Category Archives: Archives

[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

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

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.  

Why moral therapeutic deism and geopolitics don’t mix

A system of ethics that depends on being “good, nice, and fair to each other”  is questionable at the best of times. And becomes truly silly when applied to geopolitics. Let’s kick off with Syria. President Assad (who is bad) is a nasty guy with a

Some days I wonder…

…Whether I was a better writer when I was fifteen. So begins Syer Roth: Fire Empress, the science-fantasy novel I wrote as a teenager. I found it in the spare room this morning – all 960 pages of it.  The internet didn’t exist in those days so it’s wholly

Hugo nominations 2016: Best Professional Artist?

Bastion is a new science fiction magazine publishing digitally on the first of every month… Their cover artist is Milan Jaram and every cover is absolutely gorgeous.  I love the striking images in intense shades of blue, orange, etc.  They’re dramatic and eye catching. They remind me,

Five reasons why the ‘Battle for Pop Culture’s Soul’ isn’t about ‘white men’

WIRED has written another ‘Puppies are evil’ screed about the 2015 Hugo Awards controversy: There are many reasons why I might be “angered” by previous Hugo winners.  And none of them are anything to do with ‘the increasingly multicultural makeup’ of the awards: ONE Science fiction’s most prestigious

Do you write short SF&F fiction?

Have you had short stories published in the last few years…? If so, I probably want to hear from you. I’m doing a bit of casual journalism – researching how the market for short genre fiction is changing. I’ve interviewed four writers of short fiction so

A rare selfie

A rare selfie… taken at the Battle of Ideas at the Barbican earlier this month. I don’t normally take pictures of myself, but the last fortnight is the healthiest I’ve felt for four years, thanks to injecting Humira in preparation for IVF.

Normal service will resume shortly…

I spent a thought-provoking weekend at the Battle of Ideas: Write up to come, but blogging has been slow. [Image taken from @Traci_the_weeb on #battleofideas]