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Science Science Fiction Space

The only good gravity is one gravity

Partial gravity — anything that’s not the same as Earth — used to be a special effects expense that no-one wanted. It’s 2024, we have cheap SFX, so why does everywhere in space still look like it’s either zero-g or on Earth? After all, there’s just one place in the universe — our home — […]

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Creative writing

Space war, huh? What is it good for?

What’s the biggest franchise and the biggest trope in SF? Star Wars. War is everywhere on Earth, so it makes sense that there will be war in space, off among the stars. Anywhere you you find life, there will be war. Right? Maybe. I started to think about this when I began writing a science […]

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book reviews Creative writing

Book vs film: Team Book takes the win

Last week I closed up Book vs Film: a season of reviews comparing eight novels to their big-screen adaptations. The books won, but as the cliché goes, it’s about the journey, not the destination. The working title for this season of The Book Corner was “good book, shit film”. As group-sourced projects often go, not […]

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Creative writing

SF and fantasy genre writers’ organisations: who to join?

I write across two genres — science fiction and horror — and I harbour no ambitions towards literary fiction. Mainstream authors’ organisations are often focused on the literary and mundane genres, so I don’t feel entirely welcome. Fortunately there are SF and fantasy genre writers’ organisations where I’m an easier fit. Genre fiction writers’ organisations […]

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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 […]