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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Mara’s Awakening by Leo Flynn: #BookReview.

Space Opera/Science Fiction A short story full of action, and written in a style to keep that action moving. The title character is described on the cover as ‘half human, half machine, all badass’, and that comes across in the telling.Although I write science fiction, and read it, I’ve tended to stay clear of space …

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A Lullaby in the Desert, by Mojgan Azar: #BookReview.

296 PagesDiscrimination & Racism/Women’s Biographies/Adventure Stories & Action This is effectively an autobiographical novel, an exceptionally candid and affecting one, as the author followed the same dangers, cruelties and life choices as the fictional narrative subject, Susan. It is not an easy read. But it is a book everyone who can read should.It tells the …

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Bridport Prize 2020 Anthology, by Bridport Arts Centre: #BookReview.

147 pages Literary Anthology This is an anthology of the winning entries for the poetry, short fiction, and flash fiction annual contest held in 2020. It includes the ‘commended’ entries, too.The Bridport is a well-respected international literary competition. Along with other contemporary creative activities, what is considered ‘good’ is down to personal taste. We’ve all …

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Edit Notes: How Do You Deal With Them?

Word cloud created through wordart.com Environment, Capitalism, and Religious Hypocrisy are major themes running through my WIP, a work my publisher’s team of editors recently returned with ‘edit notes’. This wasn’t the usual ‘line edit’ I’ve had in the past and, on reading the notes, I was initially taken aback. My first response was that …

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Futuristic Fiction: #Research for #Writers, Part 17; All the Rest.

Word cloud created via Wordart.com This series began as a way to suggest possible topics for research for those writing fiction set in the future on Earth. The list runs to 100, and so far, I’ve covered 16 in detail. However, it strikes me it might be more productive for writers to tackle those subjects …

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Futuristic Fiction: #Research for #Writers, Part 16, Climate.

The introduction to this series is here. This post looks at Climate. For most writers of future fiction, this is a no-brainer. We’ve made ourselves familiar with the science, understand the realities, know the world is utterly unprepared to deal with what is now correctly termed a ‘climate emergency’. We know governments, Big Business, led …

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The Defiant Spark, by Annie Percik: #BookReview.

346 PagesDark Fantasy Horror/Low Fantasy This work of intelligent imagination takes us on a journey with well-rounded characters into a world of mixed fantasy and science fiction. We’re not told when the story takes place, but that’s not an essential detail: we know we’re in the future, on a probable Earth, and that’s enough of …

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Futuristic Fiction: #Research for #Writers, Part 15, Celebrity.

Taken in the centre of Kos Town. The introduction to this series is here. This post looks at Celebrity. What is a celebrity? The SOED defines it thus: A celebrated person; a (popular) public figure. Everybody from the latest moronic fool in some dreadful ‘reality’ TV show to the most well-known and talented performer in …

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Futuristic Fiction: #Research for #Writers, Part 14, Cars.

Image derived via clipart. You’ll find the introduction to this series here. This post looks at Cars. Globally, we humans are wedded to cars, see them as almost a right. As a means of transport, they combine convenience, privacy, flexibility, and some degree of freedom, no matter how artificial that may be. But they come …

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Futuristic Fiction: #Research for #Writers, Part 13, Capitalism.

 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:G20_capitalism_banner.jpg The introduction to this series is here. This post looks at Capitalism. Okay, so what is capitalism? My go-to dictionary (SOED) defines it thus: ‘The possession of capital or wealth; a system in which private capital or wealth is used in the production or distribution of goods; the dominance of private owners of capital …

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Futuristic Fiction: #Research for #Writers, Part 12, Business.

Photo by Marko Milivojevic on Pixnio You’ll find the introduction to this series here. This post looks at Business. What do we understand by the term ‘business’? In fact, it encompasses a wide range of activities and philosophies. Some people are in business to make improvements to life, some to help others, but most business …

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Futuristic Fiction: #Research for #Writers, Part 11, Blasphemy.

You’ll find the introduction to this series here. This post looks at Blasphemy. Ancient and often arbitrary laws of blasphemy are gradually losing ground throughout most of the civilised world. They remain a threat to free speech in too many countries at present, however. After all, blasphemy, as a matter of law, can only occur …

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Futuristic Fiction: #Research for #Writers, Part 10, Beauty.

You’ll find the introduction to this series here. This post looks at Beauty. Beauty, according to an ancient aphorism, lies in the eye of the beholder. Experience suggests this is so, most of the time. But will our future produce different standards of beauty? We know fashions, trends, local traditions, and beliefs all impact on …

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