Who will write the 21st century myth?
When Damien Walter asked Twitter to name the greatest 21st century myth he got an unexpected answer – from Neil Gaiman himself.
Science Fiction is our modern mythology
As science transformed how we saw the universe, life and human existence, our old myths died. We began a search for new myths to give meaning to the modern world, myths we call science fiction.
“When the 21st century myth comes along, we will know.”Neil Gaiman
From Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 and a thousand stories beyond, great storytellers have crafted new myths for the age of science.
But as we grow into the 21st century, even the modern myths of science fiction are getting old. The need for new myths for our fast changing world is greater than ever.
Originally published in The Guardian. When Damien Walter tweeted he’d ‘literally kill’ to interview the multiple award-winning author Harlan Ellison, Neil Gaiman replied ‘What if the person you had to kill was … Harlan Ellison?’ Here Ellison talks about running away from home, the rights and wrongs of paying to read books and how hisContinue reading “Harlan Ellison : The Interview”
David Mitchell is one of the world’s most successful literary novelists. He has been twice nominated for the prestigious Booker prize, and his novel Cloud Atlas was adapted to the Tykwer and Wachowski film starring Tom Hanks. He’s also a huge sci-fi fan with a long love of geek culture. Damien Walter sat down with the bestselling author to discuss his SF influences, which D&D character type he plays, and the future of the novel in a multi-media age.
Neal Stephenson – legendary author of speculative fiction – on Elon Musk and geek culture, the NSA revelations of Edward Snowden, how negative cultural narratives are killing big science – and the upbringing that made him the writer he is. IN LATE 2013 I had the opportunity to interview the author Neal Stephenson. Some Remarks,Continue reading “The remarkable Neal Stephenson interview”
The Rhetoric of Story
Learn the 7 foundations of powerful storytelling
Based on over a decade of research, and bringing together ideas from today’s most successful storytellers and story theorists, The Rhetoric of Story is an essential course for all creative writers, screenwriters and novelists.
We love the idea of productivity, but most productivity systems are killing our creativity Here’s a familiar event many artists will have encountered. You hit some creative milestone. Your new book is finished maybe, and a well-meaning friend responds, “I wish I had time to write / paint / sing / INSERT CREATIVE DREAM.” Yes,Continue reading “You can be creative, or productive, but not both”
We’re trying to rebuild a failed consumer culture. We need to make a new creator culture instead. Published in Culture – A Reader for Writers, editor John Mauk, Oxford University Press. I arrived in Leicester in the late ‘90s as a student, a year after losing my mother to cancer. Having little support, I workedContinue reading “Only a creator culture can save us”
Calling sci-fi a genre in 2016 is about as accurate as calling the United States one nation. In principle it’s true, but in practice things don’t work that way. While crime, romance and thrillers all remain as coherent genres of fiction, it’s been decades since sci-fi could be comfortably understood by any shared generic criteria.Continue reading “The 8 Tribes of SciFi”
Slouching Toward Nimmanhaemin Digital nomads are a 21st century counterculture. The choices they make today will shape how we live and work tomorrow. Words and pictures by Damien Walter The global network enables us to react to the world as a whole” Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media The center was not holding. But that was aContinue reading “Digital nomads are a 21st century counter culture”
If you go to a good art school (and yes you STEM readers out there, such places do exist) they teach you to think of your art as a practice. And to think of yourself as a practitioner. There’s a purpose to this tradition. Admittedly, it takes most art students – myself included – untilContinue reading “Writing Practice: why it’s time to stop thinking of writing as a profession”
A Scanner Darkly is one of Philip K Dick’s most famous but also most divisive novels. Written in 1973 but not published until 1977, it marks the boundary between PKD’s mid-career novels that were clearly works of science fiction, including The Man in the High Castle and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, and hisContinue reading “Transrealism: the first major literary movement of the 21st century”
Writer & Storyteller
Damien Walter BA / MA / PGCHE / HEA is a writer and storyteller. His research and critical writing have been published in The Guardian, Wired, BBC, The Independent, Aeon and with Oxford University Press. He is a former director of creative writing at the University of Leicester, a member of the Higher Education Academy, and a graduate of the Clarion writers workshop. He consults widely for businesses in technology, healthcare, and manufacturing to help them tell great stories.