Author Archives: Mike Ridley

On Not Travelling to the United States

In 2016 when several US states passed what have become known as the “bathroom bills” prohibiting transgendered people access to appropriate facilities, I joined in on the outrage. I tweeted about not to travelling to North Carolina and other states, … Continue reading

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Books and Screens and the Reading Brain

Last week I participated in the Books and Screens and the Reading Brain conference held at Vilnius University in Lithuania. The lead organizer was the EU COST action E-READ network and it drew attendees from across Europe. I was the … Continue reading

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Social Media, AI, and Those Pesky Humans

Sometimes it just falls into your lap…. As some will know, I’m fascinated by artificial intelligence (AI), especially how it relates to literacy and our notion of being literate. So, when I read about Pi from Post Intelligence I was intrigued. Pi … Continue reading

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Neuromancer

It seems this blog and my exploration of SF have gone off the rails a bit. Trying harder in 2017. Back to the SF project….. Neuromancer (William Gibson, 1984) begins with arguably the most famous opening sentence in SF: The … Continue reading

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Being Editor-in-Chief

For the past two years I’ve been the Editor-in-Chief of Open Shelf, the e-magazine of the Ontario Library Association (OLA). I’ve decided it’s time to step down. Previously I was the Editor of Access, OLA’s print quarterly. However, starting and … Continue reading

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The Pedagogy of Audio: Making Radio with Undergraduates

Last Friday I presented a workshop at the annual conference of the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE) on how I use radio (broadcast and podcast) in my undergraduate teaching. It was a blast; largely because I … Continue reading

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SF Writing

I think Buzz Lightyear captured the issue: Beyond infinity; that’s the issue. A funny, sarcastic line that is suggestive that some, maybe a lot, of science fiction writing ….. sucks. I’ve embarked on this little project to read SF looking for … Continue reading

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Stranger in a Strange Land

On my copy of Robert A. Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land (Ace Book, 1987) the cover boldly announces the book as “The Most Famous Science Fiction Novel Ever Written.” OK, but what does it have to tell us about … Continue reading

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Solaris

Stanislaw Lem’s Solaris was originally published in 1961 in Polish. Apparently the English translations have been poor until Bill Johnston issued his e-book only version in 2013. Solaris is part of the “alien contact” theme that is prominent in science … Continue reading

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A Canticle for Leibowitz

Walter M. Miller Jr.’s A Canticle for Leibowitz (1959) is a novel of its time; locked, sadly, in its time. Written during the developing Cold War when nuclear annihilation through mutual destruction seemed close to inevitable, this is a book … Continue reading

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