Guest Post: “So You Want To Write Military Science Fiction” by William C. Dietz

dietzwc-authorpicSo you’d like to write a military science fiction series. Good. You came to the right place. I’ve written some, and would be happy to share my secrets, the first of which is to understand the true nature of business that you hope to be part of. No, it isn’t the book business. What you’re planning to do is join the entertainment industry.

In addition to books you’re going to compete with movies, TV, and social media for eyeballs and dollars. Oh, and while you do that, pirates will steal your stuff, fans will give you one-star reviews because “the book costs too much,” and Amazon will offer cheap used copies right next to the new ones. And guess what? You won’t make a cent off them. Continue reading

Guest Post: “On Worldbuilding” by Rhonda Mason

masonr-authorpicIn the beginning, there was the protagonist, and the author saw that it was good.

My worldbuilding process starts after the creation of the protagonist, never before. I write novels to tell the story of a person, not the story of a world, and all of my novels have sprung from a first impression of the main character. For The Empress Game trilogy it was an image of Kayla holding a kris dagger in each hand, fighting another woman in a pit while criminals cheered her on.

Once I have that first impression of a character, the worldbuilding begins. Who is she? (The exiled princess from a rival planet) Where is she? (Hidden on the slum side of her hated enemy’s border planet) Why is she there? (Trying to raise credits to buy passage back to her homeworld) And, most importantly, why is she special? Why are we telling her story, and not someone else’s? Continue reading

Guest Post: “New Voices” by Mark Morris

morrism-authorpicThe horror genre is in fine fettle at the moment. In fact, I can’t remember a time when the work being produced has been more wide-ranging, inventive and exciting. This is not only due to the fact that established names like Stephen King, Ramsey Campbell, Tim Lebbon, Joe R. Lansdale, Adam Nevill and Stephen Volk are continuing to produce excellent work, but is also because a huge influx of new writers has ensured that if the genre was a bar or a club, then it would be the coolest, most vibrant place in town in which to hang out.

Some of the genre’s newer writers seem to have become instantly successful, and it’s wonderful to see the likes of Josh Malerman’s BirdBox, Andrew Michael Hurley’s The Loney, Catriona Ward’s Rawblood, Nick Cutter’s The Troop and The Deep, and Sarah Lotz’s The Three and Day Four on sale in supermarkets and piled up on promotional display tables in Waterstones.

What’s also heartening is that writers who have been around for a while, their work illuminating the small presses and gaining praise, honours and fans along the way, now seem to be breaking through into the mainstream too. Continue reading

Excerpt: THE VANISHING YEAR by Kate Moretti (Titan)

morettik-vanishingyearAs part of the blog tour celebrating the release of Kate Moretti‘s The Vanishing Year, Titan Books has given us a short excerpt from the new thriller. First, though, here’s the synopsis:

Zoe Whittaker appears to have a charmed life. Newly married to a rich and attentive man, she has the best of everything.

But five years ago, Zoe’s life was in danger. Because back then, Zoe wasn’t Zoe at all.

When an attempt is made on her life, Zoe fears that her past has caught up with her. But who can she ask for help when even her own husband doesn’t know her real name?

Zoe must decide who she can trust before she — whoever she is — vanishes completely…

And now, on to the excerpt… Continue reading

Interview with BENNETT R. COLES

colesbr-authorpic2Let’s start with an introduction: Who is Bennett R. Coles?

Thanks for having me on the site. Who am I? Well, for starters I’m a military SF author who’s been lucky enough to have a shot at the writing big leagues. I served fifteen years as an officer in the Royal Canadian Navy and got to do a whole bunch of cool things – driving ships, firing missiles, leading boarding parties – that served as rich inspiration for writing. I live in Victoria, Canada, with my wife and two sons, and when I’m not writing I run a small publishing house called Promontory Press.

Your next novel, Ghosts of War, was recently published by Titan. As the sequel to Virtues of War, how would you introduce it to a potential new reader? And what can fans of the first expect from the sequel?

Ghosts of War is a stand-alone novel that picks up the tale of our heroes from Virtues of War and primarily explores this question: what happens to young men and women when they come home from war for the first time? How do they reintegrate into “regular” society, and how do they deal with their own emotional trauma amongst people who can’t possibly understand? Ghosts of War is a character-driven story with a plot that is propelled forward primarily by drama and intrigue. It still has military action and loads of suspense, but fans of Virtues of War shouldn’t expect a carbon-copy repeat of the relentless pacing of Book I. Continue reading

Excerpt: LAWLESS AND THE FLOWERS OF SIN by William Sutton (Titan)

SuttonW-Lawless&TheFlowersOfSinToday, we have an excerpt from William Sutton‘s second Victorian crime novel, Lawless and the Flowers of Sin. Recently published by Titan Books, it’s the sequel to Lawless and the Devil of Euston Square.

Here’s the synopsis:

It is 1863, and as a reluctant Inspector of Vice, Campbell Lawless undertakes a reckoning of London’s houses of ill repute, a shadowy netherworld of frayed glamour and double standards, mesmerising and unspeakable by turns.

From the erotic booksellers of Holywell Street to the alleys of Haymarket, he discovers backstreet cast-offs and casualties of the society bordellos, and becomes fascinated by a musician who has established a foundation for fallen women. But his inquiries draw the attention of powerful men, who can be merciless in defending their reputations. Lawless must unlock the heart of a clandestine network, before he too is silenced…

Read on for the excerpt… Continue reading

Guest Post: “My Top 5 Sci-Fi/Fantasy Books” by Melinda Snodgrass

It was difficult to list my five top science fiction or fantasy books because there are so many books that I have loved. I’m going to make my criteria books that have touched emotionally me rather then books that I think are important in the field so there may be some odd choices.

Snodgrass-TopFiveSFF Continue reading