Criticism and non-fiction writing seem to play an ever bigger part in science fiction and fantasy. Consider the issue of diversity in these genres, which has reached some kind of apogee in 2014. And a great deal of the energy driving that change has been generated online by non-fiction writing. Most of this writing isContinue reading “My nominations for Speculative Fiction 2014”
Originally published in The Guardian. When Damien Walter tweeted he’d ‘literally kill’ to interview the multiple award-winning author Harlan Ellison, Neil Gaiman replied ‘What if the person you had to kill was … Harlan Ellison?’ Here Ellison talks about running away from home, the rights and wrongs of paying to read books and how hisContinue reading “Harlan Ellison : The Interview”
The Kitschies are among my favourite speculative fiction awards for the simple reason that they give awards to very good books. Last year I nailed A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness as the winner. So this year I’m going to take a wild stab at predicting the whole shortlist (!) How will I do? BlackbirdsContinue reading “My Kitschy Predictions 2012”
You know, those things which are only an issue if you happen to be the denizen of a world created in the imagination of a jobbing fantasy author. Or an ageing English academic. Or a frustrated fan trying to turn pro author. A secondary world always tells you more about the inside of the authorsContinue reading “Secondary World Problems”
The United Kingdom has one credible award for speculative fiction. It’s called the Clarke Award, and it is decided by a panel of experts each year. In addition we have a splintered field of popular voted awards including those organised by the British Fantasy Society and British Science Fiction Association. These awards carry little weightContinue reading “We need a unified spec-fic award in the UK”
Originally written in response to the SF Signal Mind-meld question: What non-genre books have influenced you in some way? I’m fascinated to see this issue discussed at the moment. If I was to place one major criticism at the door of Speculative Fiction, it would be the way it continues to segregate itself from theContinue reading “Why SF is not genre”
A friend on Facebook has asked to make a few suggestions of Speculative Fiction that straddles both mass market and literary audiences. I thought the answer might be of more general interest, so here we go… It’s a good question. As I suggested last week over on The Guardian, while SF is generally perceived asContinue reading “Literary SF”
So. This coming Saturday I will be talking about Speculative Fiction, and why it deserves the broadest possible respect and recognition, as part of the States of Independence publishers fair at De Montfort University in Leicester. I’ve been shooting my mouth off about this subject for some time, and now I’m going to do thatContinue reading “Your chance to argue with Damo”
John DeNardo challenged a number of writers to think about the speculative fiction they return to again and again. My response is bellow. I would love to see a similar challenge for the nonSF books that Sf writers are influenced by, that would be fascinating. Also, I seem to have declared the death of ScienceContinue reading “The SpecFic books I read again and again”
Today I bought a table. Its the final piece of furniture for my new home. Which is the first real home I have had since I was eighteen. Thats my own damn fault, for taking thirteen years to realise that a home is made, not found. The table is important, because it is where IContinue reading “Why do we write this SF stuff?”
Fancy spending 5 (or possibly even 10 weeks) learning to write speculative fiction with me as a tutor? If you have survived the terror of that prospect or even think it might have some merit and are within shouting distance of Leicester, then the course advertised below may be for you.
David Barnett has posted and excellent piece at the Guardian book blog on the way mainstream literature denies the existence of science fictional stories in its midst. But I wonder, is science fiction really the genre that dare not speak its name? Or does that plaudit really go to literary fiction?