Is Science Fiction the first international language of literature?

Language may be the most obvious barrier to cultural exchange, but it is also the easiest to hurdle: a good translator can capture much if not all of the character of a great novel. The real barrier to sharing between cultures is culture itself. British literary fiction, deeply fascinated with the minutiae of class structure,Continue reading “Is Science Fiction the first international language of literature?”

A Game of Egos

Originally published on guardianbooks.co.uk 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 clearlyContinue reading “A Game of Egos”

The answer to a riddle

Last year I wrote a short story called A Vast Bit of Hod, which I published to my blog here. As I mentioned at the time, the story is also a riddle. I have congratulated half a dozen people who emailed me the answer. This evening James Everington tweeted me to ask: btw, when are youContinue reading “The answer to a riddle”

Secondary World Problems

You know, those things which are only an issue if you happen to be the denizen of a world created in the imagination of a jobbing fantasy author. Or an ageing English academic. Or a frustrated fan trying to turn pro author. A secondary world always tells you more about the inside of the authorsContinue reading “Secondary World Problems”

My quest for e-Weird concludes

My quest for weird has turned up some gems, and shown me that we need to nurture new writing talent in both mainstream and independent publishing. A month ago I threw open the doors of the Weird Things column to all comers. Nominate your weird stories I said, and nominate them you did. I’ve lookedContinue reading “My quest for e-Weird concludes”

The New Aesthetic and I

Every creative is always looking for a new aestehtic. And now there really is a New Aesthetic. I will date the New Aesthetic to Bruce Sterling’s essay on the subject, in response to the SXSW panel chaired by James Bridle. But I’ll date my personal interest to the AlterFutures talk I gave recently, where itContinue reading “The New Aesthetic and I”