Can sci-fi ever not be political?

When is a giant lizard not a giant lizard? When it’s a metaphor for the might of the military-industrial complex. Audiences turning up for the latest cinematic incarnation of Godzilla have expressed some disappointment that much of the battling kaiju action was kept off screen. In its place director Gareth Edwards makes the smart decisionContinue reading “Can sci-fi ever not be political?”

A modest proposal to combat Amazon (oh and piracy)

My last post on Amazon for a little while, I promise. As previously noted Amazon have cornered the digital marketplace for ebooks, which has the potential to mean the end of booksellers and publishers as we know them. Once Amazon have destroyed the industry infrastructure, there is little doubt they will bring down the 70%Continue reading “A modest proposal to combat Amazon (oh and piracy)”

Why Author Earnings makes sense

Hugh Howey and his team have published the latest Author Earnings update. And the story, as with all previous updates, is that self-published authors (working primarily through the Amazon Kindle marketplace) are doing very nicely thank you. In fact, much better than debut authors published by the Big 5. The data and methodology used toContinue reading “Why Author Earnings makes sense”

Amazon is not a bookseller, and why that matters for writers

Technology behemoth Amazon is in the firing line of publishers, authors and the combined might of the literary world again today. Like the ultimate alpha predator Godzilla on a rampage across Tokyo, Amazon crushes a little bit more of the publishing industry just by moving. And it’s about as worried by the protests of writers asContinue reading “Amazon is not a bookseller, and why that matters for writers”

Only a creator culture can save us

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”

The remarkable Neal Stephenson interview

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. “I grew up in an environment that seemed utterly normal at the time and thatContinue reading “The remarkable Neal Stephenson interview”