Getting Hissed

Can you hear that? No, you probably can’t. But I can. Tinnitus: ringing or buzzing in the ears. That definition just does not do it justice in my case. A concentration-shattering, perpetual whistling, more like. A shrill, hissing, sibilant, headache-inducing screeching that eases off to a whispering susurration at times. Or maybe you can hear …

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Mothers, Conspiracy, Frustration

Conspiracy To Steal Time From Mothers? The handover from March to April 2019 didn't go too well in the UK. The clocks went forward the night before UK Mothers' Day. A nationful of mothers had an hour trimmed off their special day! Some conspiracy theorists think this was planned by a man! The theory is …

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The following is a re-post from Greg Levin's Blog (28 December 2015) - so go blame him 😉 ------------------------ ​I’ve always believed astrology to be totally bunk, but the stars and planets recently aligned in such a way as to compel me to create the following. Horoscope for Fiction Writers: Aquarius. You are progressive-minded, original and …


Who votes, and how?

More on the proposed Science Fiction and Fantasy Planetary Awards

Planetary Awards

The winners of our new science fiction and fantasy awards will be chosen by book bloggers, podcasters, and booktubers. That seems simple enough, but how do we decide if a person is one of those? Is one book review some time in the distant past good enough? One book review in the past year? Three reviews? Six reviews?

This raises another issue: should there be a minimum standard for a review? If someone says “thumbs up” or “five stars”, is that a review? I normally hate it when people equate length with quality, but should there be a minimum word count / time length for a review to qualify?

Should bloggers who are paid employees of a publishing company be allowed to vote? If so, should they be allowed to vote for books from their own company? Should they be allowed to vote for an author’s short story when their…

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Creating New Awards

An interesting proposal here…

Planetary Awards

I’m asking my fellow book bloggers, along with podcasters and booktubers, to join me in creating a new set of awards for science fiction and fantasy stories. Why invent another award? In addition to numerous regional and sub-genre awards, there are currently two broad awards: The Nebula and the Hugo. While both are based on good ideas, it’s possible they are overly influenced by the publishing industry.

Nebula Award winners are chosen by the members of the SFWA. Having authors choose the best stories seems logical, but has some drawbacks:

  • Most fans can’t participate.
  • The tastes of fans and creators may not overlap as much as the creators believe they do.
  • SFWA members have ties to publishing houses (or are seeking ties) and may be subject to influence.

Anyone who is willing to spend $40 can vote in the Hugo Awards. The large fee is probably meant to limit…

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The 8 Rules of Writing Short Fiction

Some interesting thoughts from Kurt Vonnegut…

The Published Author

In my last post on the short (story) road to the novel, I exhorted you to give the short story a try. I am a glutton for short stories and I guess my encouragement was a little coloured by my appetite. It hardly seems fair to nudge you on to a path without a map, so let me introduce you to Kurt Vonnegut and his eight rules for writing a short story.

Kurt Vonnegut (1922 -2007) is known to most as the author of the cult classic Slaughterhouse Five, his contribution to short stories is often eclipsed by the success of his work in the long form. Having written more than 120 short stories, he distilled his experience into 8 simple rules.

  1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.

This is critical in fiction…

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Follow Schopenhauer?

You know I love quotations and here's a golden that was being bandied about the blogosphere in recent weeks... "Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see." Arthur Schopenhauer, 1788 – 1860 Fine words! Especially for the aspiring artist. Or are they? Schopenhauer influenced a …

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Can This Be True Of Authors?

The Three Ages of an Author Thinks everything they write is wonderful. Thinks nothing they write is wonderful. Cuts out everything that might be regarded as wonderful. The story gets published. Courtesy of John Yeoman, Writers' Village I am at stage 3 on "Succession!", revising and trimming the fat - "killing my babies" as Ernest Hemingway described …

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