Author Archives : Carey Ballard

Chain Reaction: Three Madcap Time-Travel Adventures

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Who doesn’t love a good time-traveling adventure? Although more serious time-travel stories — 12 Monkeys [the film], Ray Bradbury’s classic short story “A Sound of Thunder” (1952), the TV series Continuum (discussed in a prior post) or the film Primer — can break your brain (especially Primer!), time travel has enchanted audiences since H.G. Wells published The Time Machine in the…

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Chain Reaction: Three TV series Cut Off In Their First Season

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I’m a sucker for series that only get short runs. I like ruminating about untapped potential, I suppose; the what-ifs and what-could-have-beens make great daydreaming material (and story fodder). Every so often there’s talk of reviving Firefly, Joss Whedon’s beloved 2002 space western series, whose fans often feel was given short shrift by FOX. Firefly’s first season was fourteen episodes…

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Chain Reaction: Crossing Over — Three Tales of Thin Places, Goblins, and Fairies

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In Celtic mythology, “thin places” are spots where this world and the Otherworld allow inhabitants to cross over. The most famous example is actually Halloween, followed by the tale of Tam Lin, and Cristina Rosetti’s classic poem “Goblin Market.” Halloween, or Samhain (pronounced SAH-ween), took place just after the harvest and was thought to be a time when the boundaries…

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Chain Reaction: Three Female-Driven TV Series

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The Star Wars franchise is finally centralizing women in its storylines, as evidenced by last year’s The Force Awakens and this winter’s smash Rogue One. This got me thinking about all the SF/F television series I’ve enjoyed whose stories are driven by and/or created for women. In no particular order: Bionic Woman. Wonder Woman. Buffy. Haven. Agent Carter (RIP dear…

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Chain Reaction: Technology, the Underworld and Society — Three Films about Class Struggle

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Stories about class struggle are not new. In fact, these plots have been around for a long time, and we’re familiar with most of them: the Matrix trilogy, The Handmaid’s Tale, The Hunger Games, Escape from New York, The Grapes of Wrath, The Outsiders, Jane Eyre, We, Equilibrium, almost any Philip K. Dick story, The Dispossessed, the Divergent series, even The…

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Chain Reaction: Three TV Series If You Liked/Loved Netflix’s Stranger Things

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It’s October! Always a good month to scare yourself silly (and other people if you can manage it without retaliation. Erm, not that I’m advocating being a bully or anything). If you’re like me, my family, my friends, our uncles, aunts, third cousins, and all the people we passed notes to in first grade, you’ve seen Stranger Things at least…

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Lane and Carey’s Worldcon Adventure

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Speculative Chic is fairly new, but contributors Lane Robins and Carey M. Ballard already had plans to attend Worldcon (aka MidAmericon II), held from August 17-21 in Kansas City, Missouri. They share their thoughts, experiences, and advice below. What did we expect of the con? Lane: I attended primarily as a vacation, so I expected to meet up with a…

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Chain Reaction: Teenagers Versus the Apocalypse

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Welcome to Chain Reaction! Introducing a monthly column that will showcase three titles that have a common thread, theme, or plot device.  I’ll take one known quantity and introduce two more along the same lines — something that made me think of another title, and then another. They might be recent; they might have been around for awhile; they might…

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