I posted last week about why huge bipedal fighting ‘mechs’ from sci-fi like Pacific Rim are unlikely, unless the laws of physics change. But that doesn’t mean sci-fi mechs have to be boring. Not at all. More in a moment. First off – what’s wrong with a 120-metre x 20-metre biped mega-mech? Alas, even if … More OMG – the baddest sci-fi mega-mech…e-v-a-h!
One of the benefits of living in Wellington, New Zealand, is that I share a city with the talented folks at Weta. One of whom, Greg Broadmore, has made a splash lately with his steampunk-themed stories of early twentieth century male idiocy, ray guns and – uh – other ray guns. There’s something fundamentally cool about … More Inspirations: steampunking with Dr Grordbort
Is there a sci-fi short story that really hit you? Something that struck a chord? Short stories are different from novels – they’re a snapshot of a character incident, usually punchy, usually with a twist line at the end. I tend not to agree with ‘best of’ lists; everything has its merits and a lot … More What are the top SF short stories of all time?
I always enjoy the original Star Trek, mainly because it was really funny – Kirk and McCoy especially. Spock was the straight man in the comedy trio. It was pretty futuristic with hand-held phones, transporters, warp drive, deflector shields. And a lot of it came true…er…a bit. So is this a good model (no pun intended) … More Worldbuilding: where’s my Star Trek transporter?
Ever been stuck sorting out characters for your story? Especially secondary characters that you can’t put too much time into but which still need that realistic edge. Today I thought I’d share an ideas trick that might work for you. A card game. That’s right. A card game. Alice in Wonderland style, slightly. Here’s how. Make a … More Worldbuilding: card characters for novelists
A fair number of writers can be said to be ‘world-builders’. Few, though, can also be said to have built an entire genre – the one Star Wars was homage to. Space opera. The man who did it was Edward Elmer Smith, PhD – E. E. ‘Doc’ Smith to his fans. His family called him Ted. … More Worldbuilding: the shimmering refulgence of dieselpunk
It was Ernest Hemingway, I think, who thrust modern writing upon the twentieth century. His words were unadorned prose, stripped of its adjectives. Plain, straight-forward language that drew the reader closer to the gritty reality of the human condition that he was exploring. He wrote the shortest and most poignant story I’ve ever read. “For … More Hemingway’s writing rules and art deco