Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Heinlein's Guide to Successful Writing

  1. You must *write*
  2. You must *finish* what you write.
  3. Having written, you must *submit* what you wrote to someone who might be interested in *buying* it.
  4. You must *keep* submitting until it either sells or has been bounced by every possible market.
  5. You must *not* change what you write, *unless* an editor commits to buying it if you make the requested changes.
An awful lot of folks never get past #2...

Tuesday, 28 September 2010


The latest Iain M Banks' Culture novel is out next month. For those who cannot wait, you can read the first chapter of Surface Detail over at the Orbit Books website. It promises to be good.

It begins in the realm of the Real, where matter still matters. It begins with a murder. And it will not end until the Culture has gone to war with death itself.

Kate Wilhelm's Sweet Birds: How protecting a species can endanger it

"The musical, measured Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang, by Kate Wilhelm — which won the Hugo in 1977 — is an artful admixture of clones and poetry, with a message that'll never get old... Anyway, let me tell you about the book."

You can read the full article by Josh Wimmer about this intriguing book at the io9 website. I've not read the book yet, but I shall now be on the lookout.

Monday, 27 September 2010

The Stars My Destination

The book for this month is Alfred Bester's classic 1956 novel of revenge. Set in the 25th century, it stars Gully Foyle, a worthless, talentless waster who yet somehow survives for more than six months marooned in space after his ship is destroyed. It needs a passing ship to ignore his cries for help to galvanise him into doing something about his situation: he must get back to Earth and wreak his vengeance on those who left him to die.

Originally published in Britain under the title Tiger! Tiger!, The Stars My Destination and Bester's 1953 Hugo winning The Demolished Man influenced both the New Wave SF of the 60s and the Cyberpunk revolution of the 70s.

There are not many SF books that can remain undated after more than 50 years, but The Stars My Destination is one.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Monday, 6 September 2010

Hugo Awards 2010 - A Review Of 2009

Mark Slater's review of science fiction and fantasy in 2009 and introduction to the Hugo Awards 2010

Sunday, 5 September 2010

2010 Hugo Award Winners

Designed by/Photo: Nick Stathopoulos
The results are in from Aussiecon4, and they make interesting reading. It was predictable that the best novel was novel was going to be one of The City & The City, The Windup Girl, and Boneshaker, with the first winning the Arthur C Clark award, the second the Nebula and the third "only" a US steampunk zombie story, it was going to be between China MiƩville and Paolo Bacigalupi.