What do the literary folks mean when they say science fiction is “badly written”?

Mid-way through Foundation and Empire, Asimov hits an entirely new note in his writing. For the first time he enters INSIDE one of his characters. We see the world as they see it. It’s probably significant that this is also the first major female character in the story. Asimov was a great writer on manyContinue reading “What do the literary folks mean when they say science fiction is “badly written”?”

Call for Stories : What is the future of science fiction?

An open call for non-fiction stories of up-to 600 words, to be published on the Science Fiction medium group. Rolling deadline. For 200 years science fiction has predicted the future. But what is the future of science fiction? The Science Fiction publication on Medium is seeking non-fiction stories in the following categories : ESSAYS –Continue reading “Call for Stories : What is the future of science fiction?”

Yes, Deckard is a replicant. But that’s not Blade Runner’s secret

One of the elements that makes Blade Runner so haunting. Deckard isn’t the protagonist of the story. Roy Batty is. The “hidden protagonist” is a technique in noir fiction. The character who ordinarily would be the emotional centre of the story is made background, and instead you follow the antagonist. In PKDs novel Deckard isContinue reading “Yes, Deckard is a replicant. But that’s not Blade Runner’s secret”

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?”

Does Liu Cixin author of the Three Body Problem support the Uighur internment?

From the June 2019 interview with Liu Cixin in The New Yorker. “When I brought up the mass internment of Muslim Uighurs—around a million are now in reëducation camps in the northwestern province of Xinjiang—he trotted out the familiar arguments of government-controlled media: “Would you rather that they be hacking away at bodies at trainContinue reading “Does Liu Cixin author of the Three Body Problem support the Uighur internment?”

How Philip K Dick’s 1960’s masterpiece nailed politics in the 2020’s

Is Europe welcoming desperate refugees, or being invaded by economic migrants? Is Donald Trump a serious President, or a clownish attention seeker? The Man In The High Castle reveals the most basic truths about our era of competing narratives. * In 1947 the forces of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan swept to victory over Europe andContinue reading “How Philip K Dick’s 1960’s masterpiece nailed politics in the 2020’s”

Rhetoric of Story – Part 3

Other – the web of relationship This lecture in the Rhetoric of Story introduces the third of seven foundational elements of storytelling – the Other. The key ideas introduced in this lecture are: how do stores that travel through time? as humans we are fascinated by the relationships between people. archetypal relationships repeat again and again inContinue reading “Rhetoric of Story – Part 3”

Rhetoric of Story – Part 1

Change – where all story begins and ends The first full lecture in the Rhetoric of Story introduces the first of seven foundational elements of storytelling – change. The key ideas introduced in this lecture are: the quality that helped one story live for over 5000 years our brains make sense of constant change byContinue reading “Rhetoric of Story – Part 1”

Who will write the 21st century myth?

When Damien Walter asked Twitter to name the greatest 21st century myth he got an unexpected answer – from Neil Gaiman himself “When the 21st century myth comes along, we will know.” Neil Gaiman My new course is Advanced Science Fiction & Fantasy, writing the 21st century myth. Pre-enrollment has already attracted almost 4000 studentsContinue reading “Who will write the 21st century myth?”

David Mitchell, author of Cloud Atlas and Booker nominee, is a true geek

David Mitchell is one of the world’s most successful literary novelists. He has been twice nominated for the prestigious Booker prize, and his novel Cloud Atlas was adapted to the Tykwer and Wachowski film starring Tom Hanks. He’s also a huge sci-fi fan with a long love of geek culture. Damien Walter sat down with the bestselling author to discuss his SF influences, which D&D character type he plays, and the future of the novel in a multi-media age.

Altered Carbon was always doomed

Two years ago I predicted Altered Carbon would fail after one season and get a second only because Netflix had already invested in the CGI assets….it seems I was right. Altered Carbon cancelled after two seasons via The Verge Imagine somebody wrote a novel about the cat and the fiddle, and the cow that jumpedContinue reading “Altered Carbon was always doomed”