of the usual nonsense about the man, filled with praise he never deserved, from people who should know better. I blogged about the Whitey myth, and the way he the press builds him up into a folk hero, back when he was first arrested:

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Doctor Cleveland's picture

Talk Like Crazy People Are Listening

Dear politicians: talk like crazy people are listening to you. Because they are. We're a big country, with hundreds of millions of people and no guaranteed health care. That means there are a lot of Americans who are mentally ill, and a lot of those people can't get proper treatment. Every time you speak in public, remember that there are some disturbed people who will take what you say, whatever you say, seriously, and that they might act on it.

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Doctor Cleveland's picture

What Just Happened in Northeast Massachusetts [UPDATED]

Dozens of fires and explosions broke out in three small Massachusetts cities tonight. Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover have been evacuated, and power has been cut off to prevent more houses from blowing up. People are injured. Many have lost their homes. And at least one man is dead, because his chimney fell onto his car.

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Pages

TypeTitleAuthorRepliesLast updated
Blog entryAlas for Gene Wolfe Doctor Cleveland11 week 1 day ago
Blog entryNobody Misses the WASPs Michael Maiello373 months 1 week ago
Blog entryYour Public Domain Day Report, 2019: YES!!! Doctor Cleveland223 months 2 weeks ago
Blog entryWe Never Should Have Had Military Forces in Syria in the First Place Michael Maiello1093 months 2 weeks ago
Blog entryAdvent in Herod’s Kingdom Doctor Cleveland84 months 21 hours ago
Blog entryMy First Short Story in a While Doctor Cleveland94 months 1 day ago
Blog entryHarvard and David Hogg Doctor Cleveland44 months 1 day ago
Blog entryDag Needs Some Culture Michael Maiello44 months 1 week ago
Blog entryWriting Short Fiction, Then and Now Doctor Cleveland74 months 2 weeks ago
Blog entryWhere Is Donald? Veterans Day Edition Doctor Cleveland114 months 3 weeks ago
Blog entryThe Death of Whitey Bulger Doctor Cleveland15 months 3 weeks ago
Blog entryTalk Like Crazy People Are Listening Doctor Cleveland215 months 4 weeks ago
Blog entryI Am Part of the Resistance Inside King Lear's Court Doctor Cleveland236 months 3 weeks ago
Blog entryHow Robert Mueller Outfoxed Donald Trump Michael Wolraich206 months 3 weeks ago
Blog entryWhat Just Happened in Northeast Massachusetts [UPDATED] Doctor Cleveland67 months 1 week ago
Reader blogIn Partial Defense of Bob Woodward AmericanDreamer217 months 2 weeks ago
Blog entryWhen Intervention Fails Danny Cardwell57 months 2 weeks ago
Blog entrySome Bodies Matter More Than Others: The Judith Butler Thing Doctor Cleveland387 months 3 weeks ago
Blog entryThe Tears of a Billionaire Michael Maiello417 months 3 weeks ago
Blog entryTariffs: the Time Bomb That Could Shatter the GOP Michael Wolraich697 months 4 weeks ago
Blog entryNo, Colleges Still Require Shakespeare Doctor Cleveland268 months 3 days ago
Blog entryYes, You Can Still Watch Woody Allen Movies and Ignore Nick Kristof Michael Maiello2708 months 1 week ago
Blog entryThe International League of Dark Money Doctor Cleveland38 months 3 weeks ago
Blog entryWhat Kim Jong-Un Wants Doctor Cleveland510 months 2 weeks ago
Blog entryZero-Sum Trump and the Chumps Doctor Cleveland710 months 2 weeks ago

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