Panem Et Circenses

– Jacob Foxx – In an era of sequels, prequels, reboots, remakes, and retreads, it is important to recognize and appreciate a truly 21st century story. Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games Trilogy has broken countless records and is one of the few successful franchises without a predecessor. According to Scholastic, over 50 million copies of […]

How to Write Bad Science Fiction

– By Jacob Foxx – Great novels are each great in their own unique way. Terrible novels are usually terrible for many of the same reasons. Discussing bad writing isn’t about bashing certain books or authors; it is about explaining what not to do. Avoid the common pitfalls and you have a better chance of […]

Utopia Versus Dystopia: The Impact of Social Science Fiction

– By Jacob Foxx – Speculative fiction is an excellent vehicle for social commentary. Rather than demonstrate the flaws of current society through contrived narratives, speculative fiction offers the opportunity to skip past all the contentious fact patterns to create a new world. Many works of social science fiction have stood the test of time […]

Devil’s Advocate: Was the Empire Really Evil?

– By Jacob Foxx – In science fiction, any entity with the word “empire” or “imperial” in the name, you can bet it is evil. But is that fair? Are empires inherently violent, oppressive, and evil? Today I’ve decided to play devil’s advocate, coming to defense of empire. Technically an empire is a group of […]

Dear Sci-Fi and Fantasy Fans, Stop Arguing Over Labels!

-By Jacob Foxx and Paulie Spiceflow – Visit any sci-fi convention, fan club, book club, author panel, or discussion forum and you will find it. Grown men and women, many of them highly educated, arguing over labels. “I don’t consider BLANK science fiction” or “that isn’t really space opera” or “that is totally hard science […]

Machiavellian Drama Versus the Heroic Epic

– By Jacob Foxx – America is supposed to be the idyllic shining city on the hill, a place beyond the reach of the ruthless realpolitik of Europe. Our destiny is not in the hands of princes and bishops, all vying for power against one another in a tragic game of political strategy. We are […]

Why Does Dystopian Fiction Focus so much on the Young?

– By Jacob Foxx – Popular music has belonged to the youth since MTV. The most popular artists desperately battle for the attention of kids ages 12 to 21, sometimes shamelessly appealing to teenage angst and hormonal overload. Yet it is somewhat surprising to see literature, especially dystopian literature, shift its focus to the youth. […]