Soundtrack to a Genre #1: “Beyond the Sea”

This may be part of a series or it may just end here if I don’t come up with any more. As sci-fi, fantasy and horror fans, do you notice when some songs turn up again and again in the genre? I guess I do otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this post. None has stuck in my mind more than Bobby Darin’s Beyond the Sea (or other versions of it) where I have experienced it no less than three times in speculative fiction. Wikipedia lists more instances than that but I’ll discuss my own experiences. Continue reading “Soundtrack to a Genre #1: “Beyond the Sea””

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A Coming of Age Story Perfect for Spring

Despite that spring is my favourite season, it seems that I’ve written few stories set during the three months between the end of March and June. It’s a period that defines new life, a new start, new beginnings and people tend to be blessed with a certain air of positivity and relaxation. Spring for me means bees and cider (amongst other things!) What sort of a new beginnings can we explore in our fiction? Continue reading “A Coming of Age Story Perfect for Spring”

Book Review: Survivors by Terry Nation

This is the original book on which two BBC TV series were based. The first ran for three seasons between 1975-77. The second ran for two seasons between 2008-10 before being killed on a cliffhanger. Post-apocalyptic stories are nothing new and the idea behind it is one of the most enduring – a disease that wipes out 99.99% of the population. Continue reading “Book Review: Survivors by Terry Nation”

Science Fiction’s Sub-Genres in a Nutshell (Part 1)

To the uninitiated, science fiction is about space battles and exploring planets full of strange and wonderful creatures. Yet science fiction has never “just” been about spaceships and alien planets. That is just one subgenre of our weird and wonderful genre. There are many more and you might be surprised at some books and films that are classed as scifi. Continue reading “Science Fiction’s Sub-Genres in a Nutshell (Part 1)”

Is Modern TV a Case of “Books on the Screen”?

Is it just me or has there been a cosmic shift in television dramas (particularly sci-fi) in the last few years? Have you noticed? Go back over modern television – go back perhaps 30 years and those ongoing sci-fi series tended to be a “monster of the week” type serials. The endless Trek spin- offs, Andromeda, to a certain extent Stargate SG-1, Buffy, Charmed… all of them had a running thread but each week the story would be (with the exception of the occasional two-parter) wrapped up in those 45 minutes. Continue reading “Is Modern TV a Case of “Books on the Screen”?”

how will the walking dead end

How Will The Walking Dead End?

By now, we have probably all seen the explosive and shocking season 7 opener. For most of us, perhaps the revelation of precisely whom Negan killed did not come as a surprise (don’t worry, I won’t spoil it). Since last season, I think there has been a general feeling that The Walking Dead had become stale and formulaic.  I started to think about how the show might eventually end. Continue reading “How Will The Walking Dead End?”

Book Review: Dark Eden by Chris Beckett

I saw Dark Eden advertised in SFX magazine a few years ago and added it to my mental wish list. It sounded my sort of thing and I eventually bought it on Kindle. A tale of strange alien worlds and life forms, exotic yet hostile, beautiful yet problematic about a small colony trying to survive. It sounded my sort of thing. Continue reading “Book Review: Dark Eden by Chris Beckett”

Book Review: The Long Earth by Stephen Baxter and Terry Pratchett

It’s not very often I like fusion fiction like this. Pratchett was a well-known fantasy writer, most famous for Discworld. Stephen Baxter writes hard science fiction so they are hardly the best of bedfellows. Yet come together they did and they’ve created a (largely) fun romp about dimension travel. Continue reading “Book Review: The Long Earth by Stephen Baxter and Terry Pratchett”