Here is our weekly round-up of interesting links about indie speculative fiction from around the web:
Speculative fiction in general:
- Shaun Duke discusses the purpose of science fiction (and technically, fantasy).
- YA writer Scott Westerfeld discusses the question what are novels.
- At Grantland, Jason Concepcion explains why dystopian fiction is the new western.
- The Weird Fiction Review offers a brief history of sex in weird fiction.
- C.P.D. Harris talks about the art of recommending fantasy books.
- At iO9, Esther Inglis Arkell talks about ten lessons that fictional dystopias and their topplers can learn from real life revolutions.
- Inspired by the above post, Cora Buhlert talks about realism and revolutions in science fiction.
- South African writer Nick Wood has a great post about underlying meanings and writing through illness, pain and disability.
- At SF Signal, various writers talk about books that carried them out of their comfort zone and persuaded them to try new genres and subgenres.
- Heather Massey talks about Steampunk gadgets.
- Elizabeth Bear talks about her least favourite trope.
Writing and marketing:
- The New Republic reprints George Orwell's classic essay "Politics and the English Language" 68 years after its first publication.
- Urban fantasy writer Kyoko M. talks about the things Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden told her about writing.
- Steve Vernon talks about doors and writing.
- Lexi Revellian talks about tired tropes in fiction.
- Patty Jansen explains how a fears and phobias can be used for characterisation.
- At the Book View Café, Judith Tarr compares horses to aliens and discusses how authors can create more believable aliens by looking at the lifeforms that already exist on Earth.
- Camille Laguire talks about the eight-hour fiction challenge and it can be helpful to clear the brain and just get you writing.
- At SF Signal, Timothy C. Ward discusses the problems and pitfalls of writing authorised fanfiction (in this case for Hugh Howey's Sand) and how to solve them.
- At Write Publish Now, Neal Martin offers three ways to improve your writing before you even start.
- At Black Gate, Patty Templeton offers a self-publishing checklist.
- Laura Resnick discusses the importance of cover art and what makes a good cover.
- At the Author Zone, Kas Thomas explains how writers should use Twitter.
- Stuart Whitmore talks about the importance of keywords in marketing your book.
- Michael Brookes interviews Jack Rollins, author of Victorian style horror.
- Judy Goodwin interviews Phronk.
- Judy Goodwin also interviews YA fantasy writer Linda Ulleseit.
- K.J. Bryen interviews SF writer Paul Levinson.
- K.J. Bryen also interviews fantasy writer Robert Dahlen.
- Locus interviews Ann Leckie, author of Ancillary Justice, which won pretty much every genre award out there this year.
- Locus also interviews Nicola Griffith.
Book and movie reviews:
- Michael Patrick Hicks reviews A Vision of Fire by Gillian Anderson (Scully from The X-Files) and Jeff Rovin, author of umpteen geeky reference books.
- Elena Linville reviews City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett.
- Pauline M. Ross reviews the fantasy romance Bound by Kate Sparkes.
- Pauline M. Ross also reviews Fated by Benedict Jacka.
- Michael Patrick Hicks reviews the horror collection Bad Apples - Five Slices of Halloween Horror.
- Michael Patrick Hicks also reviews the horror novella Conduits by Jennifer Loring.
- YA fantasy writer Katherine Langrish offers a reread of Voyage of the Dawn Trader, one of the Narnia novels by C.S. Lewis.
- Fantasy writer Max Gladstone offers a reappreciation of Ghostbusters and explores its connection to the Lovecraftian worldview.
- George Cotronis reviews Buck Wild and In Fear in a bad horror movie double feature.