Quick thoughts on Westworld

Just caught the first episode of Westworld. I suspect it’s a show I’ll be writing about more. Some first thoughts, not so much about the show, as about why I think it matters. Science fiction is the art of metaphor. It gives us ways of thinking and talking about things we can’t otherwise easily talkContinue reading “Quick thoughts on Westworld”

Game of Life: the coming attention economy

I like this story in The Independent about China’s plans for a social scoring system. In this world, anything from defaulting on a loan to criticising the ruling party, from running a red light to failing to care for your parents properly, could cause you to lose points. And in this world, your score becomesContinue reading “Game of Life: the coming attention economy”

The minimalist worldbuildng of Diana Wynne-Jones

Guest blogger Jean Lee explores the world-building of Diana Wynne-Jones. The classic British children’s author was a master of creating fantasy world’s because she knew when to keep it minimal. Learn more about the inner workings of storytelling with the Rhetoric of Story. My grandfather adored the study of little things and how they worked.Continue reading “The minimalist worldbuildng of Diana Wynne-Jones”

Doctor Strange : Nope, Buddhism won’t give you magic powers

SPOILERS AHEAD. It’s a familiar story by now. A straight white male – and it almost always is a straight white male – is living a kind of ordinary life when BAM! Events transpire that send Mr. Straight White Male on an epic adventure through which he gains Incredible Powers of magic and / orContinue reading “Doctor Strange : Nope, Buddhism won’t give you magic powers”

This exercise will make you a stronger writer (WARNING: it’s hard.)

My experience, during 6 years teaching creative writing to university students, is that most writers don’t want to do this exercise. To be fair, it’s hard work. But it’s also the single best way I know to develop your skills as a writer, or any other kind of storyteller. “But Damo,” I hear some folksContinue reading “This exercise will make you a stronger writer (WARNING: it’s hard.)”