Maybe the Scramblers Have a Point

“Imagine you’re a scrambler.” With those four words, Peter Watts’s character Siri Keaton kicks off the final major epiphany of his science fiction masterpiece about first contact, Blindsight. It’s why the aliens have come, and why they’re so inscrutable to the master interpreter, Susan James. Ultimately, we realize the aliens, which the crew name “Scramblers,” […]

Adele, by Leila Slimani: Vapid and Lacking

Adele by Leila Slimani is one of those books that I so desperately wanted to like based on the reviews, and ended up absolutely loathing based on the actual content. It’s a book-length bit of New Yorker fiction, you know the type: contemporary, moody, and pointless. meaningful plot. If a story is what happened, and […]

Sequels must be in a different genre to work

So, the subject of Alien and Aliens came up again, and I want to circle back to something I wrote awhile ago., in which I excoriated a writing teacher for completely missing the point of Ripley’s character. In the first movie, Ripley is the executive officer of the starship Nostromo, in charge of an active […]

A Little Fall Cleaning

Today I engaged in a little “fall” cleaning. This post is somewhat technical, a changelog explaining, if only to myself, what I did to my story collection this Fall to clean up some internal details. The wonderful consistency of my story mini-sites is due to a very simple thing: I’ve been using rendering templates for […]

How Well-Structured Are My Novels?

I’ve been spending some time recently cleaning up my “How to write” folder. That’s literally what it is, a folder with a bunch of “Here’s how to plot a novel” spreadsheets from various people, lists of themes and show formulas, and lots of general advice on how to write a book. I was wondering how […]

keep looking »