Monday, 30 June 2008

Sleep deprivation and creativity

From recent personal experience, I have to say there's no link between sleep deprivation and an increase in levels of creativity.

Monday, 23 June 2008

Internet Review of Science Fiction

I've noticed, probably belatedly, that after a period of downtime while the site was being re-designed, the rather excellent IROSF is back on the scene.

Friday, 20 June 2008

Question to the floor

Where should I submit a very good, but 'nice' mainstream story? It's just under 4,000 words. Ideally a decent paying market. Not many people seem to like nice stories. It either has to be abrasive, sad or funny. This story's not really any of the above, and I don't think it's quite right for the women's magazine market as it's structurally interesting. I suppose Granta is an outside shot, but not sure it's a perfect. And I'm not sure they accept writing not written by somebody with a first class honours degree from Oxford or Cambridge.

Any ideas?

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Pulp skill

The Booktrade site is a great little aggregator and portal of book publishing news. If you subscribe to their news letter,there's the occasional chance of getting your hands on an early promotional copy of a new book. Oddly, most of the larger publishers on here fail to dispatch the promos, preferring instead probably just to harvest reader data for market research.

Mira Books however, a mainly crime imprint of Harlequin, are very reliable in sending out the publicity materials. I've had several books from them, mos recently The Last Exile by EV Seymour.

The last book they sent through was Jason Pinter's debut, The Mark. Thinking about Sam's immense success, and the structure of Pinter's book, especially in relation to the novel Aliya and I have written, I'm struck by what tricky tasks mainstream authors pull off.

I found it hard to read The Mark without an editor's hat on, firstly because Pinter's protagonist was a green journalist working in a high profile newsroom. I have first-hand experience of this so was looking to pick holes, but aside from alleged copy from a newspaper which rang a little flat, the author kept things sketchy enough to pull me in. In hindsight the cliches that were in place served the book well, and although I found the twist ending a little predictable, I have read scores of mainstream pulp crime thrillers. This isn't brainfood. it's entertainment Hollywood-style. (I suspect The Last Exile may be entertainment ITV Drama style).

Aliya and I have attempted to do something along these lines, but we've fused our book with SF and added some diversionary intellectualism. I'm puzzling now, following the response to Light Reading's follow-up (which in my opinion is a better book than the first, even without the re-write) disappointment, if there's room for something like this in the mainstream.

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Caribou doozy

In lieu of a proper post, here are some disclaimers.

Hope you enjoy the needlessly American title of this post.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Something for the weekend

Not quite as classy Aliya's barnet, but it's a start, Tim.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Tumbleweed takeover

Aliya's happily testing out her new bikini combo in Brittany and I'm straining under the impending burden of fatherhood so things--at least for a week or so--will be fairly quietly round these here parts.

In the meantime, I suggest you hum something nice to yourself, or check out Ms Whiteley's old columns on WoW or this or this or indeed this.