I have never completely understood the latest sci-fi fixation with ‘super powers’, where the main protagonist is just some ordinary person who just happens to be able to go invisible, or read minds, or teleport (but not all three). Inevitably this singular ability then becomes the ‘gimmick’ on which plots are hung. To which I… More Why super-powers should be all or nothing in sci-fi
I pointed out in an earlier post that a German victory in 1918 would have always been marginal because by then all combatants had been run down by the strains of war. Revolution simmered in Germany and the chances of Ludendorff’s military junta continuing to rule without compromise or change afterwards seem slim. What of… More What if Germany had won the First World War in autumn 1914?
One of my favourite books as a kid was Robert A Heinlein’s Have Spacesuit, Will Travel. It was the last of his ‘juveniles’, written in 1958 as a deliberate riff on space opera and 1950s teen culture. It’s set in an undefined ‘near future’ and pivots around a spacesuit won by teen genius Kip Russell,… More Have Spacesuit, Will Be a Klutz In It
OK, so I went to Armageddon this weekend – the annual sci-fi festival held in my city of Wellington. I hadn’t actually been to an Armageddon event before, though I am a bit of a sci-fi fan. This year’s star guests included Ted Raimi and a lot of people I hadn’t heard of. So I’m… More And so I went to Armageddon
My novella ‘Missionary’ was released a few weeks back in paperback, following the Kindle-only advance release last year. It’s part of a seven-story anthology – Endless Worlds Vol. 1 – by Endless Worlds Publications, a Brisbane-based publisher. My novella is about ordinary people finding the strength in themselves to do extraordinary things. On a spaceship.… More Six things you didn’t know about my novella ‘Missionary’
Single climate worlds are all through the Star Wars universe – worlds that, inexplicably, have a single ecosystem – ice, desert or forest, usually. Yet they’re all habitable by humans. I can see where the idea comes from. Here on Earth we often travel from one climate to another. Islands, particularly, often have a single… More The silliness of Star Wars’ single-climate planets
As a teenager I remember being wowed by Larry Niven’s ‘known space’ stories, including his Ringworld novels. Looking back, though, I’m not so sure about his aliens. He had two main ones – the Puppeteers and the Kzin. At the time they were pretty cool. Up until the mid-1960s, most (good) aliens basically looked human,… More I figure that Larry Niven’s aliens weren’t alien enough