Frank Herbert’s Dune at 50 has life in it yet

Confusing sequels, terrible prequels and poor adaptations aside, Frank Herbert’s masterpiece still stands up as the one of the truly great sci-fi novels. I first discovered Dune through David Lynch’s 1984 film adaptation of Frank Herbert’s SF masterpiece. The “Lynchian” style, that novelist David Foster Wallace would later define as “a particular kind of ironyContinue reading “Frank Herbert’s Dune at 50 has life in it yet”

How Hollywood deleted the political message of Godzilla

An excellent guest post today from Jared Hill, a blogger living in Chicago who reads science fiction avidly, and who is also keen on sports and film.  Godzilla is among the most iconic film characters of the last century. But the big lizard’s meaning was radically altered by his move from Tokyo to Hollywood. InContinue reading “How Hollywood deleted the political message of Godzilla”

If you can’t stand the thought of ending up nowhere, don’t write.

A quote from fellow writer John Barnes. “If you can’t stand the thought of ending up nowhere, don’t write.” ~John Barnes Remember it. Write it down somewhere. On the wall, above where you write. Stencil it around your whole house. Scribble it in magic marker down your arms if you have to. Because it’s true.Continue reading “If you can’t stand the thought of ending up nowhere, don’t write.”

Avoid cliques at all costs, they are a shortcut to creative death

Creative life is hard. The goal, of becoming a mature creator who can write a great novel, compose a magnificent symphony, paint a powerful image, or any other of the myriad rewards of creative endeavour, is always far away. (Until the moment it isn’t, which comes often without warning and when you are least expectingContinue reading “Avoid cliques at all costs, they are a shortcut to creative death”

Is science fiction a 21st century religion?

SF provides a place to focus our awe at the wonders of the universe, just one of many functions it shares with religious beliefs. Ever since mankind began to count, the uncountable stars have been filling us with awe. But the splendour revealed by a cloudless night reveals only a fraction of the universe’s trulyContinue reading “Is science fiction a 21st century religion?”

Beware the blocked creator

Let’s agree that creativity is a universal human potential. Maybe there are some poor souls who are born without that potential (I’m yet to meet a single one) but they aren’t our concern here. Let’s speculate that creativity is the highest human potential (I believe this absolutely) and that expressing our creativity – whether asContinue reading “Beware the blocked creator”

Why most writers suck and always will

“There’s really no shortcuts to this. As smart and talented as you are, you’re still going to have to spend thousands of hours alone in a room mercilessly criticising all your own perceptions.” Nic Pizzolatto, author of Galveston, writer and showrunner for True Detective Mercilessly. Criticising. ALL. Your. Own. Perceptions. The unwillingness to do justContinue reading “Why most writers suck and always will”

My Lovesick Zombie Boy Band & weirder tales

One day you wake up and realise you have a whole (short) collection’s worth of weird tales. And then you think, huh. I could just go ahead and publish those weird tales all by myself! And so you do. And this is what happens. *** Fred is a goth. A real goth, descended from aContinue reading “My Lovesick Zombie Boy Band & weirder tales”

Five fears that cripple creativity

FAILURE First you jump off the cliff then you scream ARRRGGGGHHHHHH FUUUUUUUCK I AM GOING TO DIE. Then you desperately improvise something like wings and take flight. That’s how it’s going to feel, every time. Learn to love it. MESS When I was really small a teacher at school made us dip our feet inContinue reading “Five fears that cripple creativity”