Sci-fi writing tricks: balancing drama with plausibility

I am a great fan of science fiction that’s plausible enough to be ‘scientific’, but which doesn’t take the ‘science’ so far as to be boring. In the miniseries that launched the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica a decade or so ago, Galactica took a direct hit from a nuke and survived with near-undiminished fighting capacity. Is … More Sci-fi writing tricks: balancing drama with plausibility

The New Zealand Experience at Gallipoli and the Western Front

Exciting news folks – my book The New Zealand Experience at Gallipoli and the Western Front is being released today. It’s my first military title in years. In it, I ask one question: what did New Zealand’s two biggest campaigns of the First World War do to those who fought them? Exploring that answer spans … More The New Zealand Experience at Gallipoli and the Western Front

Cover reveal – The New Zealand Experience at Gallipoli and the Western Front

My book The New Zealand Experience at Gallipoli and the Western Front is being published this week by Oratia Media.Here’s the cover, which I think is fantastic. I’m excited. And I hope you are too. It’s being released on 6 April and will be available in all good New Zealand bookshops – and online for … More Cover reveal – The New Zealand Experience at Gallipoli and the Western Front

Incredibly, it’s 75 years since Pearl Harbor and war in the Pacific

It’s 75 years since Japanese aircraft attacked the US Navy at Pearl Harbor – triggering the Pacific war that finally ended in August 1945 after the atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Where does the time go? For all the infamy of the moment, it wasn’t quite a total surprise. Relations between Japan and the … More Incredibly, it’s 75 years since Pearl Harbor and war in the Pacific

Why ships are more than just steel and lists of statistics

There’s a vigorous naval enthusiast community out there. And it’s always intrigued me how often their discussions devolve to bitterly personalised argument, often infused with a kind of nationalist machismo in which paper statistics become weapons for invalidating the personal worth of the other party. Setting aside the point that this is basically dick-waving, using … More Why ships are more than just steel and lists of statistics

Stranger battleships than British ones, and other odd stuff

I posted a year or two back about some of the oddest British battleships ever built – engineering weirdness that always had a rational explanation but ended up creating some very strange and quirky vessels indeed. I was careful to specify ‘British’ because their oddities were actually quite sane by comparison with designs concocted by … More Stranger battleships than British ones, and other odd stuff

It’s a century today since the great clash of dreadnoughts

It’s the centenary of the Battle of Jutland today – the first and only clash of the great fleets during the First World War. On the misty afternoon of 31 May 1916, off the coast of Denmark, the British and German fleets came to blows in classic form: a tussle between their lighter battlecruiser forces, … More It’s a century today since the great clash of dreadnoughts