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SF Signal is Looking for Mind Meld Topics – What Do You Want To See?

We love doing Mind Meld posts, but it gets downright difficult to consistently think of topics that are topical and of interest to a variety of readers.

This is where you come in:

  1. Tell us what you’d like to see in future Mind Melds! Just leave us your proposed question as a comment.
  2. Just about anything related to speculative fiction will do…books, films, tv, the genre itself, sub-genres, awards, the sf community…even science and technology questions will be considered…you name it.
  3. Tell us if you have specific people who you have in mind to answer the question.

Sound off! We can’t guarantee that we’ll use every suggestion, but if enough people show interest in a particular topic, well, that’s a no-brainer. And no brains is something we can deal with. We often do.

About John DeNardo (13012 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

25 Comments on SF Signal is Looking for Mind Meld Topics – What Do You Want To See?

  1. John,

    1. are the Hugo Awards irrelevant?  what’s the ‘place’ of the Hugo’s?  (stross, scalzi, adams)

    I sent you a suggestion several months back and your response was ‘that would make an excellent mind meld topic.  graydom has erased the idea from my head, but you may have the email…



  2. How does Political Correctness effect SF?

  3. The 40th anniversary moon landing is very timely right now. Maybe a topic about the massive influence of the space race on science fiction.

  4. How about disabilities in speculative fiction? And I’m not talking about the obvious cliché of the “blind seer” or other disability tropes like that but actual real people who just happen to have disabilities. Not sure if it wouldn’t be too controversial though – there is a lot of misinformation and offensive stereotypes with disabilities like anything else.

  5. What does the “next generation” sci-fi convention look like, one that is inclusive of fans that now have Twitter, iPhones, and Facebook pages, and who consider MMORPGs and Webcomics as legitimate sci-fi media near-equivalent to books and movies?

    I’d love to see Cory Doctorow, Charles Stross, John Scalzi, Wil Wheaton and other sci-fi guests/con attendees with a decided tech savvy weigh in. I’d love to hear from artists like Jeph Jacques, R Stevens, Meredith Gran and anyone else who bootstrapped New England Webcomics Weekend into existence this year. I’d also like to hear from con planners, including guys like Adam Tracey (who used to run Wizard World) Fae Desmond, who runs SDCC, and whopever runs DragonCon, Origins, GenCon or WorldCon. Jonathan Coulton or MC Frontalot might be fun, too, since they made their careers largely based on direct Internet promotion to fandom. And, or course, Gabe and Tycho from Penny Arcade, if only because they invented PAX.

  6. All good ideas, folks!  And a nice variety, too.  This is the purpose of the post: to get that same benefit as the Mind meld itself.  That is, to leverage a wide variety of viewpoints.

    Steve/Crotchety: From my notes, your questions are summarized at your website here.


  7. Is the Hugo Best Artist award still relevant? Or has it become simply a popularity contest?

    People to answer the question: all of the award winners & nominees

  8. Presumably, many of the big-name SF/F authors, editors and publishers you have featured in other Mind Melds are bibliophiles and have amassed a large collection of books over the years. Are there one or two SF/F books in each individual’s collection that has an interesting or memorable story behind its “acquisition”? Maybe a book retained from childhood, or given by a fellow professional, or bought at a yard sale, or found at the local dump, or purchased for a lot of money, etc.

  9. Does science fiction have  a naturalistic bias?

    I’ve many times heard people say that science fiction can’t, by definition, include supernatural events. And that seems to make science fiction partisan on the religion vs naturalism issue.  By this definition things like C.S. Lewis’ OUT OF THE SILENT PLANET, written specifically as a work of science fiction in which the Christian religion is true (and demonstrably so—not just as a matter of faith on the part of the protagonist or other characters—they visit Mars, a planet where the Fall never occurred and, among other things, encounter an archangel), wouldn’t be science fiction.

    Atheist though I am I don’t define science fiction that narrowly.


  10. John, thanks for substituting for my failing memory;

    if you aren’t going to use that series of related questions, let me know – I think I’ve got enough friends on Facebook to send it around…

  11. @Steve: We claim no exclusivity rights to your question — if that’s something you’d like to do, go for it!

    @Others: Great suggestions — kee ’em coming!

  12. Hal Duncan // July 20, 2009 at 1:52 pm //

    In light of the previous comment: “When does self-promotion become counter-productive spamming, and how creatively would you describe the foolishness of those who employ such strategies?”

  13. Hal Duncan // July 20, 2009 at 1:53 pm //

    Which, of course, makes no sense now the previous comment has been deleted.  Ah well.

  14. Heh-heh…deleted before I saw your comment, Hal.  But point taken.  I have low tolerance for comment spam.

  15. 1) What is your fondest memory as a Science Fiction fan?

    2) If you could resurrect or reinvigorate a book series or cycle, which one would it be and why?

    3) What is your favorite alternate history novel/world, and what do you find most compelling about that changed history?

  16. Has civilzation been jumpstarted time and again by aliens after world cataclismic events?

  17. I don’t have any new ideas, so I’m just going to comment on other people’s.

    I would love to see what responces Jay’s idea would get. I am part of the twitter generation though I have never played an MMMORPG, and I would like to hear how people who do play view the relationship of the games to literature.

    Paul’s idea made me think of my volume of Dragonflight/Dragonquest/White Dragon. It was published in the 70s and I stole it from my dad’s library when I was around 13. It was the book that got me out of Nancy Drew and the Babysitter’s Club and into Fantsy/SciFi. I still have it, and it is one of my most treasured volumes because of of all the memories.


  18. #1.  With the date 12/21/12 hovering on the event horizon, is anyone interested—or concerned?

    #2.  Since the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) keeps failing, maybe there’s a reason.  Do we really need another black hole… on Earth?

  19. Which country produces the best science fiction novels. The UK or the US ?



  20. Writers are always interested in talking about the creative process–where they steal their ideas from. SF Readers are curious about the writing process and the actual business end of writing far more so than fans of romances or westerns

  21. I think the reason for that, John, is because of the sheer variety of ideas that come out of SF, and fantasy and horror too, for that matter.


    We want to know where the crazy ideas come from, and how you go from idea to story.Westerns and Romances don’t (generally) have those crazy ideas unless they are genre-hopping. In point of fact, both are valued for often following a familiar formula. 



  22. retrocog // July 22, 2009 at 1:39 am //

    *With the assumption that you are teaching a  high school literature class,  what recent (last decade) SF books would you include on your syllabus?

    *So, where’s my flying car?


  23. Should authors respond to bad reviews in Amazon and other websites or should they remain quiet even when reviewers are so far off they mistake one book for another? Or, in more general terms, to what degree does the web and other connection tools should change author-reader relation?

  24. Of course, what I would like to see is more Mind Melds where you ask John C. Wright questions!

    (I suspect he may be too controversial or pigheaded, however, so I do not blame you if you drop him from your roster of regulars, but I miss being asked.)



  25. “I think the reason for that, John, is because of the sheer variety of ideas that come out of SF, and fantasy and horror too, for that matter….”


    This itself might make an interesting topic for a Mind Meld. How do SFF readers differ from other genre fiction readers? How does the field differ?

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