Reading the Rockets – Best Graphic Story

I’m currently reading and ranking the Hugo Award nominees for 2015 and I’ve moved onto ranking Best Graphic Story in ascending order (worst to best). I’m not a regular reader of graphic novels and it’s hard for me to review these titles on their own merits. I have the

Reading the Rockets – Best Short Story

If you’re interested in reading science fiction, you’ll know about the Sad/Rabid Puppies controversy that’s dogged this year’s Hugo Awards. The furore encouraged me to buy my first supporting membership, which gives me the right to vote for the prize winners. I’m currently reading my way through

Five Guides for Puzzled Writers

Given the choice between reading a book about doing something… or doing that thing, I opt for the book every time. Which explains why I must have opened every ‘How to Write Fiction’ book ever written. Opened… Read a couple of pages. And – in

Sad Puppies: Some Numbers

Nathaniel Givens at Difficult Run has done some fascinating data analysis on the 2015 Hugo Awards/Sad Puppies controversy. Among other things, he writes: Back in 2013 a Tor UK editor actually divulged the gender breakdown of the submissions they receive by genre. So, over the history of the

I am reality, hear me roar…

During my MFA in creative writing, I had a few critique sessions with a Costa-Award-winning novelist. I learned a lot from him since, unlike most lecturers, who nodded sagely while the class gave feedback, he talked while we shut up. He was a successful literary writer, we weren’t, and learning from

What not to submit to a literary magazine…

Nathaniel Tower, managing editor of Bartleby Snopes Literary Magazine, is sick of Alzheimer’s, death endings and masturbation in line one. If these are the only ideas you can come up with, then please stop writing forever. Or try to write a story that combines all of

No Thumbnail

Inspired by The Wasteland

Nope… Poetry isn’t my forte. Write a poem inspired by, The Waste Land, Sweetly among the Nightingales, How should I cram an octopus into a string bag? Norton’s Anthology gives no instructions, And it is impossible to say what I mean. Sprawling at the windowsill,