Category Archives: science fiction

Getting Things Done – a guest post by Gail Z. Martin

I’ll admit it. I have a reputation for getting a lot done. People ask me if I sleep, or take vacations, or have down time. And the truth is that I generally log about seven hours sleep a night, take … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, reading, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

How Long is a Piece of String?

Chopping and Changing – Revisions, Cuts and Additions. How long should your story or novel be? A piece (story, novel or poem) should be as long as it needs to be – but that’s not always as long as you, … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, reading, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Crew Dragon Launch – 30th May 2020

I watched the SpaceX terminated launch last Wednesday 27th May, and then again the actual launch on Saturday 30th – immediately followed by watching Apollo 11, the documentary using newly unearthed film footage and audio recordings. Apollo 11 was the … Continue reading

Posted in reading, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Moment of Stuckness

Anyone who knows me will testify that I’m not usually stuck for words. It’s not that I don’t believe in writer’s block (obviously it is a thing) it’s that I’ve rarely experienced it. However, recently I had a period where … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, reading, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

How I Got Here From There

First published on Gillian Polack’s blog in March 2020 for Women’s History Month It took me a long time to get here, possibly too long. If I’d known then, what I know now, it might not have taken so long… … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, reading, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The New Normal

To meet or not to meet – that is the question. I’m a big advocate of critique groups. I’ve been attending the Milford Writers’ Conference since 1998 with enough regularity that eventually I’ve ended up being the secretary. Milford is … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, reading, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fiction Must Make More Sense Than Real Life

Fiction must make more sense than real life. I think we all know that real life isn’t making much sense at the moment. If we wrote about a global pandemic in which presidential staff held hands and prayed that it … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, reading, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

House Arrest

Due to Covid 19 we’ve pulled up the drawbridge and dug a shark infested moat around Bedford Towers. No, we’re not sick, but I’m diabetic and my other half has suddenly become classified as elderly. How scary is that? Our … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, reading, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

An interview first published in SF Signal

I like doing interviews, especially when the questions are both thoughtful and taxing. Carl Slaughter presented me with an intriguing set of questions way back in 2016. I thought I’d revisit them. CS: Your first series is cyberpunk space opera. … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, reading, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reading Writing and Rewriting

I was a voracious reader as a child, working my way steadily through the stock of my local public library children’s department. My literature of choice was anything with horses or ponies in it. Some of the books in my … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, reading, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Useful book cover tool online

I posted this to the Milford blog this week, but I’m so taken with it, I thought I’d post it here, too. Whether you’re self-published or traditionally published there’s a good chance that you’ll need to shout out about your … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, reading, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Quantifying Success

A few years ago, Chuck Wendig posted to his Terrible Minds blog saying: ‘It Only Gets Harder Once You’re Published’. (http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2015/08/19/it-only-gets-harder-once-youre-published/) How true. That article really resonated with me. I wonder if authors ever get over the self-doubt thing. When … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, reading, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Updated Blog Archive: 2013 to 2019

  2013 Bated Breath Seven Short Men and a Waif Preparing for Milford Jumping in at the Shallow End Serendipitous Book Browsing Four days to go Three Book Deal Milford Writers Publishers Marketplace Announcement Editor Talk New Book Log on LJ: Karen Traviss: … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, reading, science fiction, writing | Tagged , | Leave a comment

2019 – Retrospective

2019 has been a pretty good year. I did a few conventions, read a lot of books, finished editing a couple of my own, saw a lot of movies, kept up with the day job, organised (and attended) a couple … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, reading, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Creativity and the laugh-track of my life

I signed up for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) at the beginning of November, a commitment to write 50,000 words in a month. It’s fewer than 2000 words a day, so it should be—if not easy—not all that difficult. I’ve … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, reading, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Process

I’ve been thinking about process over the last few weeks. I’m writing a new, story which I hope will turn into the next novel project. It’s as yet untitled, and if I had to describe it at all it would … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, reading, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

