Features

In addition to straightforward, regular, mundane blogging, I wanted to intersperse articles that adhered to certain themes, like featured columns in a magazine. Some of the features that I came up with are described below.

Writing Tips

Every Wednesday, I post a writing tip. I hope they help others as much as they’ve helped me. Check them out!

Inspiration

Are you stuck for ideas for your next story? Well, I’ve got just the thing for that. Each week, I post interesting images to set your brain on fire.

Keener Book Club

The field of speculative fiction has expanded dramatically in recent years, encompassing YA, hard science fiction, military science fiction, urban fantasy, horror, steampunk and other categories. It’s possible for readers (and writers) to perch comfortably in a niche and never experience any of the other joys that the field may offer.

To fight such narrowness in focus, I’ve created my own Keener Book Club, where each month I recommend one contemporary novel, one noteworthy older novel (generally more than twenty years old) and one piece of short fiction from any era.

Forgotten Gems

Books are published, and then eventually they disappear from the bookshelves of our favorite bookstores. After a while, unless the author is prolific or the work has won a prominent award, they vanish in the mists of time. There are some real gems out there, though, that deserve to be remembered. Here are some of those gems:

Time Warp

Some of the best science fiction and fantasy that’s published exists in shorter formats such as short stories, novelettes and novellas; these stories often appear only in magazines and anthologies that quickly go out-of-print. In these articles, I visit a particular year via one or more of the “Best of…” anthologies that were published for that year, highlighting some of the best stories that are still worth reading today.

 Key anthology series include:

Isaac Asimov Presents The Great SF Stories
   #1 – 25 (covering 1939 – 1963; pub. 1979 – 1992)
   Edited by Isaac Asimov and Martin H. Greenberg
The Year’s Best SF
   (1956 – 1967)
   Edited by Judith Merril
World’s Best Science Fiction
   (1965 – 1971)
   Edited by Donald A. Wollheim and Terry Carr
Best Science Fiction of the Year
   #1 – #16 (1972 – 1987)
   Edited by Terry Carr
The Annual World’s Best SF
   (1972 – 1990)
   Edited by Donald A. Wollheim and Arthur W. Saha
Best Science Fiction Stories of the Year
   (1972 – 1976)
   Edited by Lester Del Rey
Stellar
   #1 – #7 (1974 – 1981), + Short Novels (1976)
   Edited by Judy-Lynn Del Rey
Year’s Best SF
   #1 – #17 (1996 – 2012)
   Edited by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer

Coming Soon: (in no particular order)

1972 — Via Best Science Fiction of the Year #2
1972 — Via Best Science Fiction Stories of the Year #2
1973 — Via Best Science Fiction of the Year #3
1956 — Via Isaac Asimov Presents The Great SF Stories #18 (1956)
1964 — Via The Year’s Best SF: 10th Annual Edition
1967 — Via World’s Best SF: Fourth Series (1968)
1980 — Via Best Science Fiction of the Year #10
1983 — Via The 1984 Annual World’s Best SF
1985 — Via The 1986 Annual World’s Best SF
1989 — Via The 1990 Annual World’s Best SF

Fix-It

Somebody, call the doctor. You’ve just seen a science fiction television show or movie that was just awful. The producers clearly didn’t understand world-building, character development or the logical consistency required to support the underlying premise of their show. In these articles, I analyze the “patient” and provide concrete suggestions on how the show or movie could have been improved into something that SF aficionados don’t have to cringe at.

Check out the in-depth analysis of:

Future subjects will include:

  • New Amsterdam
  • Terra Nova