SF is hard to write. If it wasn't, it wouldn't be so rewarding to write well.
A peek into the future: the first version of the cover for my novel "Flight of the Vajra".
The first draft has ended. The rewrite approaches.
The technology of writing makes it easier to reach for the stars -- but it can't make up for the will to do the reaching.
Sorry, no-Vember sprint for me. (And some notes on those who flip up their noses at the NNWM sprinters.)
The peculiar difficulties of the second draft, especially for a writer in the 21st century.
What I listen to when I should be working, and what I listen to when I am actually working.
Who's up for swapping their PC for a typewriter and a looseleaf binder?
Creative innovation vs. audience alienation.
Why it's sometimes hard to speak up for your own work, even if you're clearly supposed to do so.
"If you don't like it, make one yourself" is not a valid argument.
Why SF&F make things up as they go along, for better or worse.
SF's big weakness: worlds without much in the way of people.
The skin of a story, and what lies under it, in SF and elsewhere.
"... real talent manifests itself not in a writer's affectation but 'in the exactness of his observation [and] the justice of his situations.'"
Lev Grossman on why genres aren't evil.
In the end, SF is always about the humans -- especially the humans reading your work.
What is it that a book does better than a movie? Especially when it's SF?
What's "ambitious" about a work of fiction? Hint: it isn't the length or the size of the dramatis personae.
On the "relevance" question in fiction, especially SF.
Just enough is more, especially when showing as opposed to telling.
Why philosophical fiction doesn't have to be boring -- and why SF&F provides an ideal field for such work.
A four-quadrant approach to writing: making it both fun and deep.
What SF&F and literary fiction have to teach each other -- and what to do about them talking past each other, or learning the wrong lessons. A first attempt at stating the problem.
"Your work should speak for itself."
"You will not be boring. Or at least you’ll do your best not to be boring." What, then, does it mean to be boring?
"Be consistent with your own aims." If your world falls apart, it had better be for a good reason.
"Write to be read." So what makes some writers willfully defy such a convention?
"Don't leave the reader feeling cheated," and how it's possible to do that as both an SF&F writer and a "straight" fiction writer.
"No grey goo" -- don't strand us in a landscape of emptiness and nothingness unless you have a really, really good reason for it. Here are what some of those reasons might be.
"Don't write agitprop" - but first, know what it is and what stands in contrast to it.
On Human Wave SF's 2nd conceit: "Do not inspire loathing." But how can we point the way to the future without being a Pollyanna?
On Human Wave SF's first conceit: "Be entertaining!" Pitfall or paradigm?
How dystopia is just our way of saying "if you seek a monument..."
For a while I've been struggling with a sort-of manifesto that I was going to use as a banner for Genji Press (and especially Fight of the Vajra). Then Sarah Hoyt came along and beat me to it, at least...
Being plugged in has already become a way of life. Does it just get worse from here?
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be. Or could be. Or something.
Why SF forgets that the way we do our laundry is just as important as the way we travel between the stars.
Fiction isn't just about making stuff up. SF is even less about such things.
If SF is really about "now" rather than the future, does that make it also about contrasting the literature of "now"?
No cellphones in the future, and no computers either. Just connectivity and computation, for better or worse.
Living forever: human aspiration or cosmic crock?
My rationale for why I don't plan to write sequels. (I could be wrong.)
On giving the gift that you made, and on what "making" means.
On character in SF, especially bad character.
When SF addresses religion.
Will they abolish money in the future? Don't bank on it (ho ho).
It's the beginning of a new project, and a new way of talking about it.