Science-Fiction/Double Feature

This week I thought I’d give you a double feature post.

So, first of all I have to tell you my news: I’m having another story published. How cool is that!

I discovered the sci-fi journal Shoreline of Infinity a while back and subscribed to their newsletter. In one of their emails, there was a call for submissions to a competition. The brief was to create a six word sci-fi story. I thought that’d be fun, so I gave it a go.

Writing mini-micro-fiction may seem like an easy task, but it’s pretty tricky crafting a complete story with such an extremely tight word count. But mine got picked. I got an email this week letting me know my teeny-weeny story was in! There were just three winners, so I’m pretty chuffed.

If you want to read it and also read a great sci-fi magazine, check out this link to Shoreline of Infinity no. 13. It will be released on 27th September 2018.

Shoreline of Infinity 13

I’ve always loved science-fiction. I can’t exactly remember the first sci-fi book I read, probably one of my older brother’s Arthur C Clark books or even Z for Zachariah by Robert C O’Brien at school. But I quickly read everything I could find. I’ve still got my old battered copy of Douglas Adams’ Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency and an old hardback version of the first four parts of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy trilogy! So funny.

And I’ve been reading the British comic 2000AD since I first fell in love with Durham Red back in 1987. The comics in the image are the actual first two 2000Ads I bought. Amazing, classic Strontium Dogs and Slaine. It’s a great comic and reading it for so long you really see how the characters grow and develop. The writing is just amazing at times, a beautiful mix of horror, satire, humour and violence, with great pictures too.

As for books, it’s hard for me to pick a favourite book or author, after-all that is like picking a favourite anything. It all depends on context. How would I pick one favourite sci-fi? After all, ‘favourite’ could be because of the way it describes the future environment, what could go wrong, or what could go right, or it could be my favourite because of the idea behind it, the humour, the sheer delightfulness of the way the words have been put together, or all of these elements. There are so many reasons for a favourite! I have heaps of favourites. I don’t like to pick just one (how boring), but if I was only allowed to chose three sci-fi books, I would pick these three, in no particular order, of course.

First of all, I’d choose Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood. This will be because her dystopian future and the way it happens is so very possible. Scarily so. Well, no spoilers, but read it! I didn’t love the whole series, but for me this first book was just ‘wow’.

Another definite must on my three book list would be Anthony Burgess’ Clockwork Orange. What an amazing book, the things he does with words are just horrorshow! If I could write like that I would be so happy. Great book.

And then there’s Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut. It was one of the first books I read when I came to New Zealand. He is so bitterly funny and smart.

Then, being me and not very good at narrowing it down to three, I suppose there is also Spares by Michael Marshall Smith. What a twisted little book. He creates massive spaces with his words and some ideas that just play on your mind, always. Yes, I’m talking about The Gap! And, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. That blew my young little mind when I read it. I’d never read anything like it before.

And, and, and… in a few days, after I’ve thought about this some more, I’ll probably think of heaps more to add, but these have been my specific favourites for a while now. Although I can’t talk about sci-fi without mentioning my other loves: Ursula Le Guin, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, Philip K. Dick, H.P. Lovecraft, George Orwell. And there are new writers, the list really does go on! I find one of the difficulties with writing is that I also love reading. Trying to maintain that balance between input and output is a delicate one. There are so many amazing things to read, and this is just the sci-fi genre, and just books, there are also films!

Finally, the title of this post, of course, pays homage to the opening song of Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I watched that again recently with some friends and I just couldn’t talk about science-fiction without mentioning it. It’s ridiculous fun. If you haven’t seen it, give it a go.

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