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book reviews Creative writing Horror

Book vs film: The Colour Out Of Space by HP Lovecraft

The Book Corner season 5: Book vs film. Episode 7: The Colour Out Of Space by HP Lovecraft. Hold on to your sanity for 1927’s The Colour Out Of Space by HP Lovecraft, and its 2019 adaptation starring Nicolas Cage. The Book Corner The Book Corner is a regular break from critiquing for the writing […]

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Metaposts

2023: a year in posts

In January 2023 I set a goal of posting every week, which isn’t easy when you’re diverted as readily as I am. I managed about three posts a month and I’ll take that for a win. Nerd that I am, I thought I’d start the new year with my top five posts of 2023. Most […]

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Science Fiction Space

Pets in spaaaaace

Animals in space don’t have a happy history, but more than half of humans share their lives with an animal companion. Space pets will be a thing, even if they’re rarely found in science fiction. Laika and her doomed Soviet space dog chums, the NASA chimps, and the countless small animals sent to experience things […]

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book reviews Creative writing Horror Science Fiction

Book vs film: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

The Book Corner season 5: Book vs film. Episode 5: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro Ishiguro’s sixth novel was published in 2005 and its film adaptation, scripted by Alex Garland, was released in 2010. Read on, and I’ll explain why the novel is a great example of bad storytelling that the film fails […]

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Creative writing Science Fiction

Space archaeology: how to make the future look alive

Space archaeology is a real job, but how did it combine with the sci-fi classic Alien to help me write better characters? Next time you’re watching a film or TV show set in the future, see how many personal items you can find. I’ll wager it’s very few. Real life isn’t like that. Our cars, […]

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book reviews Creative writing Horror Science Fiction

Book vs film: The Dark Tower vol 1 — The Gunslinger by Stephen King

Season 5 episode 2: The Dark Tower vol 1 — The Gunslinger, by Stephen King The original concept for this season was “great book, shit film”. The Gunslinger certainly qualifies for the latter half and while The Dark Tower series has a passionate fanbase, “great” has to do a lot of heavy lifting for the […]

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Creative writing In Machina Novels Science Science Fiction Space

The Taste of Space 2: Greening the Galaxy

Astronauts in 2023 take almost everything they eat with them. Future space travellers will need to grow plants in space without regular supply rockets. What’s happening in space agriculture today that I can throw forward a hundred years for my WIP, In Machina? Escaping the gravity well Getting anything into space is governed by “the […]

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AI Creative writing In Machina Psychology Science Fiction

Embodied intelligence: bad news for transhumanists, great news for AIs

Uploading your mind to a computer is a sci-fi trope that’s almost as old as the electronic computer. Yet the more I write about AI, the more I think that it’s never going to happen. The reason: embodied intelligence. Consciousness uploads are also a notion that gets transhumanists and some sci-fi fans extremely agitated. From […]

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AI Creative writing In Machina Novels

Boris Johnson and Google’s ‘sentient’ AI have ruined the Turing test

Does Google have a sentient AI lurking in its basement, ready to ace the Turing Test? That was the grand claim made by a former AI researcher at the internet advertising giant. Blake Lemoine leaked transcripts of his chats as evidence that Google’s AI had made the leap to sentience. Google says he’s wrong and […]

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Creative writing Science Fiction

Don’t miss Alastair Reynolds’s wonderful sketches for his Revenger trilogy

Most authors only publish their notes and sketches when a series hits the big time, but space opera author Alastair Reynolds has given away a treat for fans of his Revenger trilogy. If you haven’t read the Revenger novels, they’re an intriguing, swashbuckling trio of far future adventures. Though they feature solar sail ships, weird […]