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About Brian Aldiss

 

When childhood dies, its corpses are called adults.

Brian Aldiss

I just can’t Not Love an author quoted to say things like that.

Brian Aldiss is a character, as you can see from the interviews I linked below. He likes to provoke a reaction, and has been known to openly criticise the British literary establishment and its disdain for ‘genre’  – but Aldiss also doesn’t approve of genre-only readers.

…”I [the interviewer] quote to him something he wrote in 1990: “Just as the [literary] establishment is philistine about science, the bulk of the science-fiction readership is philistine about literature.” “Ha!” he cries gleefully, “offends both parties.”…

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/books/authors/brian-aldiss-pioneer-of-british-sci-fi-

 

And he has always known the value of the what-ifs and speculative fiction and how vast and fruitful the scifi genre could be. It’s more than just space ships and flights of fancy, new world with new creatures: more a mirror of what could be, or should be, if norms were challenged, or refused.

…”while it [science fiction] may take place in an alternate or future world, it deals with the present.”…

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/books/authors/The-World-Of-Brian-Aldiss/interview/

Brian Aldiss’ website is here, with all the information you can wish for, journals extracts, blog, latest publications and snippets of past and new work.

You can also find a detailed list of his work in the ISFDB, here.

What do you think?

Suggestions for reading*:

The Moment of Eclipse – short stories collection, this one from the 70s, but any of his collections, really.

Hothouse – symbiosis! With fungi!

NonStop – familiar seen by primitive eyes…

*it’s been several years since I read his books, so I will have to have a re-read before I can be more specific 🙂

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Filed under Authors, Fiction, Genre, Links, Quotes and Quotations

Ursula Le Guin Gives Insightful Writing Advice in Her Free Online Workshop | Open Culture

I didn’t know about this, but Le Guin offering advice is not to miss.

I think speculative fiction is a great term: it unites genre and literary senses, the best of both worlds!

Though it’s sometimes regarded as a pretentious-sounding term for genre writers who don’t want to associate with genre, I’ve always liked the phrase ‘speculative fiction.

J.G. Ballard, Philip K.

(image by Gorthian, via Wikimedia Commons)

Source: Ursula Le Guin Gives Insightful Writing Advice in Her Free Online Workshop | Open Culture

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The 100 Best Websites for Writers in 2016 – The Write Life

The internet is chock-full of writing resources, advice, guides and more.

I always found the website Write to Done quite informative, but there are many others on this list that may be suited to you and your writing path.

Very nicely, The Write Life has put together a list of 100 useful websites.

“Kick your writing career into high gear with this year’s list of the best writing websites.”

Source: The 100 Best Websites for Writers in 2016 – The Write Life

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The Five Elements of a Story Source -… – The Writer’s Circle

Source: The Five Elements of a Story Source -… – The Writer’s Circle

5 story elements

Apart from the fact that I love diagrams, this one is delightfully non-prescriptive and makes you think (as a writer) about all the possibilities and layers you can have in your stories.

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Traditional Japanese art and cats

I love both. Traditional Ukiyo-e Japanese art, waterbased inks and  block-printing technique – something that definitely inspired me since a young age, and something I plan on practicing a lot more and soon.

And cats! I love all sorts of pets, and cats are funny, and very inspiring.

This is an article on the exhibition Life of Cats – there is also a link to a virtual tour of the art.

Cats and Japanese block-printing ukuyo-e prints

Do you have any favourites? I’m intrigued by the relations between humans and pets, and art is a beautiful way to explore it.

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How to use colours in your writing

I’m linking here to a useful table of colours and their meaning. Whether you use it to identify a character with a specific colour, or to envision her environment, or clothing, knowing the meaning of colours will give your writing (or drawing) a little extra.

colours

You can find the full table HERE

In other news, I’ve been working a lot, fell into Tumblr, and working more, hence lack of regular posting. My apologies!

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Self publishing tools: PressBooks and ISSUU

As the market evolves, so do the tools available to writers.

Personally, for the moment I’m pursuing traditional publication. However, I do not exclude that in the future I may want to publish something independently: I see no reasons why (and I haven’t read to the contrary) not to experiment with both options.

Self publishing is not considered vanity publishing anymore (although for some still is, but equally, not all traditionally published books are golden), and it does allow for more personal experimentation, both in terms of narrative, content and marketing strategies.

I came across two interesting looking tools, both free at the basic level (of course there always premium options to pay for, if one wants more themes, formats, etc), covering most I think of the digital publication modes and platforms available:

PressBooks

ISSUU

I haven’t tried any of these yet, but I thought you may want to look into them if you’re thinking of self-publishing. They both come highly recommended (various sources, articles, etc), and seem relatively easy to use (usual procedure: register a free account, start uploading/choose your options, etc).

Once I’ve used them, I’ll write a review. If you know of similar tools/softwares, do share 🙂

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