Progress on the WIP: #SciFi in the Making.

This weekend sees the annual science fiction and fantasy shindig in Hull. Fantasticon 2017 is on course to be the best yet. I’ll be there signing copies of War Over Dust and meeting readers as well as fans of all types of gaming in a splendid venue. I’m also partaking in a talk with another …

Continue reading Progress on the WIP: #SciFi in the Making.

The Purple Bowtie, by Lisabeth Reynolds: #BookReview.

[A review is a personal opinion. No reviewer can represent the view of anyone else. The best we can provide is an honest reaction to any given book.]   This book is listed as ‘lesbian romance’. So, what attracted an agnostic, heterosexual man to delve into its pages? The description intrigued me to begin with. …

Continue reading The Purple Bowtie, by Lisabeth Reynolds: #BookReview.

Looking for the Best Word? Tip #52

    Offering help for writers and language learners, this series of posts is a resource for all word lovers. This week’s words: Fabricate, Fairly, Desbundar, Facts of life. Fabricate - Roget lists these headers: compose, produce, imagine, fake. Under the sub-heading ‘fake’ are a further 24 alternatives, including forge, plagiarize, trump up, rig, spin, …

Continue reading Looking for the Best Word? Tip #52

Progress on the WIP: #SciFi in the Making.

So, some small progress made: I’ve added a few notes from further research and ideas that occurred during the week, usually when in bed! At this early stage, while I wait for the story to mature, I restrict my activity to research and those daydreaming sessions that allow the imagination free reign. I won’t start …

Continue reading Progress on the WIP: #SciFi in the Making.

Utopia for Realists, by Rutger Bregman, Reviewed.

This is a book I'd love everyone to read. Really. With its subtitle, ‘And How We Can Get There’, it offers hope for the future. Well written and, with forty pages of bibliography/research annotations, a book that has clearly been thoroughly researched. If you’ve reached that stage where you see a future for humanity in …

Continue reading Utopia for Realists, by Rutger Bregman, Reviewed.

Looking for the Best Word? Tip #51

    Offering help for writers and language learners, this series of posts is a resource for all word lovers. This week’s words: Euphemism, Asyndeton, 9 p.m. at night, can of worms. Euphemism - Roget lists these headers: underestimation, trope, falsehood, ornament, good taste, affectation, flattery, and prudery. Under the sub-heading ‘prudery’ are a further …

Continue reading Looking for the Best Word? Tip #51

Progress on the WIP: #SciFi in the Making.

An offer and a request in one: Many of you have followed the progress of War Over Dust over the months it’s been under construction. I’m now looking for readers who’d be willing to post a review of War Over Dust in exchange for a free copy in ebook format (I can provide .mobi, .pdf, …

Continue reading Progress on the WIP: #SciFi in the Making.

Stuart Aken on Blood Red Dust and the double-edged sword of superlative science fiction

Today, I’m interviewed on this excellent website. Please click the link and have a look.

Joan Barbara Simon Author

The world’s full of easy reads, with a multitude added to the ranks each day. Stuart Aken refuses to be part of that army of writers. He accepts his books, multilayered and often dealing with topics many people would prefer to ignore, aren’t easy to read. I asked him about his approach to writing.

JBS: Do you have a favourite genre in which you write?

SA: Genre: a double-edged sword. It provides clues for readers to help them decide which books they might like to read, of course. But it labels writers, constrains them and, especially if published by the bigger houses, forces them to turn out barely disguised copies of the same book under different titles for the term of their contract.

I find the story chooses the genre, and most of my work doesn’t fit neatly into any one recognised slot. I’ve written work classified as romantic thriller…

View original post 1,680 more words

A Night Shift, by Joshua Scribner: #BookReview.

This short piece of dark fantasy puts a different spin on a popular theme, and carries it through with some dark humour. It’s a compact story, told simply but with great effect. We know as much as we need to about the characters and watch as the tension slowly builds to the denouement, which contains …

Continue reading A Night Shift, by Joshua Scribner: #BookReview.

The Fall of the House of Usher, by Edgar Allan Poe: #BookReview.

It’s dangerous to review a much-loved and respected classic; even more so for an author. So I face this review with some trepidation. The story is, of course, of its time; a period when readers had fewer distractions, were happy to read wordy stories, and were educated enough to understand the subtleties of language. I …

Continue reading The Fall of the House of Usher, by Edgar Allan Poe: #BookReview.