It’s not too late to join up – NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo – National NovelWriting Month-takes place each November. You sign up Her: https://nanowrimo.org and commit to writing 50,000 in November, which means writing just a little under 2,000 words a day. It’s only 3rd November, you still have time to … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, reading, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Writers Injuring Characters

I went to visit my dentist for a particularly difficult tooth extraction today, so as I write this I’m sitting nursing a sore jaw as the anaesthetic is wearing off. I can’t deny that I felt a bit wobbly after … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Home from Milford – Tired but Happy

I’ve just arrived home from Milford SF Writers’ Conference in North Wales, and I could sleep for a week. I’m not ready for the real world yet. After a week of intense writing critique punctuated by meals taken with fourteen … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Open Submissions for Anthologies – a guest post by Joshua Palmatier

Zombies Need Brains’ latest Kickstarter started up on August 7th and with the possibility of an open call for submissions if we fund, I thought that I’d spend some time talking about how you can better your chances of getting … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Generating Ideas – a guest post by Joshua Palmatier

The three new themes for Zombies Need Brains’ Kickstarter have been revealed (apocalypses, food, old tech finding new life) and I thought I’d offer up a suggestion here for how to generate an idea that fits a theme AND make … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dublin Worldcon 2019

This was my third Worldcon. I attended in 2014 in London, and 2017 in Helsinki. The first thing to note is that Worldcon is BIG, with thousands of fans, authors, publishers and industry professionals with an enormous choice of panels, … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

My Other Journal in a Galaxy Far far Away

In 2008 I started a blog on LiveJornal (and later moved everything over to Dreamwidth, but that’s another story). These days I mostly keep Dreamwidth for book and movie reviews, but in those early days my blogs were much more … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Visit to the British Museum

As I said in my last blog I was down in London for the Science for Fiction course and T and I stayed over an extra day to visit the British Museum. It’s mightily impressive both for its collections and … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Science for Fiction 2019

Science For Fiction is an annual event organised by Dr. David Clements at Imperial College, London. It’s a series of lectures by scientists at the cutting edge of their field, specifically aimed at writers. (Unsurprisingly a load of Science Fiction … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Browsing

This is a revamp of a post from 2013, updated The tor.com blog had a feature on book browsing back in September 2013 and it prompted this original post, reminding me that I so very rarely got to browse real … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Submission, Rejection, and my Coping Strategies

I’ve always written. I started my first novel when I was fifteen. (It was dire, and I never finished, but I loved writing it.) It took me years to actually tell anyone I wrote, and even more years before I … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

NASA’s Free Photo Library

NASA has released its whole photo library, complete with a searchable database, and made all its images free for public use. Yes, their entire collection of images, sounds, and video is now available. I can’t begin to tell you how … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Milford Writers’ Retreat

So here I am, in the wilds of Welsh Wales on a writing retreat organised by Milford SF Writers (of which I am the secretary – so yes, theoretically I organised it myself). The venue is Trigonos, the village is … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

The Long Haul

Now, here’s the thing… when you write a trilogy you are in it for the long haul. To all those people who write a single book, I salute you. It’s not easy. It takes dedication and effort. Now imagine you … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What I Like to Read, and Why

Though I have a large collection of paper books, some of them from my childhood, I mostly read fiction on Kindle these days. It’s not that I prefer electronic to dead tree books, but books are books and it’s the … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Write What You Know – Kind Of…

I nearly died. It was a few years ago, before I got my first book deal, but I was already a writer, if not a published one. I had an anaphylactic reaction, and it happened like this. I developed a … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Updated Blog Archive: 2013 to 2018

2013 Bated Breath Seven Short Men and a Waif Preparing for Milford Jumping in at the Shallow End Serendipitous Book Browsing Four days to go Three Book Deal Milford Writers Publishers Marketplace Announcement Editor Talk New Book Log on LJ: Karen Traviss: Star … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s never too late to talk about a book

