Writing

The Last Thousand Words

Dozens of days of research. Hundreds of hours of writing. Constant sweating and fact-checking, checking in proofreaders and editors, editing and re-editing the manuscript, polishing it to perfection. Every fact must be checked, every slang word period-accurate, every last detail lifted from reality. And what is the fruit of your labours? One thousand words. No […]

The Wind Blows From The West Part 1

Since he’d last been in the city, reconstruction and urban development had overridden his memories. Now a citywide steam tram service plied the streets, alongside rickshaws and steam cars, all of them imported, all of them driven by locals. When he was a child, most road traffic was velocipedes and sedan chairs and bullock carts. […]

The Page is Not The Screen

The pulp era was a different time. Dime novels, pulp magazines and radio were the primary forms of fiction. Silent films dominated the theatres until the 1920s, with musicians playing music to accompany the show. The first Technicolor feature film arrived only in 1935, and it would take another three decades until colour firmly supplanted […]

Babylon Without Christ

Babylon is an unapologetically Christian series. The set-up is perfect for it. The world is in the grip of false gods who war with each other for control of souls. They twist their worshipers into slaves and meat puppets, turning them into pawns and soldiers for their forever wars. Humans are nothing more than prizes […]

3 Lessons From Writing A Female Protagonist

Babylon Red was my first attempt at writing a novel-length work anchored by a female protagonist. Unlike other modern fiction, I sought to write a female character, not a man with breasts. She had to think, talk, act and feel like a woman. How she sees and interacts with the world and other characters is […]

H P Lovecraft and Robert E Howard: A Contrast in Horror

When one thinks of horror in the pulp age, the figure of H P Lovecraft inevitably comes to mind. A doyen in the then-emerging field of weird fiction, he conceived of many modern horror tropes, and through his prodigious works brought to life the genre of cosmic horror. But another pulp giant also contributed immensely […]

SWORDS OF SAINT VALENTINE is a Wrap!

With the end of February comes the conclusion of SteemPulp’s inaugural open call, SWORDS OF SAINT VALENTINE. Over the next few hours, the final submissions will come in, and the next phase will begin. SWORDS OF SAINT VALENTINE met and exceeded many of its objectives. Participants exercised their creative juices, wrote and published stories, helped […]

‘Gritty’ and ‘Realistic’ SFF Isn’t

Today it is all the rage to label a specific brand of modern science fiction and fantasy as ‘gritty’ and ‘realistic’. Championed by writers like Joe Abercrombie and George R R Martin, these stories star villain protagonists and antiheroes, oceans of blood, torture and treachery, and all manner of depredations. Every time such a dark […]

Why I Avoid Reading Violence in Fiction

I’m not a pacifist. But I must confess: in the vast majority of manga I read these days, I skip most depictions of violence. In books, if I encounter an action scene that doesn’t make sense, I just dump the book altogether. Fiction requires suspension of disbelief, and when a sequence triggers disbelief, then the story has failed. There […]

To 2017: Write Less to Write More

If you’re a writer, nobody cares about how many stories you’ve written. Only about the stories you’ve published. Ideas and stories are meaningless if they are locked away in a hard drive or scrapbook. They only hold value when they are shared with the world. You’re not an author if you don’t publish your works. […]

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