The Unapologetic Geek

(Open Salon Version)

E. Magill

E. Magill
United States
November 05
E. Magill is an award-winning, though bitterly unpublished, science-fiction novelist, futurist, and entertainment junkie. Learn more about him at



E. Magill's Links
AUGUST 17, 2010 5:22PM

Top 40 Greatest Science-Fiction Films

A few months ago, I listed the Top 20 Greatest Science-Fiction Novels. Science-fiction also lends itself to the visual medium, though, and as influential and important as those 20 novels are, the following 40 movies are probably more familiar and influential for most of us. Numbers 11-40 are listed w… Read full post »

Ghost in the shell

This is the future, says Science

Warning: anyone who has read Neuromancer or Ghost in the Shell may get a little nervous by the following science news. Two new studies, published within the last week, suggest that the brain operates more like the Internet than previously thought. This of cour/… Read full post »

Even ducks discriminate

"We don't like your kind around here, goldie"

Before I get started, let me be perfectly clear about one thing: I support anti-discrimination laws such as the Equal Pay Act of 1963, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, and of course the/… Read full post »

Thanks to the Internet and Sigmund Freud, it seems we as a species are no longer capable of enjoying a work of art without coming up with ways to make these things truly disturbing. Having scoured the Internet (and in some cases, my own troubled imagination), here are eight examples of… Read full post »

Contested Will cover

Clever title

There is a fine line between controversy and conspiracy theory, and I can think of no better example of this than the Shakespeare authorship question. Perhaps you've come across somebody who manages to sneak it into a conversation and point out all these strange anomalies about S… Read full post »

a movie theater

Place where dreams come alive, or the kind of place medieval torture chambers strive to be when they grow up?

I have many fond memories of the movies from my childhood. Whether it was organizing a birthday party that started with a movie or a night watching two Star Trek… Read full post »

Sometimes, political ideas are so pervasive that they are unaffected by repeated examples of their failure. In politics, people can learn to rationalize anything, and thus even some of the worst ideas ever birthed by the system can wind up being embraced as valuable tools. Below are, as I see it,… Read full post »


Monosodium glutamate: delicious gift from the gods, or evil harbinger of pain and destruction?

The April 1968 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine included an interesting letter from a man named Robert Ho Man Kwok, concerning what he called "Chinese Restaurant Syndrome" (or CRS, as it/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JUNE 15, 2010 2:56PM

So My Wife Wants to Play Fallout 3...

Hello. My name is Eric, and I am a video game addict. It has been twelve hours since I last indulged.

Fallout 3

Is this what my wife's future looks like?

I am lucky that my wife, Amelia, has never judged me for this. She allows me to maintain my habit with… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JUNE 8, 2010 11:54AM

Open Salon Reading Club Review: The Passage

"It happened fast. Thirty-two minutes for one world to die, another to be born."

The Passage - US cover

The Passage by Justin Cronin

Something has gone terribly wrong at a secret government facility where blood-chilling experiments were being conducted on death-row inmates. The inmates--transformed into horrific be… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JUNE 1, 2010 3:20PM

10 People to Blame for the Oil Spill

As we all know, the most important aspect to the devastating oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is how we should all be thinking about it. We also know that, before we can even begin to find ways to fix the spill or cope with the damage it will inevitably… Read full post »

MAY 25, 2010 5:22PM

2009-2010 TV Season

This has been a good year for television, and it marks the final chapter for many of my favorite shows. While I do watch more TV than just these shows, these are the six shows that have held my attention so much that I refused to miss a single episode. Having… Read full post »

The following games are confirmed sequels to great, groundbreaking titles. Following with the theory that, in video games, sequels should improve upon originals without sacrificing what made those games great, I'd like to identify what I believe to be the core issues that should be solved and the won… Read full post »

APRIL 27, 2010 4:17PM

Fear and Free Expression

Silenced by fear

Not an Evanescence album cover

Several years ago, a friend of mine accused me of not caring about the lives of men and women who go to war. The discussion resulted from an essay I wrote concerning the proposed invasion of Iraq (probably this one, which is only slightly embarrasing/… Read full post »

APRIL 20, 2010 3:01PM

Album Review: Hybrid: Disappear Here

Hybrid: Disappear Here cover

Disappear Here

It is common knowledge that the glory days of electronica are over. The entire genre of music has been folded up into pop and dance music, and few original producers are still around solely making the music that changed everything over a decade ago. One survivor, however, is… Read full post »

Lost Final Season Poster

Just in case you didn't know

Having recently spent some time reading comments on forums from various ends of the Internet about my favorite television show (ABC's Lost), it amazes me how many fans are upset at the perceived lack of answers in this, the final season. The show is/… Read full post »

The human brain is wired all wrong. Those not versed in logic are blissfully unaware of how much our brain messes up the most basic of arguments, leading to the mess of random thoughts, non-sequiturs, cognitive dissonance, white lies, misinformation, and syntax errors that we call consciousness. Luck… Read full post »

As the health care debate reached its climax a couple of weeks ago, conservatives were looking pretty popular. Poll numbers and approval ratings for the Democrats in Congress (and White House) were slipping with dangerous speed, while Republican talking points rang true with most of the public. Howev… Read full post »

Video games tend to obey different rules than movies.  While movie sequels are rarely as good as their predecessors, video game sequels tend to be improvements.  There are plenty of reasons for this, but sufficed to say, there are also plenty of exceptions.  That's why this list will c… Read full post »

As a science-fiction writer, it occurs to me that I don't write a whole lot about science-fiction. With that in mind, I decided to list the top science-fiction novels that have ever been published. I kept a one-book-per-author rule, but otherwise left the field open to anything, even novels t… Read full post »

Caffeinated jelly beans

Yes, those are caffeinated jelly beans, and yes, they are real

A few months ago, I significantly reduced my caffeine intake. I didn't quit it altogether--I still have the occasional diet soda or tea--but I did make it a point to end my dependance on the stuff. It was not… Read full post »

MARCH 2, 2010 2:32PM

Top 5 Worst Trends in Gaming

Sonic and the Black Knight

This "game" is guilty of at least three

It was recently revealed that the sequel to EA's survival horror masterpiece Dead Space (which earned the prestigious honor of being my top video game of 2008) would focus more on action than on horror and that the game would feature a/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 23, 2010 4:30PM

What A&E's Hoarders can Teach us about the Government

A hoarder mess in Costa Mesa

Our government

A couple of weeks ago, I sat down and watched multiple episodes of Hoarders on A&E. The show is about people with compulsive hoarding, a mental disorder that, while not officially recognized by the DSM yet, can be incredibly debilitating. Far from being just messy, compulsi/… Read full post »

DECEMBER 22, 2009 5:35PM

Movie Review: Avatar

Avatar poster


James Cameron has finally returned with the release of his excruciatingly long-gestating Avatar. While not the best film Cameron has ever made, it is probably the most emblematic of his style. On one hand, it is an amazing spectacle that will leave audiences breathless, but on the othe/… Read full post »

DECEMBER 15, 2009 1:02PM

Our Rights and the Constitution

The U.S. Constitution

This is a short list of the only things the government is allowed to get away with; it's a pretty important list

In the United States today, it seems that we, the people, have forgotten what it means to have rights. Over the last two centuries, politicians and educators have… Read full post »