Why @ChuckWendig is wrong.

Chuck Wendig’s notoriety extends it’s reach through the viral network of the interwebs with this little post about Turning Writers Into Motherfucking Rockstars. Apparently this would make writers better respected, or at the very least, better paid. I disagree. Vehemently. To show you why, let’s examine some of the unexamined assumptions Wendig builds his caseContinue reading “Why @ChuckWendig is wrong.”

Not the Booker Prize

The Guardian opens up nominations for the 3rd annual Not the Booker Prize today. Clearly I am biased, but this now ranks among my favourite literary prizes for it’s sheer anarchic energy. The first year of the prize unleashed a frenzy of block voting in the longlist stage, and gave us┬áSam Jordison’s review of JamesContinue reading “Not the Booker Prize”

A Game of Egos

A wealthy dynasty brought to its knees by popular revolt, the highest in the land caught in a web of corruption, and at the heart of it all a powerful woman with remarkable hair. If you see the Murdoch clan, Chipping Norton set and Rebekah Brooks in these archetypes then you have clearly been spendingContinue reading “A Game of Egos”

Flash fiction is not the future

Here is a fact that us writers are struggling to wrap out heads around. Content is no longer in scarce supply. There will be more content generated in the time it takes me to type this sentence than any of us could consume in a lifetime. Putting content in to the world doesn’t make youContinue reading “Flash fiction is not the future”

Oh please GOD no STOP writing! (so much)

There’s a terrible meme emerging from the internet writing community. It arises from good intentions and common sense, and like most examples of common sense applied to complex situations it is utterly, utterly wrong. You can see this meme at work in the debate around publishing a book a year following Steph Swainston‘s retirement fromContinue reading “Oh please GOD no STOP writing! (so much)”

How to eat a pomegranate

It is pomegranate season. Which is a dangerous time for me. I have very little self-control when it comes to the kind sweet, tangy, fruit based deliciousness pomegranates promise. Which is a meandering introduction towards the revelation that I have just eaten two whole, very large pomegranates. The first one was good. Bright scarlet berriesContinue reading “How to eat a pomegranate”

Weird Things

I’ve been dying to talk about this for weeks but have had to wait until the right time…which is now! Weird Things is my new column for The Guardian which I will be writing fortnightly. It’s all about the weird ideas in SF and Fantasy novels or any book with a weird idea at itsContinue reading “Weird Things”

How will writers make a living in the future?

It’s worth considering the idea that we won’t. We are living through miraculous times. Knowledge, once a scarce resource, is being made freely and universally available to all. To understand how miraculous this is, consider the Dark Ages. For somewhere in the region of a thousand years, Europe was held in the iron grip ofContinue reading “How will writers make a living in the future?”

Star Trek II – The Wrath of Khan

  Originally published on Fantasy Matters. In my regular blog for The Guardian, I’m on record as saying that there are only two truly great science fiction movies. These are, of course, 2001 and Bladerunner. And if I think about science fiction as a ‘genre of ideas’ then I stand by that statement. No otherContinue reading “Star Trek II – The Wrath of Khan”

Pick me! Pick me!

“Employees wait to be picked for promotion, or to lead a meeting or to speak up at a meeting. ‘Pick me, pick me’ acknowledges the power of the system and passes responsibility to someone to initiate. Even better, ‘pick me, pick me’ moves the blame from you to them. If you don’t get picked, it’sContinue reading “Pick me! Pick me!”