What Is Speculative Fiction? Part One: Science Fiction

As the theme of this website is ‘speculations about speculative fiction’, I think it’s time I took a turn at the age-old sport of genre defining. In this post I’m going to delve into a sub-set of speculative fiction: science… Continue Reading

The Silmarillion: Beren and Lúthien On Vinyl

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How big a Tolkien fan are you? Sure, you’ve read The Lord Of The Rings. But have you taken in appendices A through F? Have you pored over the genealogies, including all eight generations of Samwise Gamgee’s family tree? Have you… Continue Reading

When Is A Post-Apocalyptic Novel Not Science Fiction?

Question: When is a novel set in a grim post-cataclysmic wasteland with characters battling for survival not a science fiction novel? Answer: When it’s written by a literary author. My brother gave me a copy of The Road for my… Continue Reading

Do Short Stories Sell On Amazon?

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Last week I uploaded my short story “The Nevermaw” to Amazon and priced it at 99 cents. It may have been a mistake. Not to upload it, but to try to sell it. The accepted wisdom has it that short… Continue Reading

Maybe We Should Let Machines Pick Our Leaders

ENIAC could pick a leader better than you

In light of recent world events it may be time to consider that letting people run countries based on their ability to get elected may not be the best way to do things. Perhaps it’s time to let computers decide… Continue Reading

Best Rock Songs Inspired By Speculative Fiction Part Three: Ramble On

So we come to the union of the Venn diagram involving the sets ‘Led Zeppelin’ and ‘Lord of the Rings’. Just as the lads from Iron Maiden are voracious readers, just as the Lovecraft-swots of Metallica peppered their oeuvre with… Continue Reading

Why Should Aspiring Writers Read Slush?

You're in there somewhere.

A tweet from Three Lobed Burning Eye magazine caught my eye recently. It was a screenshot showing how many submissions the magazine has processed and accepted since 2006. I was interested in the entry for 2011, because that was the year 3LBE… Continue Reading

Best Rock Songs Inspired By Speculative Fiction Part Two: The Call of Ktulu

Cthulhu sketch by H.P. Lovecraft via wikimedia commons

As I confessed in an earlier post, as a teen I was a flat-chat metal head. I guess I could feel shame about this fact as I’ve since become a latte-sipping jazz snob. But the way I see it, I’ve… Continue Reading

Jorge Luis Borges: Creator of ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’?

I used to like CYOA books when I was a kid, but they were nowhere near as good as Fighting Fantasy. My dad used to get annoyed that all I ever read, when I was about ten, was FF, by… Continue Reading

Just How Boring Was The Council of Elrond?

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The Fellowship of the Ring. The first book of the Lord of the Rings trilogy takes a little while to get off the ground, it must be said, what with all of the faffing around Bag End that goes on. In… Continue Reading