I have developed a bad habit of getting too hung up on the realism of the fiction I consume.
I don’t mean that it has to portray the real world – I’m a fantasy and sci-fi fan, after all – but I find myself nitpicking anything that looks like a logical flaw in a story.
“That’s stupid,” I say of some character choice or plot point. “Why did this character pal around with that one for half the plot if she was planning to turn on him all along? Why not just kill him at the start and get on with her evil scheme?”
Continue reading “How much realism should you demand from your writing?”
Exciting news! The Australian book launch for Mother of Invention – which includes, you may recall, my first professionally-published short story, ‘Arguing with People on the Internet’ – has been scheduled for 2pm on Sunday 10th June at Continuum Speculative Fiction Convention in Melbourne.
If you want to attend, you will need to have at least a Continuum day membership (they offer a discount if this is your first time attending), but I highly recommend it – Continuum has been a mainstay of the Australian fantasy/sci-fi/horror community for over a decade, and it’s a great experience for writers, readers, media makers and consumers, and any spec fic fan looking to connect further with Melbourne/Australian fandom.
If you’re in the US, of course, you don’t have to wait until June – Mother of Invention is being launched there this very weekend at WisCon. But since I’m not in the US, I guess I’ll have to make do with attending the launch in my very own hometown, at a convention that had been close to my heart for a very long time.
Hope to see you at the launch of my first pro-published work!
This started out as an entertaining tidbit that arose from my recent tour of Versailles (“hee hee, royal sex ed”), which I was originally going to tack on to the end of my last TWIL post. But, as sometimes happens when I try to turn “this cool thing I heard” into “this well-researched and hopefully accurate information I’m willing to share publicly”, the real story turned out to be much more complicated – and, in this case, of much more personal interest – than I had expected.
So today I delve into the historical mystery of: why did it take Louis XVI and his queen Marie-Antoinette seven years to consummate their marriage?
N.B. the following, as well as several of the links included, discusses sex and may be considered NSFW.
Continue reading “This week I learned – the coital quandary of Louis XVI”
I know, I know, I said I was going to post about Louis XVI. He can wait a week.
Last night we had dinner with Ben’s Hungarian relative (we call her that because “mother’s cousins’s ex-wife” is too much of a mouthful) and her Dutch partner. Both of them speak excellent English – they have to, since she doesn’t speak Dutch and he doesn’t speak Hungarian – and before and over dinner the conversation roamed through all sorts of interesting subjects, from personal to political.
And, at one point, we had what I’ve come to think of as The Talk.
Continue reading “The Talk”
I know I normally make these about three different interesting things, but this week I visited Versailles, France, and learned enough things about the eccentricities of Kings Louis XIV-XVI (a.k.a. the last three kings before the French revolution) and their nearest and dearest to fill pages of blog. Here are two stories of Louis XIV and one of Louis XV (or rather, of his most prominent lover) that especially caught my fancy. As for Louis XVI, my favourite story about him has turned intriguing enough to receive its own post next week…
Continue reading “This week I learned – Kings Louis XIV-XV special edition”
Today I read an amateur science-fiction short story that opened by describing at length the twin-sunned planet the protagonist’s ship was orbiting. It then moved on to several paragraphs about the mega-corporation whose employees worked on planets like this, the unfortunate circumstances of said employees, and why they needed the protagonist’s services.
And then the action started with the protagonist arriving at a completely different planet to engage in work that had nothing to do with the corporation or its employees. None of these things was ever mentioned again.
Continue reading “Set-up and pay-off – focusing on what is relevant”