Tag: sf signal

18Jul

Mourning Wasp & Mind Meld

I’ve written a post on the Tor UK blog about China’s challenge, where he would sketch out some fabulous creature, and I would have to write it into The Broken Isles.

I could of course be flexible in these decisions, as there was no small print – I merely took delivery of the wasp. As it happens, there was a way around this challenge. I knew that a monster was arriving, but I didn’t know what. So I could pretty much structure the novel with a lacuna, a vacancy for whatever was coming. Also, I didn’t just want this to be a one-scene monster, I wanted this to play a pretty inclusive role in the book. That, surely, was more in the spirit of the challenge.

Check out the rest of the post to see how I went about fitting in China’s Mourning Wasp – the final sketch is actually printed in The Broken Isles, which I’m rather chuffed about. Also, I was featured on the latest SF Signal Mind Meld, talking about the genre’s desire for monarchies in fantasy fiction.

Even today, we’re under the illusion we have democracy, but it’s much more wishy-washy than true ancient Athenian democracy, where power was genuinely more equally distributed, and more citizens played a role in the functioning of society. Today our monarchs and empires now are largely trade-based hegemonies, imperial campaigns given the spin of delivering peace through drone bombings. We are now subject to political and financial kings and queens…

Take a look at what else I have to say – there’s quite a line up of authors on this one.

19Oct

SF Signal Mind Meld

I’ve contributed to the latest SF Signal Mind Meld, on interesting societies in SF.

Michael G. Coney is an often-forgotten SF author when we talk of the Greats. He wrote a very effective and often trippy brew of sociological SF, and did so in an immensely readable manner. His novel, Mirror Image (1972) was a great example of showing us for what we were. Though the alien society in question in this novel were “amorph’s” (changelings that transformed into whatever we desired), it was the reflection of our own human desires – in fact, the amorphs themselves believed they were human, too. A neat and difficult trick for Coney to pull off, but the end result is a cracking novel.

Read the rest, as well as what everyone else has to say.