SFBook news

latest
article

I SO wanted The Night Field to be a short story. I’m a lazy hound, and novels take lots of actual work, so my basic stance was “not going there, if I can help it.” I really thought I could get in and get out fast, telling the life of a young hero-woman—think Greta Thunberg, X (Emma) Gonzalez, Malala Yousafzai, or even Joan of Arc (the unofficial patron saint of my beloved New Orleans.) Led by her guiding voices, my...

Article by Sam Tyler on 28th July 2023
Read article
latest
article

I thought it went without saying that we live in a patriarchal world, but then I went on Twitter. And the number of people (or bots) who tweet daily that the modern world is a matriarchy – and are mad about it – truly shocked me.

But the truth is, it’s not just a patriarchy. It’s a male-default world. The deeper you get into every aspect of how we use gendered language, from suffixes to idioms to profanity, the...

Article by Sam Tyler on 27th April 2023
Read article
latest
article

It sounds strange to say this project was for me, and my seven other books already published were not. Indeed, I write what I would like to read. But, Dark Dweller was special because I really wasn’t sure who else would be interested in the project.

First and foremost, Dark Dweller is inspired by the 1970s sci-fi and surrealistic art movement of the time. In particular, vinyl records with artwork such as Jeff Wayne's version of...

Article by Sam Tyler on 28th February 2023
Read article
A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read.
- Mark Twain
latest
article

A college student sits alone. Their housemates are away for Christmas, and a storm howls beyond the walls, the branches of a tree tap-tap-tapping against the window. The wind drops for a moment, and in the pause they hear a creak on the stairs, a footfall where there should be none. Their breath catches in their throat.

The woodsman nails a plank across the window to his hut, making sure to hammer those tacks all the way in. He knows...

Article by Sam Tyler on 20th September 2022
Read article
latest
article

The Bookseller polled agents recently, and they saw one major trend for 2022 as ‘Joy-seeking, as readers continue to gravitate towards books that inspire, lighten, and distract...’ They also dubbed an increase in science fiction sales as showing the desire for ‘escapism’. Almost any book distracts, or could be used to ‘escape’, but never mind.

As I hear some sneering from all around me, some...

Article by Sam Tyler on 31st March 2022
Read article
latest
article

J.R.R. Tolkien isn’t the only dead white male author to write epic fantasy dominated by male characters, though you wouldn’t necessarily know that from the internet. The debate over his authorial intent has only increased recently as early scenes from the upcoming adaptation “The Rings of Power” have been released, showing women and non-white actors portraying Tolkien’s characters, something that depending on who...

Article by Ant on 22nd February 2022
Read article
latest
article

Those of us lucky enough to be returning to some semblance of normalcy in recent weeks and months have clocked those little moments where we rediscovered something we barely knew we missed.

For me, it was sitting outside a coffeeshop, pretending to read a respectable-looking book, listening to people I didn’t know talk about some mundane thing I had no interest in. I think it was lake house rentals. They were going into...

Article by Sam Tyler on 13th July 2021
Read article
latest
article

by Ry Herman

I have always been fascinated by the period when Odysseus, great hero of Greek mythology, became the World’s Biggest Asshole.

That probably requires some explanation. The Greek myths were never written down in any single, canonical text. They changed over time, and the shifting details could radically alter the meaning. The earliest stories of Odysseus depict him as a hero with a keen mind and a silver...

Article by Sam Tyler on 10th June 2021
Read article
A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read.
- Mark Twain
latest
article

I love the ocean. I love its crash and roar, I love how it purrs violently at night. I love it in a storm, on a clear calm day, or when the full moon is sitting just above the horizon and turning all that black water to silver. I’m also terrified of it. It’s a force of nature: it doesn’t care that you’re there, you can’t negotiate with it, you don’t matter. It’ll eat you up, dash you on rocks, drag...

Article by Sam Tyler on 8th April 2021
Read article
latest
article

I was walking down a towpath when I heard that my nephew had been born. I almost tripped into the glossy water as I flapped about with the news. I wanted to tell everyone: the person at the window of the boat we’d just passed, the dog walker being pulled along by a spotty terrier. My husband and I were boaters then. We’d been teachers before and now we’d become boaters. Both felt like full time occupations.

It was at...

Article by Sam Tyler on 23rd March 2021
Read article
latest
article

One of my favourite characters to write for The Second Bell is also one of the least loveable characters, from the point of view of a reader. 

Kalina is a young woman, living in the striga village, without any family and friends to claim her. Within their community’s the ultimate law is to bring the strigas’ other hearts under control. Self-knowledge and self-exploration are forbidden, for fear the...

Article by Sam Tyler on 9th March 2021
Read article
latest
article

Fantasy can feel like a packed, oversaturated genre. Some writers seem more than happy to walk well-footed paths when it comes to character arcs, magic systems, and worldbuilding. Maybe more than anything else, the settings of so many fantasy novels seem directly lifted from Tolkien—all babbling brooks and green glades and perfectly picturesque mountains.

Don’t get me wrong, I thrilled at that landscape as a child first...

Article by Sam Tyler on 26th January 2021
Read article