Monthly Archives: September 2015

Heroism, message fiction and the countervailing point-of-view

I was fascinated to read a comment about message fiction (in film) on an article about free speech in the Spectator. The commentator, Sue Smith, argues that message fiction is where the text contains no countervailing point of view. There is only one ‘truth’ presented and emotional imagery,

Hugo Award nominees by nationality, and Read for the Day…

Lynn E. O’Connacht has done a fascinating analysis of the nationalities of Hugo Award nominees. I thought they were biased towards America, but this is the first time I’ve seen data. According to Lynn, 82.2% of Best Novel nominees since 1959 have come from the US. Only 12.4% have

How to get a literary agent

Amy Suiter-Clarke was on my MFA course and has just secured a literary agent for her novel. She’s blogged here about how she secured her agent – without a cold query. I participated in three Twitter pitching contests and sent out dozens of queries before I

How to make a living as a professional fiction writer

I’ve recently discovered New York Times bestselling author Larry Correia‘s writing class ‘How to make a living as a professional fiction writer’ . The notes were blogged by David Harr over four blogposts, which you can read here, here, here, and here. The best session is definitely

Do the Hugo Awards have a short fiction problem?

At least one person complained that the Sad/Rabid Puppy nominees kept award-worthy short stories off the 2015 Hugo ballot… So I was curious. Was this true? Were these stories better than the stuff I’d read? An experiment was in order. I’ve now read the nominees on io9’s Puppy-free

A new magazine for interactive fiction

Sub-Q is a new magazine that claims to be the first to pay professional rates for interactive fiction. They offer $90 for an original 1,000 interactive short story, and are looking for: F/SF, horror, mystery, and mash-up interactive fiction.  We like beautiful, moving prose, but

The Book Business (with dinosaur pwrn) 17.09.15

Can you write four good books in a year? SF&F authors Larry Correia and John Scalzi have remarkably similar answers. John Scalzi writes: There are a lot of writers who write fast and well, for whom four books a year of readable, enjoyable prose is not a stretch.

Where the fires met the sea

Basalt columns, Giant’s Causeway… Legend has it that Irish giant Finn MacCool built these spectacular stone pillars, but they were actually created by rivers of molten rock some 50-60 million years ago. Today, the Giant’s Causeway and surrounding coast is a World Heritage Site. Click here to read more about the

Footprints in the sand…

I don’t have time to post, but couldn’t help sharing this sweet family photo…

Read for the day – The School of English

My complaint about the Hugo Awards 2014 Best Short Story was that the winner was mediocre literary fiction, which raises the question – “What is good literary fiction?” So I asked a few Facebook friends to recommend some literary short stories they loved. I’ve read one