I’ve been remiss with the blog lately, but busy(ish) elsewhere. So I thought I might share some of the stuff I’ve been doing with, and for, other people.
First, a couple of things for Adventures in Scifi Publishing. Most recently I reviewed Gene Wolfe’s latest novel, A Borrowed Man. I had mixed feelings about it, but I was also intrigued by the novel and it has seriously made me consider a re-read at some stage, which is not something I do much of as a rule. I suppose that tells you something about the book.
Second, I had the great pleasure of interviewing Matthew de Abaitua following my review of his amazing novel, If Then. It was my first time as a solo podcaster for AISFP, and Matthew was an absolutely fascinating guest. I hope you will consider taking time to check out the interview and/or read my review of his novel…and indeed, rushing out to buy If Then.
Finally, my review of the best anthology I’ve read in ages, The Monstrous, edited by Ellen Datlow. If you’re not scared already…you will be.
A double whammy (as we say in the UK): a review I did of Mike Resnick’s book, The Doctor and the Dinosaurs, and a podcast interview with me, both on Adventures in SciFi Publishing.
The podcast mentions that the audiobook download version of Bone Machines is $1.99 – sorry, but that offer has now been closed. However, the new price, still discounted, is $14.96.
In the interview, show host, Timothy C. Ward, and I talk about the craft of writing. We cover a range of topics, including:
- How to ensure your dialect is accurate when writing in a non-native culture
- What idioms can we use when making up worlds and civilizations?
- “The rhythm of the language is more important than the words that you use.”
- How religion affected early censorship as well as in modern books, but also the surprising openness to sex that non-religious people react to.
A big thanks to Tim for the interview. Though, to be fair, I thought I was online to interview Kay Kenyon, but Tim snagged some of our informal chat beforehand to put into the podcast. You’re so sneaky, Tim!
Books and Blogs
Some news for the week, a couple of things about what I’ve been up to and some noteworthy stuff from others.
First, my latest blog on Amazing Stories is called Cyberpunk’d and is up now.
Second, my YA steampunk superhero novel, The Mechanikals, is being released episodically , for free, over at Wattpad. I plan to put all the chapters in as fast as I can, time permitting. I hope you’d consider giving it a read, leaving comments or voting.
Podcasts of Note
Writing Excuses is an excellent podcast show for aspiring authors. It’s presented in useful, bite-sized chunks of around 15 minutes an episode. The show hosts leading lights in science fiction, fantasy and horror in both narrative and comic book format, Mary Robinette Kowal, Brandon Sanderson, Howard Tayler and Dan Wells.
Tales to Terrify – the horror podcast on which I have had stories and for whom I have narrated work by others a couple of times – has been named 2013 Podcast of the Year by This Is Horror. Very well done, chaps and chapesses!
My own blog has fallen by the wayside for the moment, it seems. In my defence, I am hard at work writing my new novel, teaching and doing blogs for other people. I thought it would be useful, therefore, to give you links to some of the work I’ve been doing for Adventures in SciFi Publishing and Amazing Stories Magazine. I was especially pleased that my post, Clinging to the Wreckage: How to Save Science Fiction, got more feedback than any in the podcast and website’s history.
Here are some recent postings, which I hope you will find interesting:
This River Awakens by Steven Erikson. The master fantasist’s first novel, which is not fantasy at all.
Anno Dracula: Johnny Alucard by Kim Newman. A very smart vampire tale.
The Art of the Big ‘O‘. Yeah, yeah, I know what it sounds like, but it’s actually an art book.
Clinging to the Wreckage: How to Save Science Fiction Pitch in to the debate – let’s see if we can’t get the feedback up to 100.
A Sentimental (Science Fiction) Education Flaubert would be proud – not!
Tim Ward, host of the Adventures in SciFi Publishing podcast, kindly invited me to co-interview science fiction and fantasy writer, Kay Kenyon. Kay was a fascinating guest, and I am sure you will enjoy what she had to say, about her novel, A Thousand Perfect Things, and other topics which the book touches upon. You’ll also find my review of the novel on the podcast’s website.
The latest episode of the wonderfully creepy Tales to Terrify podcast features a story by Gary Fry, a terrific British writer. His story, The Indelible Strain of Company, is narrated by yours truly. I had great fun recording the story, which brought to mind the classic tales of M.R. James and others. Such tales have little need to for literary special effects – though the writing is beautiful and extremely effective. Rather, this ghostly tale seeps into one’s bones, and leaves that sensation of something watching…just beware of turning your head around to see what it is!
Oh, and if you want more, I do recommend you pick up a copy of the first volume of Tales to Terrify in print or ebook format.
In an earlier blog I interviewed the great singer and songwriter, Jonathan Taylor. Now you have a chance to hear the man himself speak (not like Garbo), on one of my favourite podcasts, Get Behind Me, Now Stay There.