JK Rowling & Transphobia

If you grew up in the 1980s, which apart from the cyberpunk bit at the beginning were a vile conflux of blandness and a weirdly conservative sort of greed, then the 90s were meant to be an antidote to all that. We had a Body Shop poster on the living room wall of our student […]

Dread & the Broken Witch – Origins

It’s certainly an interesting time to be talking about Dread & the Broken Witch. As you can see from the lovely pic, the Broken Witch is a black woman, and she is a trans woman as well. The book is a novella, albeit a long one. Novellas are the book form between short stories and […]

Dread & the Broken Witch

Dread & the Broken Witch is my new novella, which will be published by Luna Press next year. In the fabulous heart of the ancient, altered continent of Zabardu, a nameless Dread falls across the Village and traps Precious Child. The terrified villagers turn to their healer, a brilliant but outrageous transgender woman called Bambomiyi, who lives […]

Review of Stories of Hope & Wonder

This whopping collection of 53 stories is just over a quarter of a million words long, and explores the genres of science fiction, fantasy, horror and all the mash-ups in between. It was published to raise money for the NHS during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is the first good reason to buy it. The second […]

Awesome black SFF writers to read and love

Here are some black science fiction and fantasy authors who have influenced me with their wisdom, generosity, inventiveness, and a calm in dealing with cretins online that I do not have – perhaps because as a middle class white Englishman I do not have to. If you haven’t already, please buy, enjoy and then review […]

Beautiful Gun Cover Reveal!

Here is Ashel 5, grumpy superwoman, penitential antagonist and big-hearted, heavily-armed lunatic. Isn’t she beautiful? I love all my covers, but wanted to go in a different direction with a new heroine. It was also important that the new cover scream science fiction, but in a way we haven’t seen before. The design is by […]

Why plague sci-fi is crap

I knew there was a reason I’ve never liked plague sci-fi: it’s because it’s always dull and not really sci-fi. Just substitute the plague for any other calamity and it’s just a set of standard disaster tropes. Plague is a tedious antagonist because it don’t make choices based on opportunities afforded by technology, it simply […]

Judging the Clarke Award – Pt 2

THE SHORTLIST There are always oddities – Simon Stalenhag’s The Electric State for example. Was it a novel? Did the pictures matter? Did it have enough words? Were we coming up with reasons not to shortlist it because we think we should? The fact was that we all loved it, it used a novel form […]

Judging the Clarke Award

PART ONE: THE PROCESS I’ve been a fan of the Clarke Award for a long time, having enjoyed both the winning books and those on the shortlists. Not all my favourite books for that year end up shortlisted, but it’s never less than interesting. I’d harboured secret ambitions to be a judge ‘when I was […]

Interview with F.D. Lee @ BSFA

I interviewed F.D. Lee for the BSFA in November, and we covered subjects like how to write time travel fiction properly, climate change science fiction and fact, useful fantasy tropes and how to successfully commercialise your genre fiction. Click here to watch!