Friday, March 20, 2015

Thank you, Pterry

I said, when I write my little tribute to Harold Ramis, that there was one tribute I was dreading having to write, as I knew it would be the one that would hit me the hardest. That time has sadly come, and in the end, it's taken me over a week to collect my thoughts, and finally get this written.

And I've decided: I'm not going to write a tribute to Terry Pratchett. It doesn't seem enough, somehow, not for the man whose work has had the greatest effect on not just my own writing, but on my worldview.

No, this isn't a tribute. This is a thank you...

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Ehren Kruger has no business calling himself a writer

As I'm sure you can imagine, the art of storytelling is something that's, well, really really bloody important to me. I'd assumed it was important to everyone who makes a living through writing fiction, because when you're writing fiction, telling a convincing story is frankly everything. It's one of the main bleedin' points of the entire exercise.

So, imagine my surprise when I read that the writer for Transformers: Age of Extinction believes that it's just not that important...

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Manic Depressives In Space

There's been a little bit of a theme in a couple of my books so far (namely the first in the Cynos Union saga, Messiah's Shard, and book 3, The Abominable Moon), of people not being quite who they say they are, or rather, not being totally honest with how they feel. In fact, it was a major plot point in both books; to see how, you'll just have to read them, but suffice to say, the basic point is that everyone, absolutely everyone, hides who they really are from the world. I keep using that trope, so now it's time to look at why.

I've mentioned before that a big part of why I write what I write is the fact that it's cathartic. Writing helps me to deal with my own personal demons, and in a way, understand myself better. Oh, and settle in, because this post will be a long'n (and also, possibly, maybe, a little bit uncomfortable to read, but keep going to the end, 'cos I promise it's not all doom and gloom)...

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Can we pack it in with this nonsense about "proper literature", please?

Ah, the joys of being on holiday; it quite often means that I miss something the day it gets published and then have to rant about it a week after everyone else has given it a good going over. Usually, that'd lead to me not bothering, since people have already said everything I'd want to say by that point, but this time it's different.

This time, I done got the fire in my belly, and it all started when I read that article on Slate (you know the one), about how adults who read YA fiction should be embarrassed.

Now, perhaps unsurprisingly, this is not a post where I come out swinging in defence of Young Adult fiction, because quite frankly, I'm not a fan. I've tried to read some, here and there, and it's just not my cuppa tea. Instead, what I'm here to do is ask this question: when did it become a-okay to imply people are somehow deficient as humans (and "should be embarrassed") when they like something you don't?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Food Supplies - A treatise on the most important part of planetary colonisation

Author's Note: this story does not take place in the Cynos Union. I felt like a change of pace...

(Image courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography /

People often ask me what the most important thing about colonising planets is. I swear, they ask questions like that all the time, and I'm convinced they want me to answer with something exciting, filled with much bravado and swinging between starships with plasma cannons held in our teeth.

This has never happened, ever. Also, don't try it. Ever. Plasma cannons have an annoying habit of going off unexpectedly, and your head won't grow back.

Trust me, I've seen it happen...

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Never have I been prouder to be a metalhead than I am right now

Y'know, I've never made a secret of my musical tastes. I am a metalhead. I may not have the long hair any longer (because damn, did I ever look like Meatloaf, when I had long hair), and it's no longer dyed every colour they could find in the barber's, but I remain, in my very soul, a headbanger till the day I die. Hell, that's even leaked into my books; I was intent that the Cynos Union would be 80s sci-fi, but with added metal, a bit like if Star Wars suddenly decided to switch out John Williams for Steve Harris out of Iron Maiden.

But anyhow, there is a point to this preamble; over the past couple of days, something has happened, a thing that's left me feeling more proud to be a metalhead than I ever have before (and I was already pretty bloody proud). It all started in a little pub in Newcastle...

Thursday, May 22, 2014

A nerd's perspective - the EU is the model for humanity's future...

Well there we go, it's that time again. Today's the day when we've all flocked out to the polling booths for the European elections (I hope there's been a good turn-out, too; ye can't complain about who gets in if you didn't vote in the first place).

Anyone who's been following the news in the UK over the past few weeks (or, let's be honest, hasn't been comatose during the last few weeks) will know that the topic du jour is Britain being part of the EU.

Nationalistic sentiment has been spurting out all over the shop, rapidly transmogrifying into jingoism, and the results have been oh so very telling...