Authority with a Capital A

From Warren Ellis Tells His History Of The Authority: What’s John protecting these things from? Authority. With the capital A. These are stories about what authority does to people. about the poison in its foundations. You can substitute Authority for Government, for the Establishment, even for God, and it all means the same thing: someone […]

Music – Powering through the Galaxy

I let Spotify have its head and it brought me to Audiofire Studio’s Beyond the Horizon. I’ve tried the kind of ambient music that always has spaceships on the album cover before, but not really clicked with it. Beyond the Horizon has more energy to it and hit the right spot. I downloaded it onto […]

Collected Links – 26 April 2019

The Dead Beneath London’s Streets: Knowing this was a terrific inspiration for the Hawthorn House series. Everywhere you go in London, there are layers and layers of history, many of them burial sites. Semiramis, legendary queen of Assyria: The original warrior queen, in a period where only the strongest killers survived. Me and historical research […]

How Close to Darth Vader is Too Close to Darth Vader?

Stephen Erikson, author of enormous Malazan series, wrote a blog post about the uses of psychic distance from a character. Or, to put it another way, he started writing Gardens of the Moon from Andomander Rake’s perspective. Then he restarted it from the perspective of other people around Rake. Result: Anomander Rake comes across as […]

Bad Soul by David Bussell & MV Stott

Erin Banks is a woman with an acid nature, a self-destructive streak, a bare minimum of morals and magical tattoos that boost her strength. When a demon approaches her with a deal, he offers her the one thing she won’t say no to: information on how her little brother disappeared when they were both children. […]

Collected Links – 11 January 2019

No maps, this time. Fictional worlds and fandoms instead. Why the Culture Wins: An Appreciation of Iain M. Banks: I may never know if it was intentional or not, but there was an argument of sorts across the body of Banks’ work. The Culture might be what you imagine as the ultimate endpoint of cultural […]

The 2018 Retrospective

In software engineering we do two-week sprints, in which we commit to two weeks of work. At the end of it, we have a retrospective, where we assess what went well and what didn’t. I borrow a lot of my day job’s workflow management practices for my writing. The retrospective, I’m sure, will be as […]

Collected Links – 14 December 2018

J.R.R. Tolkien’s Ainulindalë: A stunning visual adaptation of the first chapter of the Silmarillion, in which Tolkien’s world is created. I first came across this a couple of years ago and recently found it in my inbox while digging through old emails. World Axis Cosmology: Sticking with cosmologies, this one belongs to the fourth edition […]

Collected Links – 30 November 2018

The Railway Mania of the 1840s: Railway company after railway company, a speculative bubble that eventually burst. All the usual foolishness and ruin of a financial bubble, but unusually with one tangible result: an extensive British railway system. What did the Earth look like X million years ago? See the continents shift across millions of […]