Why is Rey such a great hero?

***SPOILERS AHEAD*** Heroes are an interesting character type. Not every protagonist is a hero, far from it. Most stories are about relatively ordinary people going on journeys and overcoming challenges. But there is no challenge too great for the hero. Need a dragon slain, an innocent rescued, a Death Star explodeyed? The hero is yourContinue reading “Why is Rey such a great hero?”

So. Who are Rey’s parents? ***SPOILER WARNING***

***SPOILER ALERT*** Watch The Force Awakens before reading this. It won’t mean much to you if you haven’t. If you have and you see an option not listed here…put your argument forth in the comments. UPDATE – courtesy of the very talented Dean E S Richard we have solid evidence of a romantic relationship in BenContinue reading “So. Who are Rey’s parents? ***SPOILER WARNING***”

Is watching Star Wars a religious experience?

Star Wars : The Force Awakens continues a tradition of spiritual storytelling that has existed for thousands of years. A week out from the premiere of Star Wars : The Force Awakens and there is barely a word to describe the public excitement preceding the event. At a nearby cinema a dedicated big screen playsContinue reading “Is watching Star Wars a religious experience?”

Book piracy is likely a thing of the past

Most writers are still getting used to the idea that almost anybody can get a copy of almost anything on the internet, including the book that took the writer months or years of effort to create. Understandably, many writers get very angry about this, while others think constructively about how copying can help writers andContinue reading “Book piracy is likely a thing of the past”

This conspiracy theory will change how you see Star Wars…forever!

FINALLY! The true hero of the Star Wars saga…REVEALED AT LAST! * Our story begins on a forest moon in a distant sector of a a faraway galaxy. For generations this diverse world has been protected, a sanctuary, home to dozens of sentient and semi-sentient species. Now the Galactic Republic has fallen, an Empire hasContinue reading “This conspiracy theory will change how you see Star Wars…forever!”

Joseph Campbell on why we must create our own mythologies

Myth still conjures a strong negative reaction in many of us. For most of the millions of people awaiting the release of Star Wars : The Force Awakens, myths are an entertaining diversion. For the rigorously scientific and many people of a skeptical mindset, myths are nothing moe than glamorous lies. But for millions ofContinue reading “Joseph Campbell on why we must create our own mythologies”

The sci-fi books that inspired Star Wars

It’s remarkable how many science-fiction fans hate Star Wars. To those who like their SF grounded in science, Star Wars is reprehensible “skiffy” in the pejorative sense, a flight of fantasy cloaked in science-fiction’s clothes. For most under-40s, Star Wars is where their love of sci-fi began, but for those who remember the genre’s goldenContinue reading “The sci-fi books that inspired Star Wars”

Fans! Writers! Publicists! Tell me about the best sci-fi in 2016

I write a regular column on sci-fi & fantasy books for The Guardian. About this time every year I sit down and think what the year ahead in sci-fi publishing has to offer. And right now, I’d love you to help me with that. It’s a big field, and while I do keep a burningContinue reading “Fans! Writers! Publicists! Tell me about the best sci-fi in 2016”