The Avengers : how Marvel made our modern supergods

Part Five of Advanced Science Fiction & Fantasy: writing the 21st century myth The Disney owned Marvel franchise is the biggest and most profitable story in human history, a vast metanarrative built around the interwoven stories of a modern pantheon of supergods. How are such huge stories told? The answer lies in understanding the archetypalContinue reading “The Avengers : how Marvel made our modern supergods”

Blade Runner : what is human?

Part Four of Advanced Science Fiction & Fantasy: writing the 21st century myth Blade Runner challenges us to ask – what is human? The science fiction author Philip K Dick believed that our humanity was based not in our body, or in our mind, but in our capacity for empathy. Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner isContinue reading “Blade Runner : what is human?”

Star Wars : beyond the hero’s journey

Part Three of Advanced Science Fiction & Fantasy: writing the 21st century myth Star Wars changed cinema forever, introducing the would to the “scifi blockbuster” that has dominated box offices for the last four decades. To create his masterpiece George Lucas employed an ancient structure of mythic storytelling discovered by Joseph Campbell – the Hero’sContinue reading “Star Wars : beyond the hero’s journey”

2001 : how Stanley Kubrick rewrote science fiction

Part Two of Advanced Science Fiction & Fantasy: writing the 21st century myth It’s more than a little ironic that the motion picture widely called the “greatest science fiction story ever told” was made by an artist who hated science fiction. Stanley Kubrick thought science fiction was a failure at myth making, and set outContinue reading “2001 : how Stanley Kubrick rewrote science fiction”

The Wheel of Time gets rolling…and nothing happens

The Wheel of Time hits streaming screens worldwide…and people everywhere fall asleep. $100M is an impressive sum of money to spend on something this boring. So, how did we get here? The answer begins with Lord of the Rings, American book pirates and the birth of Epic Fantasy…and ends with the ultimate commodification of theContinue reading “The Wheel of Time gets rolling…and nothing happens”

Frankenstein : the first science fiction novel

Part One of Advanced Science Fiction & Fantasy: Writing the 21st century myth Two hundred years ago Western civilisation was gripped by a revolution. Science was tearing down religion, and changing how we saw reality. Religious myths had given us answers to eternal questions. Who are we? Why are we here? What does it allContinue reading “Frankenstein : the first science fiction novel”

Why do we like the Roys?

Succession season 3 reveals the thematic heart of HBOs hit show. We don’t love to hate the Roys. We like the Roys. Because the Roys are like us. “There is no line. Everything everywhere is always moving, forever. Get used to it.” HBO’s hit show Succession reveals its thematic heart with this line from LoganContinue reading “Why do we like the Roys?”

Fiction Writing 101

Learn to write like YOUR favorite writer. You don’t learn to write fiction just by taking classes. You learn to write by reading the writers you love. Fiction Writing 101 is an introduction for beginner students new to writing and for those struggling to get published. This short and simple course shows you powerful techniquesContinue reading “Fiction Writing 101”

I’m glad they didn’t turn Paul Atreides into a girl

It’s notable looking at the beautiful Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya side by side at Dune photocalls that they are near identical in height and build…and beauty. “We all admire toxic masculinity when it’s being played out by a young woman” It would have been all too easy to gender-flip their roles. Have Zendaya knife trainingContinue reading “I’m glad they didn’t turn Paul Atreides into a girl”

Relax – The Matrix Resurrections is going to be great

Phew. Matrix Resurrections is going to be great.

This is the shot in the trailer where I knew it. There’s so much that works here. Not swapping out your 54 year old leading actress for a younger model, is just a start. This is a gang of older, wiser creatives than the bunch who got rushed into the early sequels. Everything in this trailer says self-reflective, smart, a clever play on the original…with upgraded CGI.

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My new collaboration with Academia.edu

YouTube recently reminded me that it will be five years (on 7th May) since I uploaded my first video and began my journey into making online courses for writers and storytellers. Since then my courses on Udemy and Skillshare have had over 35,000 enrolled students worldwide. That success has also brought new opportunities. This weekContinue reading “My new collaboration with Academia.edu”