Star Wars: The Force Awakens (spoiler free)

I saw the new Star Wars flick Friday morning.  I considered blogging about it later that day, but then figured there were already a zillion reviews on the web and adding one more wouldn't be particularly useful.  But some of my friends, including a few who read this blog, have asked me what I thought about … Continue reading Star Wars: The Force Awakens (spoiler free)

What is the crucial element of a story?

I've been reading a lot of science fiction short stories lately.  As an aspiring author, one of the things I've been trying to pay attention to are what the properties are of the stories I end up enjoying.  And, just as important, what are the properties of the stories I don't enjoy, particularly the ones I end … Continue reading What is the crucial element of a story?

Literary “rules” I wish science fiction and fantasy books would break more often.

Read any book on writing, or take a creative writing course, and there are certain pieces of advice that you are almost certain to encounter.  In many cases, the advice is good, but some have a tendency to take these tools of the craft and turn them into rigid rules.  And just about any rigid rule … Continue reading Literary “rules” I wish science fiction and fantasy books would break more often.

The definition of the science fiction genre

Charlie Stross has an interesting post up on the distinction between science fiction and fantasy.  He looks at a question I haven't thought about in a while: Not too long ago, someone in the twittersphere asked, "Whatever happened to psi? It used to be all the rage in science fiction." The answer, essentially, was that … Continue reading The definition of the science fiction genre

Writing Excuses: New season, a writing course by podcast

Many of my readers and fellow bloggers are aspiring (or practicing) writers.  If you haven't caught it before, 'Writing Excuses' is a podcast about writing in the science fiction and fantasy genre.  If you've ever contemplated doing that kind of writing, it's a pretty awesome podcast to follow, and even if sci-fi/fantasy isn't your chosen … Continue reading Writing Excuses: New season, a writing course by podcast

Most science fiction is actually a blend of scientific fiction and fantasy.

Quentin Cooper, looking over a top 100 sci-fi movie list which has many questionable entries, ponders this question: BBC - Future - Why is science fiction so hard to define?. Time Out, the weekly listings magazine, recently ranked the 100 best sci-fi movies of all time. They did it by polling 150 “leading sci-fi experts, filmmakers, … Continue reading Most science fiction is actually a blend of scientific fiction and fantasy.