Science Fiction: It’s Not About the Money

Quick note before I get started – an illustrator sent this to me over Twitter and it’s absolutely beautiful.  Give him some love if you can.

Science Fiction: It's Not About the Money

As a sci-fi author, I frequently post interesting tidbits about the genre over at /r/scifi and /r/sciencefiction.  Recently, I posted an article in which someone responded ‘the debasement of science fiction continues.’  It’s a fair point: I’m just as irritated by the lack of science in our science fiction as the next guy.  I do think that it’s our responsibility as consumers of the genre to be the change we want to see in the world and so I said: ‘Don’t complain – go make something that outshines it.’  Then someone else said the thing that made me want to write this blog piece.  S/he said: ‘Just give me 200 million dollar and I go and make an awesome movie.’

Ouch. Continue reading

Didn’t Get Nominated for a Hugo, and That’s a Good Thing

I’m feeling weird today.  That emotion that comes from watching the location of a party that you wanted to go to, but were not invited to, catch on fire and burn down.  Is it grief?  Is it Saudade or is it Schadenfreude?  I’m not sure.  Such are the mixed feelings I have for watching the Hugo Awards descend into madness, Internet Trolling and a Gamergate-type squabble.

The short version of the story is that the Hugo Awards are one of the biggest awards you can get as a Sci-Fi author.  Many people want specific books or authors considered and that desire has led some to organize into a grassroots effort to ensure that outcome.  Out of that, the rest of the community has risen up, seeing this as manipulation, gaming the system or ballot box stuffing. The discussion, as many others on the Internet, has devolved into everyone’s worst dysfunctional family dinner, ever. Now we even have George R.R. Martin saying that the “Sad Puppies have broken the Hugo Awards.” Continue reading

Achieving Escape Velocity: Better Call Saul and Flotilla’s Rick


Better Call Saul just wrapped up its first season and I’m happy that I gave it a chance.  Writers need to read.  Storytellers need to hear other stories.  That’s why, as an author, part of my job is to see movies, or watch TV or read books.  Don’t believe me?  Ask Stephen King.  He tells you in On Writing how he used to see dozens of bad movies before he wrote his first novel.

As I update Flotilla for its new edition, I’m revisiting one important topic that Better Call Saul has helped me think about: Achieving escape velocity from bad life choices.  In Flotilla, Jim is escaping some bad choices that he’s made with drugs and alcohol.  As he navigates that path, he’s watching Rick, his dad try and do the same.

Escaping and overcoming bad choices in the past is very difficult as an adult.  That’s what Rick and Jimmy McGill, played brilliantly by Bob Odenkirk, have in common. When you’ve made bad choices in life and you’re trying to step up to be something more, you must contend with the ‘gravity’ of your past. Call it ‘karma’, call it ‘reaping what you sow’ … call it whatever you want.  As Jimmy McGill learns, re-innovating your life involves spending a lot of energy contending with the community of people who are unwilling to discard their established perceptions of you. Continue reading

Coming Soon: New Editions of Flotilla and Iron Mountain

Okay – time to make an announcement: As part of my Evil Plan and the forthcoming Full-Time Author Project, I will be releasing new editions of Flotilla and Iron Mountain.  I haven’t decided on a solid release date but it’ll be later this year.

Coming Soon: New Editions of Flotilla and Iron MountainYou might be saying to yourself, “Why is he doing this – just work on your next book!”  Well, there’s a ton of backstory but it boils down to this: I need everything working together.  I go into more detail over here and you’re more than welcome to ask questions after that.

2015 is going to be a very busy year – you’re welcome to come along for the ride!  You can join the Pac Fish writing crew, you can join the mailing list or you can connect with me over at Goodreads or Reddit.  It’s going to be an interesting ride!


Check Out this Awesome Post-Apocalyptic Kickstarter

Because I love apocalyptic sci-fi, I thought this was a cool idea and am passing it along to you.  Anathema is a crowdfunded sci-fi film that you can back, taking place in a near future where mankind’s end is near, a lethal pathogen has consumed the globe and civilization is in the process of collapsing.

Always happy to help a fellow indie artist make their dream come true – check out ANATHEMA – A British Indie Post-Apocalyptic Feature Film and consider donating a few quid!