Genre Signals: Science Fiction

Starships! Computers! Blasters/phasers/proton torpedoes/lasers in spaaaaaaaace!!!! Toss those into your story, stir, slap on a tag and go right? If only. (I decided on this before Karen posted her piece, so I'm riffing off of her, plus going a few other directions. No, we did not plan in advance. Pinkie-claw swear.) Science fiction goes back... Continue Reading →

A worn O-ring

I remember some jackass positing that I was a spoiled rich frat boy, because I thought sf publishing should make an effort to appeal to... well, everybody. Look, I think all nice boys and girls should read sf. I think all middle-of the road boys and girls should read sf. I think all nasty boys... Continue Reading →

Research: But Where Do I Stop?

Pulling a Book Out of Stubborn Researchers? Author Photo, Swabisch Hall, Germany, June 2018. "Stop when you have what you need." It's the sort of advice that makes writers want to pull out any remaining hair, or to take a large, blunt object and apply it to the head or rump of the oh-so-helpful individual.... Continue Reading →

Backing Up

I took the my main computer on the road with me, so I could enter changes by subject matter experts. It's 9 year old laptop, so I backed up my data before I left, just in case. Mainly in case of me spilling coffee or dropping it. The second day of the trip, I booted... Continue Reading →

What time is it, Mister Wolf…

"Wolfy, wolfy what's the time?" You all know the answer, don't you? "Dinner time!" It is (besides in playground games) probably the oldest time-mark outside of dawn and dusk. I wouldn't be surprised if the rest of horology stems directly from wanting to know how close that was. As dinner-time and 'knock-off time' were much... Continue Reading →

The past is another country

I've just spent a weekend away with my son and daughter-in-law, in a little coastal resort on the Fleurieu Peninsula. It was lovely, but one of the days was so hot I spent it nursing the air-conditioner. Yes, I know, very self-sacrificing of me. I'm like that. The house - obviously a family's holiday spot... Continue Reading →

Will science fiction become fact?

If you've been a fan of science fiction for any length of time, you know that writers have continually postulated building spaceships in space, rather than on a planet;  spaceships that never actually land, but remain in space, sending shuttles, passenger vehicles or lifeboats down to the surface and bringing supplies, cargo and passengers up; ... Continue Reading →

The Time traveler

Leaving aside all the contradictions about killing grandfathers (and not just in nursing homes in New Yuck) time travel ( a once major staple of sf - and as these things tend to cycle, probably will be again. It's full of fascinating conundrums. Two of the classics of the genre would be L. Sprague de... Continue Reading →

Software to write by?

We've all heard of software designed to help us produce a fully-fledged book rather than just a document.  Scrivener is one of the best known;  it has tools to "manage the writing environment" rather than just write. It seems there's a new product on the market.  I haven't tried it yet, but it sounds promising.... Continue Reading →

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