How does M John Harrison enter a story?

M John Harrison is one of the all time greats, a “science fiction writer’s science fiction writer”, a creator of weird tales in the horror tradition, and a powerful weaver of fantasy. The Viriconium stories defined political fantasy in the 80’s, as the Light trilogy redefined literary SF in the 00s. As editor of NewContinue reading “How does M John Harrison enter a story?”

Is there any such thing as Geek Culture?

There is no end, it seems, to the impotent outrage of geek dudes who feel hard done by because scifi films no longer exclusively feature geeky white dude protagonists. Here’s the latest dumb s*&t from those guys: Any dork hating on Ready Player One stems from jealousy since Ernest Cline seems to be living theContinue reading “Is there any such thing as Geek Culture?”

The 6-step story pitch

So there you are, face to face with the most important agent in your industry. Instead of turning to jelly, use this 6 step pitch process. Join the Rhetoric of Story with course code STORYTEN. https://goo.gl/YDLxoH Shot on the best camera for vloggers. http://amzn.to/2AQ2UPX Audio by Rode. http://amzn.to/2AgfBSR Thanks to Sarah’s House for being aContinue reading “The 6-step story pitch”

Stop using guns as a symbol of personal empowerment

We don’t like guns because we like guns. But we DO like guns. Gun manufacturers don’t make $billions every year selling guns to farmers or even armies. The AR-15, America’s bestselling gun, is a sexy-as-hell consumer item. Like a lethal steel iPhone but significantly less useful. I appreciate the vocal efforts of Hollywood A-listers campaigningContinue reading “Stop using guns as a symbol of personal empowerment”

What does a nomad writer pack for 4 years on the road?

Hello! My name is Damien Walter, and I am the nomad writer. I’ve been travelling since November 2013, across Thailand, India, Malaysia and Indonesia. I’m a slow traveller, staying at least two months wherever I go. My main base of operations is Chiang Mai, the “digital nomad” capital of the world. Read Slouching Toward Nimmanhaemin:Continue reading “What does a nomad writer pack for 4 years on the road?”

One very useful thing to know about depression

Through the month of September 2017 I fought a small scale conflict, against an army of negative thoughts and emotions that had claimed the territory of my mind. I recognised this mental state well. It was what we commonly call depression. To win this fight, I needed strategies. I went back and reviewed the bestContinue reading “One very useful thing to know about depression”

Five questions the new Blade Runner must answer

Any Blade Runner fan who doesn’t have mixed feelings about the Blade Runner 2049 sequel probably isn’t much of a fan. Hollywood sequels have a bad track record of course. And while the presence of Harrison Ford might encourage some to hope for a sequel as mighty as Star Wars: The Force Awakens, many ofContinue reading “Five questions the new Blade Runner must answer”

Tolkien’s myths are a political fantasy

In a world built on myth, we can’t ignore the reactionary politics at the heart of Tolkien’s Middle Earth. What is the Rhetoric of Story? It’s a double-edged magical sword, being a fan of JRR Tolkien. On one hand we’ve had the joy of watching Lord of the Rings go from cult success to, arguably,Continue reading “Tolkien’s myths are a political fantasy”

The principle of creative opposition

I’m reading Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon. It’s the most fun I’ve ever had reading a Pynchon novel. And I think I know why. Creative. Opposition. Pynchon is an ideas man. High-concept, conspiracy theorist, humanity as an organic mishap in a grinding clockwork universe kind of ideas. Inherent Vice is a small scale, comedy ofContinue reading “The principle of creative opposition”

The trouble with intersectional political alliances as illustrated in Star Wars

Intersectionality is a powerful idea conveyed in an overcomplicated word. But Star Wars is a great way to understand it better. One thing I love about scifi? It provides all the best metaphors to help folks understand the fierce complexities of contemporary politics. Mid-way through the snap UK general election a lot of Harry-Potter-as-political-metaphor memesContinue reading “The trouble with intersectional political alliances as illustrated in Star Wars”

Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it.

A good friend needed help facing the blank page. I found this quote for him. Now I present it too you. (It’s often attributed to Goethe, but in fact the authorship is unknown.) Please share with anyone you think might love it. “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back –Continue reading “Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it.”