World Fantasy Convention – diary entry 1

Being in a foreign city alone is faintly terrifying. It’s the fourth time I’ve done this now, although on the third of those I stayed with a friend, which held its own terrors. Between times I look back on the last trip with a rose tinted desire for freedom. It’s only on the plane, onceContinue reading “World Fantasy Convention – diary entry 1”

Genre boundaries are real power boundaries.

I think of science fiction, including my own, as very much a paraliterary genre. The fact that it lives – and has lived – on the margin is important to its history. If you remove it from that margin, you remove it from its historical context; I don’t think that’s such a good thing.¬†Genre boundariesContinue reading “Genre boundaries are real power boundaries.”

Workshop : Narrative

The second in a short series of posts accompanying workshops being taught for the Certificate in Creative Writing at Vaughan College. This post is on narrative, and why it is both a simple and deliciously complicated idea. In Reading Like a Writer, novelist Francine Prose says that the true problem with narration is not whoContinue reading “Workshop : Narrative”

Left and Right share the fight

Occupy Wall Street has seemed genuinely hopeful and constructive to me since its first emergence. I hadn’t been able to identify why, so thanks to Lawrence Lessig for stepping up and putting his finger on it: In brief, Lessig believes that Occupy Wall Street has the potential to become something more than a Left leaningContinue reading “Left and Right share the fight”

Osama Bin Laden : Vigilante

Lavie Tidhars novel Osama makes me wonder why we can’t all just get along. No, really, why the fuck can’t we? One common problem for all science fiction writers is reconciling the wondrous world we could have with the one we have negligently stumbled into. At this exact moment in time, in an alternate realityContinue reading “Osama Bin Laden : Vigilante”

Workshop : Imagination

Term has begun at the Certificate in Creative Writing at Vaughan College, University of Leicester, of which I am very proud to be course director. We have 20 new keen creative writing students this year, of all ages and backgrounds. As part of this year’s course, I am going to open a general discussion followingContinue reading “Workshop : Imagination”

Thoughts on economics

So. We’re facing the worst financial crisis ever. Don’t believe it for a second. This isn’t a crisis. It’s a collapse. The final and overdue collapse of a system that has been in a constant state of crisis, with brief periods of remission, for at least the last few decades. The really sad, and IContinue reading “Thoughts on economics”

We need a unified spec-fic award in the UK

The United Kingdom has one credible award for speculative fiction. It’s called the Clarke Award, and it is decided by a panel of experts each year. In addition we have a splintered field of popular voted awards including those organised by the British Fantasy Society and British Science Fiction Association. These awards carry little weightContinue reading “We need a unified spec-fic award in the UK”