Unless you are lucky enough to live in a city which has good bookshops, or even better, specialist science fiction and fantasy bookshops, your browsing of new SFF titles may be limited. My little local bookshop sadly closed last year, … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Writing Tip: Using Wordle to highlight overused words

Wordle used to be a web-based utility, a web toy that allowed you to paste in a piece of writing to make a word cloud. The more frequently a word appeared in your text, the bigger it appeared in the … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Looking Back and Looking Forward: 2018 and 2019

It just so happens that my alternate Tuesday blog falls on 1st January 2019, so it’s a good time to assess 2018 and see if I can peep into the future to 2019. I’m not sure where 2018 went to. … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

My 2018 Reading

It’s getting towards the end of the year and this is the time I usually post a summary of my reading. I’ve kept a booklog since 2009, and oh, how I wish I’d started decades ago. I post my booklog … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Happy Book Day to Me

My new book, ROWANKIND, is out today. WHOO-HOO! It’s my sixth published book, and the third in my Rowankind trilogy, so it represents a milestone. It not only completes my second trilogy, but it means that my published words have … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Guest Blog. Peter Sutton Answers Five Questions

Tell us your biography in three sentences or fewer. My first book: A Tiding of Magpies was shortlisted for best short story collection in the British Fantasy Awards 2017. I’ve since published two novels – Sick City Syndrome: a horror … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Jacey’s Quick Book Links

With the publication of Rowankind just a few days away (27th November), I thought I’d post links to all my books. Obviously the (not-so-hidden) subtext is, go out and buy them, but seriously folks, those advance orders for a new … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Interrogate Your World – Worldbuilding Questions for Writers

I was asked to give a talk on worldbuilding and research at the Escafield SF event in Sheffield on 10th November. I came up with a checklist and promised to post it here for the people who attended. I may … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

SF Conventions and How to Survive Them

I have just returned from FantasyCon in Chester. Run by the British Fantasy Society, this is an annual event and is the most writerly of British SF conventions. The panels are generally writing oriented and the dealers’ room is mostly … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

My Week at Milford

Many thanks to last week’s guest blogger Joshua Palmatier for doing a post for me while I was away at Milford SF Writers’ week in Snowdonia at the lovely Trigonos, Though they do have wi-fi there now, it tends to … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Guest Blog From Joshua Palmatier

Jacey Bedford graciously invited me to guest here at her blog today so that I could talk about the small press Zombies Need Brains and our current Kickstarter (check out tinyurl.com/ZNBPortals) attempting to fund three brand new SF&F anthologies.  I … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Finish What You Start – Or Don’t

Unless you stop faffing about re-writing the beginning of your story/novel, you’ll never finish it. Believe me, I know this. I am an expert in faffing around. I’ve spent untold hours/days/weeks/months getting the start of my novels just right. Sometimes … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Jaine Fenn Guest Blog

Every writer has their obsessions, the themes we return to; real-world stuff that bothers us enough that we pick and peck at them repeatedly through our stories – because y’know, writing is therapy. I’m fascinated by juxtapositions. Especially physical ones: … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Dropping a Pebble in the Pond

I used to think that if I could only get one book published by a major publisher I would be able to die happy (though I did not necessarily plan that particular event soon). Now I have five books published … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Character self-determination

There’s one of those little graphics floating around Facebook that says: Main Characters: You do everything you can to raise them right, and as soon as they hit the page they do any damn thing they please. Yes, fellow writers, … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Writing New Series Vs. Sequels – A guest blog by Gail Z. Martin

Readers ask, “What do you like better, starting a new series or writing another book in an existing series?” That’s like asking, “What do you like more, going to visit old friends or taking a trip somewhere you’ve never been … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What times we’ve lived through.

My grandma’s house was a miner’s cottage in Mapplewell, probably built in the mid to late Victorian period. It was red brick, two up, two down with a toilet in the yard. There was a cellar with a freshwater spring … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments