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Posts from the ‘SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY’ Category

MICE is Nice: Milieu Novels

Novels can be described as milieu, idea, character, or event novels. What is driving the story? One of those four, with a blend of the others. Most novels are not 90% one and 10% the rest, but varying blends of all of them. Today I want to look at milieu novels, and see how they work, or don’t. Read more

The Grim and The Bright

(Thanks for rescuing me. They were threatening to make me write romance novels as a form of punishment until I showed them one of my pen names and the Harlequin-esque novel. They hurriedly gave in to your demands and now I’m free.)

Part of the issue today with aspects of science fiction is that some authors believe that there is no hope in the future. This reflects in their writing, and their public personae as well. Far too often we’re trying to hook teens and young adults on gritty realism and bleakness when we should be offering them hope and escapism in a story. I know that the kids at my work don’t want to read a book about the grim realities of life. They prefer superhero movies where there is a chance at the hero to be a hero.

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How do you measure up?

I’ve recently been looking up a number of measurements for a book in progress.  To my delight, I’ve learned that there are many humorous systems of measurement.  Some made me laugh out loud.  Others produced a quiet giggle.  I thought you might enjoy learning more about them.

Most of us have heard of the (in)famous “furlongs per fortnight” as a measurement of speed.  It’s actually part of the FFF System:  “The length unit of the system is the furlong, the mass unit is the mass of a firkin of water, and the time unit is the fortnight. Like the SI or metre–kilogram–second systems, there are derived units for velocity, volume, mass and weight, etc.”  For science fiction writers, “The speed of light may be expressed as being roughly 1.8 terafurlongs per fortnight (or megafurlongs per microfortnight)“.

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Camestros Felapton is Toby Meadows, spouse of Foz Meadows

I don’t have much for you on this wintery Sunday morning, other than to tack up a broadsheet with information on it. Since Facebook has deemed such information beneath its community standards — in the same manner that the Bolsheviks deemed both the White Guard and the Trotskyites beneath community standards — I feel compelled to record these things in an independent space. Because when the jelly beans are aligned, and a troll is revealed for who and what he actually is, I think it’s important to pay attention.

Long-time Mad Genius Club readers are familiar with Camestros — often dubbed Cameltoe, by those who’ve dickered with the man in the comments sections of various libertarian and conservative SF/F author blogs — mainly for his outsized ego, and a penchant for assuming he is several orders of magnitude more intelligent than not only the host(s) of the blogs he trolls, but also the comment participants to boot.

Put simply, Felapton is the proverbial pouting basement genius — because the universe is not sufficiently moved by his Brobdingnagian intellect. Read more

The Weather Abides

I was working on my next Kin Wars Saga novel and got to thinking: we use the weather to set the mood, sure, but why? Everybody knows that if you have a funeral it’s supposed to rain, and a happy ending is a bright sunny day. Depressive days are flat, dull, grey and cold, while snowy days are typically for celebrating holidays.

Is this a learned writing technique or do we instinctively do it?

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In Defense of Fandom By Kacey Ezell

So I read Cedar Sanderson’s lovely piece entitled “To Thine Own Self Be True”, and I found that I agreed with much of what she had to say. I, too, have zero tolerance for those who would sexually abuse others, particularly children. Actions like that are intolerable, and have no place in society, any society.

Furthermore, I join her in rejecting the idea that you have to be part of some clique or club in order to be successful in science fiction and/or fantasy.  I think success is largely a matter for self-definition.  Success for one author may mean winning a Hugo.  For another it may mean buying a mountain.  For a third, it may mean finally publishing the story they’ve had rattling around in their head for twenty years.  Success is personal, and it’s honestly none of my business.  But I do know that unless you decide that being feted at WorldCon or any other con is your definition of success… it’s not. Read more

‘Hold-my-beer’ Precedent

He was preceded by the president, setting a precedent which endures to this day.

Now there is a new superhero that could inspire and maybe even bring world peace… 🙂

Precedents are something few of us realize the value of until we’ve set them. They shape nearly everything we do: from what time your kids go to bed, to how the law is interpreted. Naturally they’re a huge part of writing too. Read more