>Grab Me!

>No, not literally. But those two words are something of a mantra for agents and editors. They want our queries and pages to grab them. Not so hard, right? Wrong. At least for me. Because what the fine print says, and it's very fine print, is that we have to grab them in 5 pages... Continue Reading →

>Bad Guys Rool, OK?

>It's Saturday, again, and I have nothing intelligent to contribute, again, but I'll write on anyway.I want to focus on the appeal of bad-guys or antiheroes. Bad-guys come in all sorts of guises. A favourite is 'the policeman who doesn't play by the rules', a character so clichéd that comedians run skits on them. In... Continue Reading →

>The Elusive Guidebook

>There is a rulebook, its just covered in elbow-grease and slips out of my fingers as soon as I get a grip on it. Every now an then I manage to flip it open at a random page and get a glimpse of something, then its flopping onto the floor again. There are a few... Continue Reading →

>Flesh on the Bones

>Between Sarah's discussion of empathy, Rowena's talk of bent characters, and Dave's lament on the futility of forcing them to do what you want once they've come to life, I'm left without much choice for my first appearance as a new Mad Genius. The character in question is giving me the smirk that says "Next... Continue Reading →

>I CAN feel your pain

>*As usual I write five times as much as I planned to. Feel free to throw rotten fruit or something*In this Frankenstein Business we’ve been dealing with – or if you prefer, this divinity business – of bringing our dead creations to life, a good point has been made for how this is accomplished. Matapam... Continue Reading →

>Characters, bent is better.

>Characters -- I prefer characters that are slightly skewed, odd ball people who don't quite fit in.I'm a Buffy fan, not Buffy so much but as her supporting characters. I've just started watching TrueBlood, the Sookie Stackhouse series. I'm up to episode 6 and enjoying it. I couldn't help compare the characterisation. I'm thinking aloud... Continue Reading →

>"I MADE you!"

>("no you didn't. Did it of my own volition")This ties into a recurring unkillable theme in sf and indeed fantasy - the creation that goes out of control. Not only does it reflect in stories but it also comes full circle on authors and bites them in the behind-regions, because their characters become self-willed and... Continue Reading →

>Magic, Religion, Technology and Science

>Magic, Religion, Technology and ScienceIf there is one thing that distinguishes a science fiction or fantasy novel from other fiction is that the story hangs in someway on the supernatural, some novel scientific idea or a fantastic technological device.With this in mind, I have been giving some thought recently to how you define and distinguish... Continue Reading →

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