Dealing with Difficult Themes in #Fiction

Word cloud Via Wordart In writing science fiction, two areas of uncertainty arise before the start. Assuming it’s not Space Opera, the first barrier is the large number of readers who believe all sci-fi involves space wars, forgetting that at least two of the most brilliant works of literature were also science fiction: Aldous Huxley’s …

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Time and the Conways, by J.B. Priestley: #BookReview.

Stage Play script. This exploration of family unity, loyalty and dishonesty is structured through three acts to use time as a clever ingredient of viewing, and attempting to predict, the future. It depicts a typical upper middle-class family of the era, showing the inherent snobbery, their patchy understanding of the world they occupy, and how …

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Translation: Illuminating Cultural Difference.

Just short of a month ago, I wrote a post about Helen, a Chinese woman, translating some of my stories into her language. My hope was that would place my work before a wider readership. But there has been an unexpected and positive additional outcome.I’m no linguist. But I’ve travelled, both within the land of …

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The Nature of Photographs, by Stephen Shore: #BookReview.

136 pagesPhotography Criticism & Essays This is a primer intended for students studying photography at university, but it has something useful to say to anyone interested in what photography truly is and how it can affect our view of the world. It sports numerous photographs to illustrate the textual points made, and explains how photography, …

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The Playboy of the Western World, by J. M. Synge: #BookReview.

First published in 1907, the text of the stage play I read is introduced by a preface from the author. Here, he talks about the language he has used, how and where he encountered it, and why he has employed such colloquial idioms in the work. I can best serve the author’s intent by quoting …

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A Perfect Planet, by Huw Cordey: #BookReview.

324 pagesPhysical Geography/Oceanography This book, a physical reminder of the excellent BBC TV series of the same name, was written by the Series Producer. Subtitled ‘Our One in a Billion World Revealed’, it is an account of the journeys made by the team of camera operators, production staff and other essential crew during the making …

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Wild Horses on the Salt, by Anne Montgomery: #BookReview.

345 pagesWomen’s Action & Adventure/Romance/Contemporary Fiction Having enjoyed Anne Montgomery’s ‘A Light in the Desert’, I thought I’d give this new novel a try. I’ve never been to the USA, and frequently find novels set there both self-congratulatory and full of references that are meaningless to me as a UK reader. But the previous novel …

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The Photograph as Contemporary Art, by Charlotte Cotton: #BookReview.

248 pages Photography Criticism & Essays/Photography Reference/Digital Art. This is an examination of photography employed as a contemporary art medium as things stood approaching 2009 (there’s an updated version from Aug 2020). There has been an ongoing discussion about the validity of photography as a means of such self-expression. Hopefully, that argument has long been …

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Depolarized, by Nick Airus: #BookReview.

272 pagesPerspectives on Law/Government/Civil Liberties & Political Activism Subtitled ‘Transcending the False Left, Right Narrative’ this book is basically a plea for rational discussion to replace the current fashion for polemic and knee-jerk reactions to so many disagreements. It is also much more than this. The world seems to have descended into extreme factions, if …

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The Latest on the New Novel

Picture via Pixabay. Yesterday I received the final edit notes for the new novel. This was the copy edit part, where a super-observant editor with an excellent grasp of the rules of English, goes through the entire book with a fine-tooth comb and picks out all the nits and knots: spelling, punctuation, syntax, grammar, etc. …

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Options: Maye West Mysteries, Book 2, by Brenda Colbath: #BookReview.

231 pagesKidnapping Crime Fiction/Crime Action Fiction/Murder Fiction I came across this author and her books via comments on websites I visit. I tend not to read much crime fiction, but the comments led me to expect a good story from this author. And that was the case. The story is full of action, conflict, some …

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Crimes and Impunity in New Orleans, by Sherrie Miranda: #BookReview.

353 pages: Women’s Crime Fiction/Coming of Age Fiction/Women’s Contemporary Fiction (It should, perhaps, also be included in ‘Political and Historical Fiction) Subtitled ‘Shelly’s Journey Begins’, this book is a prequal to the authors debut thriller ‘Secrets and Lies in El Salvador’, which I’ve also read and reviewed. Both books are well worth anyone’s cash and …

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The Pleasures and Pains of #Editing.

It’s been a long slog, but it’s finally done! My latest novel deals with contentious themes and these proved a source of much discussion between me and my publisher’s editors. Usually, editing of my work has consisted in minor grammatical, structural and vocabulary changes. Nothing substantial, as the characters have always been accepted as well-rounded …

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Boxed In, by Penny Grubb: #BookReview.

384 PagesWomen Writers and Fiction/Thrillers This is the latest in the Annie Raymond series, and, as usual, worth waiting for. As someone who doesn’t read much crime fiction, I’ve always enjoyed this series of crime novels, which is probably explained by the excellent writing and the way Penny Grubb delivers her characters.In this story, Annie’s …

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The Father I Never Knew

Kenneth Burden He died on this date in 1948, just 16 days before I was born, so I never met the man my mother always called ‘Daddy Ken’. She described him as a kind and wonderful man who never had a bad word for anyone. He spent his adult life as a car mechanic and …

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