Monthly Archives: December 2015

[Review] The Hunger Tower by Pan Haitian

“My #1 candidate for the worst short SFF published in any professional venue in 2015” That’s how Greg at Rocket Stack Rank described Pan Haitian’s short story The Hunger Tower. I can’t say I disagree with him. This is a literary car crash. A monster truck

Fronting the 10%

Self-published eBook author? Want to convert samples into sales? Consider cutting the “front matter”: the testimonials, genealogy, pronunciation guide, foreword, epigraph and cast of characters: When you get a reader interested enough that they downloaded a sample, or are clicking “look inside” on a web page, you really don’t

Of post-apocalyptic SF romance with pirates, and other sub-sub genres…

Great tip for writers who plan to self-publish their books on Amazon Kindle (and similar).  ‘Writing to market’ used to mean writing  ‘teenage vampire stockbroker‘ erotica for publishers looking to meet the latest craze. For indie authors, ‘writing to market’ means: I’m going to look at the sub-sub genres, check the potential sales

The sexual allure of jihad

I have a Gitta Sereny-like fascination with the morality of violence. Film-maker Deeyah Khan spoke to the London Evening Standard about Jihad: A British Story: I suggest IS may be the ultimate headhunters. Khan nods. “They are. It’s also like grooming. They find out what

[Talking point] Is short science fiction in crisis? A market review

Earlier this year I read short stories nominated for this year’s and the 2014 Hugo Awards, and some that missed out due to the Puppy kerfuffle. And I wondered: Were they the best that science fiction had to offer? And, if so, is short fiction – often seen as the core of

Sorry for the lack of posting…

I was at the seaside resort of Eastbourne for the weekend. Nope, not holidaying. At a convention for players of modern board games. You may have heard of Settlers of Catan. I’m more of a Blood Rage perp myself.