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Who says you can’t establish your own country?

Calling all future seasteaders. A wonderful article in the Independent by the first journalist to stay overnight on the Independent Principality of Sealand – a Second World War anti-aircraft fortress off the UK coast that’s been an unofficial micro-nation since the 1960s. Seven miles off the coast of Suffolk,

Reading the Rocket: Best Novel

Are there any recent SF novels as good as The Three-Body Problem? Novels with world-changing ideas? Wild sweeps of imagination? Nail-clenching consequences for the characters? The ability to inspire my younger self to a passion for science? Published post-2010 and in the English language… Going by the rest of

Reading the Rockets – Best Graphic Story

I’m currently reading and ranking the Hugo Award nominees for 2015 and I’ve moved onto ranking Best Graphic Story in ascending order (worst to best). I’m not a regular reader of graphic novels and it’s hard for me to review these titles on their own merits. I have the

Reading the Rockets – Best Short Story

If you’re interested in reading science fiction, you’ll know about the Sad/Rabid Puppies controversy that’s dogged this year’s Hugo Awards. The furore encouraged me to buy my first supporting membership, which gives me the right to vote for the prize winners. I’m currently reading my way through

Five Guides for Puzzled Writers

Given the choice between reading a book about doing something… or doing that thing, I opt for the book every time. Which explains why I must have opened every ‘How to Write Fiction’ book ever written. Opened… Read a couple of pages. And – in

Sad Puppies: Some Numbers

Nathaniel Givens at Difficult Run has done some fascinating data analysis on the 2015 Hugo Awards/Sad Puppies controversy. Among other things, he writes: Back in 2013 a Tor UK editor actually divulged the gender breakdown of the submissions they receive by genre. So, over the history of the

I am reality, hear me roar…

During my MFA in creative writing, I had a few critique sessions with a Costa-Award-winning novelist. I learned a lot from him since, unlike most lecturers, who nodded sagely while the class gave feedback, he talked while we shut up. He was a successful literary writer, we weren’t, and learning from