Last night, after the South Manchester Writers Workshop (14/11/17), we headed to the Dog and Partridge and got to talking about our projects. The subject turned to speaking – the author I was in discussion with was developing a talk on Evolutionary Theory – and how much time to allow. He expected to read at just under 200 words Continue reading
Put some free reads on Deviant Art. Here’s an up to date list.
Lucky (SF / Space Opera – see below for details)
The Human Hunters (SF / Military)
Writing Day (Dystopia)
Ice Made (Magic Realism)
Fickleday- Visitors (Alternate Earth)
The Faerie Tree (Alternate Fantasy)
Nurse of the Night (dying gangster)
Sky High (Dystopia)
I go to too few book readings and I suspect this is as much to do with the weakness of the local writers’ grapevine as it is with ivory tower syndrome. It’s also more of a rarity in my neck of the woods. Today I go over t’other side off t’Pennines to an author reading at The Gallery. Enough of the colloquialisms already. Slaithwaite is 5 miles south-west of Huddersfield on the A62. I use satnav – I know how to get to Slaithwaite but my route will involve getting lost on the A62 plus a brief tour of the inner ring road in Huddersfield – I’ve been lost there before so once I gravitate there at least I’ll know where I am, and possibly an excursion to discover if pie shops in Huddersfield open on Sunday. But I haven’t the time, so it’s the M62 and a switchback route down steep, single lane roads. I am early so there’s plenty of time to locate the reading room which is in the café in the basement floor. The event is graciously hosted by Wendy Beattie, Gallery Owner. Pretty soon I realise I am going to blog this regardless of the fact I’ve come unprepared. Evidence:
Reading time approx 15 mins each. Continue reading
I’ve always felt the influence Raymond Chandler. Unrelated to this, I’ve been aware for quite some time that SF has its detractors. Eighteen months back, I came across an article linking the two:
SJ Perelman said of the pulps “they have juxtaposed the steely automatic and the frilly panty and found that it pays off”. Chandler wrote for the pulps but gave the readers more than sex and violence. His novels and short stories reshaped the Detective genre. In correspondence dated 14 March 1953 to HH Swanson, he parodies Science Fiction as it was then. Let’s make some time for Raymond Chandler; his SF parody was actually a challenge. How has SF responded?
Science Fiction started off as a potpourri of novelty; its theme: ‘anything else’. Early authors were formulaic ER Burroughs did Tarzan, Barsoom, Pellucidar or Amtor but read one and you’ve pretty much read them all. E.E. ‘Doc’ Smith and Asimov left you gagging for a real character. Asimov’s laws –let’s not forget these were pre-articulated by John W Campbell –turn out to be aspirations; (obvious once you do AI design). The Milford Method named after the place where Judith Merrill, Damon Knight & James Blish lived was a 1950s step in the right direction. Heinlein apart, genre writers struggled to get informed feedback. The New Wave SF movement tried to fix that. Harlan Ellison’s Dangerous Visions flirted with notoriety and Michael Moorcock’s New Worlds then the UK’s leading SF periodical folded. It had become a vanity project.
Are Chandler’s points still valid? I’m always conflicted on matters of SF; although I’m fiercely loyal, too often it’s a let down so I’ll stick: Is it plausible? Is it authentic? These tests have been around a lot longer than the long form fiction narrative we call novels. The evidence from Amazon is promotion works and trash sells.
This year’s festival seemed a good deal bigger. Circumstances got in the way of attending all the events I’d have liked but you do what you can. Unlike last year’s blogathon (beginning here) it’ll be just this post.
Kate has been writing for 18 – 20 years. Her early works were Continue reading
Have to blog this. Writing means not just having the correct form of words, but capturing the essence of a thought. The way it comes out is the form.
Going back to 06/09/2016, we were in the middle of preparing to move house. Continue reading
KPMG audited HBOS in 2007. HBOS had to be bailed out following extreme financial conditions in late 2008 (ie the debt crisis). Continue reading
Best Philip K Dick Novel
The Guardian ran an article on Dick’s Best Novels chosen by Nicola Barker, Michael Moorcock, and Adam Roberts on 27th August 2017 at Philip K Dick Best Novels. There’s all the normal stuff you’d expect to see – Adam Roberts sensibly chose Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? You find out Moorcock’s take on Dick –as editor of New Worlds, Moorcock sought out voices to flesh out his vision of Science Fiction, indeed Moorcock was one of the high prophets of New Wave SF. Nicola Barker’s take set my brain into gear.
Dick: “the core of my writing is not art, but truth”, and – still more perplexingly: “I am a fictionalising philosopher, not a novelist.” Continue reading