So I’m having something of a strange week.
I’ve always been a weirdness magnet. Strange things just keep happening to me wherever I am, and I don’t really get much of a say in the matter.
Still, this week’s been one of those weeks. Continue reading
Since I’ve already written about political unions in the past, the inescapable news that the UK has narrowly voted for “Brexit”, the UK’s exit from the European Union, would seem to have me stuck retreading ground and discussing the same thing all over again, only with a slightly gloomier outlook.
However, one of the interesting things to emerge post-referendum is the demographics of those who voted; broadly speaking, the young were most likely to vote remain, and the old were most likely to vote to leave. This shows a huge divide between the generations in our society – might your fictional society have a similar divide? Continue reading
It’s probably something about me that I genuinely enjoy doing the research aspects of writing. Not so much as the actual writing parts, naturally, though much of it is easier. The strange and wonderful things that you can find when just reading around a topic just serve to reaffirm the idea that the past is another country.
Doing some research for my current WIP, Airborne Empire, I found one such wonderful piece of information. Continue reading
With 2016 continuing to be the year of death, losing David Bowie, Prince, Harper Lee, Alan Rickman, Victoria Wood, Ronnie Corbett, Terry Wogan, Admiral Ackbar, and what seems to be the majority of the western hemisphere, death is the one thing that all societies have to deal with (unless your society is one of omnipotent immortals, à la Michael Moorcock’s Dancers at the End of Time, naturally).
How they view death in a philosophical sense, and how they deal with the practical side, can vary wildly, and can also tell us a great deal about the kind of society we are dealing with. Is death something to be feared, or something to embrace? Is a funeral a solemn ceremony, a cheerful celebration of a life, or a clinical procedure? Let’s take a look. Continue reading
Over in the US, the presidential primaries are still making news as millions of ordinary citizens vote on who may become their party’s next presidential candidate. Meanwhile in the UK, the fallout of Prime Minister David Cameron’s involvement in the Panama Papers tax scandal as well as the upcoming EU referendum is prompting some commentators to suggest that he may soon be forced to resign. Should he do so, it will be his party, not the public, who will decide on his replacement.
This highlights two different ways of electing a leader; directly and indirectly – and knowing how a leader is elected can add a new level of political intrigue to your fictional setting. Does your leader need to convince the people, or just his party? Let’s take a look. Continue reading
Isn’t it strange that time just disappears? Since I’ve stopped teaching, I’m noticing more and more that entire days and weeks can just zip by without leaving so much as a distinct memory, let alone a sense of accomplishment.
Who says time flies when having fun? Maybe the normal speed for time is stuck on the fast setting, but nobody’s really noticed because they hate their jobs so it’s all slowed down as a consequence. Perhaps celebrities have a reputation for not being the brightest pencils in the shed because they’ve spent so little time doing the boring things, and as a consequence have had much less time to learn things. Unlikely, I know, but why should the physicists be the only ones who get to speculate about the nature of time? Continue reading
Foxdog Studios manage the impossible. They take musical comedy, IT consultancy and PAT testing, and somehow slam them together into something astonishingly entertaining. From the ludicrously complex set-up (involving multiple computers, wireless networks and miles of trailing cables) to the impressively bizarre set-pieces, Foxdog Studios are an absolutely unique act. Continue reading