Tag Archives: writing

Breakthroughs in imagination

When thinking about human history, it’s tempting to see some developments as inevitable.  Some certainly were, but the sheer amount of time before some of them took place seem to make them remarkable. The human species, narrowly defined as Homo … Continue reading

Posted in History | Tagged , , , | 22 Comments

The success of John Scalzi’s descriptive minimalism

One of the categories here on the blog is Science Fiction, mainly because I read and watch a lot of it.  Occasionally, someone wanting to get into the literary version of the genre asks me for recommendations on good initial books to … Continue reading

Posted in Writing | Tagged , , , , | 18 Comments

The odd animosity toward ebooks

Someone called my attention to an Aeon article by Craig Mod describing his abandonment of digital books, returning to the traditional paper variety. From 2009 to 2013, every book I read, I read on a screen. And then I stopped. … Continue reading

Posted in Society, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Odyssey writing podcasts

A while back, I did a post noting the podcast Writing Excuses, an awesome resource for aspiring science fiction or fantasy writers.  This weekend, I discovered another podcast  that I had inexplicably missed until now. The Odyssey Podcasts are excerpts … Continue reading

Posted in Writing | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Thoughts on knowing and targeting your audience

Writing can be a tricky business.  Whenever you do it, it has to be with an audience in mind.  When I do blog posts here, I’m usually aiming for a general audience.  I try not to assume that my readers know obscure … Continue reading

Posted in Science Fiction, Writing | Tagged , | 14 Comments

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 … Continue reading

Posted in Science Fiction, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | 19 Comments

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 … Continue reading

Posted in Science Fiction, Writing | Tagged , , , | 42 Comments

When to give up on a story

I’ve been reading a lot of science fiction short stories lately.  Many have been excellent.  But some have not been my cup of tea.  I’ve run into a fair amount of melancholic ambiance pieces where nothing much happens.  But the stories I tend to … Continue reading

Posted in Science Fiction, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | 54 Comments

The utter relativism of definitions

I’m always surprised how contentious definitions, can be.  How opinions about what are essentially sounds in language become matters of intense debate. When the IAU (International Astronomical Union) redefined the word “planet” to exclude Pluto, which came about due to … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

I was wrong

Fellow blogger, Steve Morris, did a post on the importance of admitting when you’re wrong.  He finished up his post with this challenge: So I had the amazing/stupid idea of putting this into practice on more formal terms. I propose to … Continue reading

Posted in Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments