The dystopian genre has grown exponentially in the Western world over the years. Book series like "The Hunger Gams" and "Divergent" have made people reconsider if the power structures in play are there for the betterment of all mankind - or to keep the masses in line. 

Today's episode looks at dystopian storytelling - one of my favorites. Reason being how it pings the West's spirit of rebellion and its desire to be "free" from restrictive human governments. We'll talk some of the heavy hitters in this genre before talking culture towards the end as always. 

"The best way to predict the future is to create it." - Abraham Lincoln. 


Writers have been trying their best to predict the future for generations. Hundreds upon hundreds of imagined worlds await within the pages of acclimated sci-fi and fiction authors around the globe. But of those who take a stab at humanity's future, who has been right? Who has been wrong? But more importantly, who has the most troubled outlook? 

Today's episode is all about the future. The good, the bad, the ugly and everything in between. 


You hear the term and you instantly get an image of something otherworldly. Be it little green or gray men with giant eyes or terrifying insect-like beasts with acid for blood, the "alien" in most of the stories we know is exactly that: a creature we cannot define because we are unfamiliar with what - or who - it is. 

This edition of "Stories I Like, Love, and Hate" features the little green men from Mars and what I am always sad to see missing from a good alien story. 

August 6, 2022

End of Summer Comeback

Miss me? Well, even if you didn't, I have returned for this end-of-summer-return-to-podcasting episode. In short, my creative sabbatical has ended.

Within this podcast, I'll give you some updates on what's been going on with The Writer's Lens, what's happening now, and what's happening going forward. 


- J.C.L. 

As part of a short series I'll be doing this spring, here's the first "Stories I Like, I Love, and I Hate" - DINOSAURS edition. 

Ever since I was a kid, dinosaurs have piqued my interest. And it's evident that these long extinct creatures are still pinging the imaginations of young people around the world. 

With that in mind, I'd like to weigh in on some of my favorites and also one of the prominent franchises that nearly ruined it all for me. 

A livestream follow up to my 2021 episode about the Heroes and Villains of our own stories. In this live episode, I look at why we might have more in common with the villains of our favorite stories than the heroes we admire. 

Like the title implies, it's almost the end of January and I realized I needed an episode to kick things off. Get ready for some updates, looking ahead, and what to expect in 2022. 

We all want to be the heroes of our own stories. So how do we deal with those who come against us? Is it right that we make them into the villains of our own tales? Or are there other ways to deal with them? 

This episode deals with that idea head on and is as much a challenge for me as it is for any listener. 

James Cameron's sequel to "The Terminator", otherwise known as "T2", is virtually the same tale as its predecessor, minus one very important detail: the father-son relationship explored between said terminator and the rebellious teen-turned-leader of the human race, John Connor. 

In today's episode, we'll look at this crucial piece of the Terminator universe. And why it's the best part worth examining (outside of all the iconic catch phrases, of course). 

What is one's fate? What is one's destiny? These two ideas often run side-by-side in our culture and are also oft-presented as a means to direct someone's path. So what's the difference? And how does that affect us in our own stories? 

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