Showing posts from November, 2018

This Is The Future We Used To Read About -- Edwin Rydberg

The future is here and it's everything, and nothing, like what we expected. It's taken a while longer to get here than I thought it would back while watching the Jetsons as a kid, but the future I dreamed of is finally arriving. And now that it is, it's much more exciting and more frightening than I ever considered it might be. The ever-present connectedness and constant surveillance combined with rapid scientific and technological progress means this is both a thrilling and a frustrating time to be a science fiction writer (but it's a great time to be alive!). Fifteen years ago, back before I began writing seriously, I started a far future story. Set one thousand years in the future, it featured technology such as cerebral-embedded computers, technology-based cyberpathic control, automated waste reclamation drones, clothing that could change colours based on the user's desires, tattoos with patterns linked to the owner's mood, and genetically engineere

Extra Time: N M Browne

So this is a post about still being here. Not In a depressing way, but in a grateful and optimistic way.  To clarify, I recently had a birthday - not a big one by the usual reckoning - but a birthday that neither my father nor my aunt made and therefore a birthday of resonant, superstitious significance.   From where I stand,   I am now in extra time, a sweet bonus period   that is full of desperate urgency. Extra time is never as long as a full game: it’s the bit at the end of a rugby game which is all about last chances, brave decisions, boldness justified by the proximity of the final whistle. Of course, it is also the bit that can change a game around, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat and vice versa. It is a place of madness, and of occasional great performances. I am heartened by that thought. It’s too late now to play it safe or to play the long game. There’s little point in playing for territory: it’s the time for a heroic run, ball in hand, for the line. I’m

On sunsets, bird poo and loo poetry, by Enid Richemont

This is the cover image of the last of my Early Reader books - I did four this year, with Franklin Watts, my publisher at Hachette, as part of their "Reading Champion" series. I love the colours - that wonderful 'sailing into the sunset' atmosphere, with the ogres' castle in the distance - but found the two animals rather strange, although Andy did his research and told me that there's a kind of Japanese dog that does look like that, so I have to believe him. And of course, this is a version of a well-known Japanese story - the story of Momotaro, the Peach Boy Writing-wise, I have mixed feelings about these books, as the 'educational' requirement always mean that the text is fiddled with to fit the rules. In the past, I've always enjoyed working with editors - I worked with some brilliant ones, like Anne Carter, and the very eminent, but sadly deceased Wendy Boase, she of the Branford-Boase Prize. This, however, isn't creative editing - i

A Solid Gold Marketing Budget - Andrew Crofts

Browsing through the Financial Times a couple of Saturdays ago I was struck by a full-page colour ad for a couple of books by an author named Nobu Su. One was called “The Gold Man from the East” and the other “Dynasty Escape”. The imagery was very “James Bond” with a hint of infamous artist Banksy’s shredded million pound painting stunt a few months ago. All very sumptuous and eye-catching. Nobu Su, it turns out, is a flamboyant shipping tycoon from Taiwan who believes he was badly ripped off by the banks in the 2008 crash and has written these books to tell his side of the story. More interesting still, however, is his claim that he has invented a process whereby readers can “hire” the e-books from his nobu-store for a few weeks for a few dollars, after which they will disappear from their devices; a smart new take on the good old-fashioned library concept. You can even borrow a book for free for the first couple of hours, (if you are a fast enough reader).

Unprotected Texts and Safe Spaces By Dipika Mukherjee

The festival banner and book display, with heritage buildings reflected in glass. The event is supposed to start at 10.30pm . At night. The blurb advertises: Readings: Unprotected Text   Join us for an intimate session of pegging the patriarchy, wild ‘super’ liberalisms and other kinks. Where words are used to express our deepest wants and desires. For mature audiences only. Readers: Amir Muhammad, Ivan Coyote, Kyoko Yoshida, Regina Ibrahim, Shih-li Kow, Stephanie Dogfoot, William Yang Hosted by: Pang Khee Teik I am attending the  Georgetown Literary Festival from November 22-25, 2018 . This is Penang, where open-air food stalls feed hungry hordes well into the night; this is truly a food paradise. I expect most of the festival-goers to be gorging on char kway teow and penang laksa if they are up at all, and I walk into  Gerakbudaya Penang's  spacious bookshop at 10.25, not expecting a crowd. The lovely interior of the bookshop But