The Two Cultures of Hugo short stories

Lela E. Buis argues that hard SF writers are in danger of extinction, even in their traditional home of Analog magazine. She says: Does staying within the confines of science really limit creativity? Cixin Liu has refuted this one. He’s written something very creative within the

One block of pulped tree…

This package arrived in the post a few days ago. It’s the July/August 2015 back issue of the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and – by having the IQ of a toast rack – I’d managed to order a paper copy. If you’re an international reader of short SF&F

Your life will be graded

Vox Day* links to a discussion of Peeple, a new app that will let you rate other human beings. He writes: Congratulations, world. Now everyone online will discover what my life has been like since 2001. And to be honest, it’s really not a big deal

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.