Good curation is much more valuable than cash

A good friend has just sold a debut story to an excellent but non-paying market. There are a lot of markets for short fiction. Many of them are bad. Some of them pay. Some of the ones that pay the most are the worst. In the world of short fiction money is a very badContinue reading “Good curation is much more valuable than cash”

Critics aren’t your best friends, they’re your only friends

John Scalzi made a strange defence of the Hugo awards recently on his blog, that made me a little sad: I do think there’s a core of commenters whose problem internalizing that other people have other tastes is overlaid with a more-than-mild contempt for fandom, i.e., “Oh, fandom. You’ve shown again why you can’t beContinue reading “Critics aren’t your best friends, they’re your only friends”

Micro Sci-Fi 1: When we hear the Siren sing

Cognitive computers employ evolutionary principles to design and 3D print perfectly beautiful bodies and lure man (or woman) kind to our doom.   Rules of Micro SF: Tell a story in one sentence. It can be any length but must work grammatically and be reasonably well parsed by a reader. Include at least two or more hyperlinksContinue reading “Micro Sci-Fi 1: When we hear the Siren sing”

Poetry is more powerful than ever

I love poetry. I hate poets. That is an overstatement. I understand that most (by which I mean 99.99%) poets are in the process of becoming. It can take a looooooong time to master poetry. A bad poem can be written in moments. A great poem is the accrued experience of a lifetime. It’s bestContinue reading “Poetry is more powerful than ever”

Emotions when writing

Don’t underestimate or ignore the emotional and psychological challenge of writing. More writers are defeated in this arena than by lack of skill or imagination. Writing can be joyous and fun. But it can also be strenuous, isolating and, sometimes, downright scary. Every piece of writing is a journey. Some longer or shorter than others.Continue reading “Emotions when writing”

What is Rule 34?

Rule 34 is a science fiction novel about cybercrime, maker culture and porn. But most of all, it’s a novel about you. It’s 9:30am on a painfully dull Thursday morning in the office. The boss has retreated behind her wall of pot plants after hovering over your shoulder like a huge and bothersome horsefly, peeringContinue reading “What is Rule 34?”

Does social media reveal a ‘silent liberal majority’?

The media often projects the consensus that the majority of the population hold conservative viewpoints. For instance, it’s generally agreed that a majority of the UK population support capital punishment. When that does not prove to be true in practice the terms ‘silent majority’ or ‘moral majority’ are used to imply that for various reasonsContinue reading “Does social media reveal a ‘silent liberal majority’?”

Picking up the threads

As a writer, you have to trust that your work will get better each time you come back to it. Very few writing projects are started and finished in one sitting. Even a short story requires planning, writing, re-writing, editing. Novels can take months and years to go from flash of inspiration to final manuscript.Continue reading “Picking up the threads”