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Do you love geography?

One of the best things about being a fiction writer is the ability to set stories literally anywhere on earth, in space, on other worlds and in world that never existed outside of your own imagination. For me, that means I can choose a setting at geographically interesting places. I’ve always loved maps. I must […]

Writing in lockdown

It’s now the—what? 6th?—week of isolation and #covisolation, and I’m used to it. I don’t mind having to stay in, and work from my house. I have a very nice house. I have put a lot of work into it. It looks beautiful. It’s got my wife, my son, and now three cats (I know). […]

I wonder if this is how Europeans felt in 1331

Covid-19 is far from the first pandemic the world has faced. The bubonic plague first emerged in history during the sixth century CE. Called the Plague of Justinian, it spread rapidly around the Mediterranean, the Eastern Roman Empire and the Sassanian Empire, killing off an estimated one-third of the population. Some estimates put the death […]

Words during quarantine-time

This is one of those times that clarifies the word surreal. To qualify: I’m neither in quarantine nor isolation. I have no symptoms. I have not been near anyone with symptoms. I have not travelled in over a month. The whole family is healthy and safe. But life is certainly different. Driving to the grocery […]

What does "show, don't tell" mean?

  Characters are what stories are about. Plot is essential—we had to have a story to tell. Something has to happen, something that matters to you, the readers. But it has to happen to someone we care about, or identify with, or connect to in some way. That connection has to happen on an emotional […]

I’m back

A lot of time has passed since my last blog post—four months. A third of a year! To tell you the truth, often during the first two months of that time, I wondered myself what was standing between me and updating my blog. I put it down to having too much other (paying) work to […]

Frightful Friday: The Vampire machine

This #spooktober, I’m re-publishing some light, Hallowe’en-related stories. This one first appeared on another blog some years ago, and I present it again here for your spooky pleasure. Let me know in the Comments whether you liked it. The power went out with drawn-out squeaks from every electronic device in the house. Rodney noticed the […]

Why Hallowe'en? Because we love to see fear in the mirror

  Ebola. Totalitarianism. Pandemic. Mass migration. Climate change. Terrorism. Judging from hyperbole in social media, we are out-and-out terrified of these things. Even to the extent of people getting angry at climate activists for “spreading fear.” We’re afraid of fear, like Franklin Roosevelt said. And yet, at this time of year, we choose to scare ourselves […]