Picking At Blurbs

TL;DR: If your blurb spoils the plot of your book then you’re doing it wrong. I’m reading The Pendragon Protocol by Philip Purser-Hallard. It’s a really good book that manages to go far beyond what could have been a really cheesy premise. I’ll talk about that in a later post. What follows is the blurb […]

Love the Books I Love

There a few posts going around at the moment where people recommend books that would get people into SF, should that person be naturally averse to the genre. There’s also an ongoing “discussion” regarding sexism in SF. So, I thought I’d combine these two and list a few excellent books by female authors that might […]

Out of Print

Grendel Tales: Devils and Deaths by Darko Macan and Edvin Biukovic is one of the first non-superhero comics that I bought for myself. It was way back in 1998 when Sheffield still had Starstore, a huge shop selling all kinds of awesome stuff. Sadly Starstore didn’t survive into the 21st century, but this comic, recommended to […]

Social Networks in Fiction

I’ve been reading more contemporary fantasy recently, as well as some crime, and I’ve come to the following conclusion: Modern stories that don’t feature social networking feel out of date. Sites such as Facebook and Twitter have become a massive part of the average person’s life. When asked why they don’t use social networks in […]

A Gender Divide?

There’s been a lot of discussion on twitter about a Guardian “poll” where readers suggested their favourite SF novels. People have been quick to point out that of the ~500 novels mentioned, a very small proportion were written by women. Let’s ignore the fact that the list was generated in the comments section of a […]

Books I’ve Really Enjoyed

I complain a lot. I realise this. Perhaps complain is the wrong word. I guess I have somewhat exacting standards that don’t entirely mesh with other people’s opinions… or sometimes even reality. The final nail was probably my discovering that I didn’t enjoy Mythago Wood, an apparently universally adored tome. So when I was asked […]

I Like Stakes

The Mullholland Books website has a whole bunch of interesting things to read. Just the other day, Charlie Huston posted a great little article about the future, and his stories, and his stories in the future. Here’s a choice quote. I’m writing about people who are right there at that membrane, people with resources that allow […]

Book Hype? Where?

Hype is certainly something I’m familiar with and quite often a victim of. Movies, games and gadgets are all paraded in front of me, glittering in their finery. It makes me want them. Apparently there’s a similar thing going on with books. Somewhere out there is a machine churning out shining prophecies of great books […]

The Human Connection

I enjoy fantasy. I love the visuals, that aesthetic and the escapism. But, most of all, the stories I love are those that show humanity at its best and worst. Fantasy allows a writer to extrapolate the real world to an extreme and explore the result. Richard Morgan achieves this by setting his story, The […]

Disarming Fantasy

Very little fantasy seems fantastic any more. A sweeping statement I know, but it’s true all the same. We’re too comfortable with it. While the magic and advanced technology doesn’t exist, for the purposes of stories, it may as well. Space ships, ray guns, zombies, dragons etc. are such a big part of our collective […]