SF & Fantasy need to stop being so damn eager to please

“It just seems to me that, from Ballard to Herbert, SF was on a mission to invent and explore unknown fresh new psychologies. It was a fascinating, daunting task. We were on to something- and we lost the nerve to do it.” There’s nothing less interesting than something which only exists to please you. AndContinue reading “SF & Fantasy need to stop being so damn eager to please”

Who is the wisest Sci-Fi & Fantasy author?

Over on Twitter and Facebook I asked folk to tell me which SF author they would turn to for life advice, for words of wisdom and guidance through the labyrinth of life. And I got quite a response! [View the story “Wisest of the wise in SF & Fantasy” on Storify] Popular choices include NeilContinue reading “Who is the wisest Sci-Fi & Fantasy author?”

5 indispensable guides for fiction writers

Many people say writing can’t be taught. But it can certainly be learned. (I actually think it can be taught as well, or I wouldn’t teach it.) When we’re young and full of beans we like to think we know it all. It’s hard to admit to ourself we don’t how to do something. ButContinue reading “5 indispensable guides for fiction writers”

Workshop : Imagination

Term has begun at the Certificate in Creative Writing at Vaughan College, University of Leicester, of which I am very proud to be course director. We have 20 new keen creative writing students this year, of all ages and backgrounds. As part of this year’s course, I am going to open a general discussion followingContinue reading “Workshop : Imagination”

Oh please GOD no STOP writing! (so much)

There’s a terrible meme emerging from the internet writing community. It arises from good intentions and common sense, and like most examples of common sense applied to complex situations it is utterly, utterly wrong. You can see this meme at work in the debate around publishing a book a year following Steph Swainston‘s retirement fromContinue reading “Oh please GOD no STOP writing! (so much)”

The SpecFic books I read again and again

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”