Should a novel have a message?

I consider Foundryside interesting and well-written despite never being able to fully enjoy the novel as much as it deserves. Foundryside’s original worldbuilding is both subtle and detailed. Magic based on computer programming not only makes perfect sense, but also creates unique opportunities for unexpected plot twists and reveals. Above all else, I appreciated theContinue reading “Should a novel have a message?”

The beauty of unrelatable characters

Most tips for introducing the main character in fiction revolve around one important concept – relatability. A relatable protagonist allows the audience to get attached to them easily. Unlike most things in history and sociology, the theory behind relatable protagonists is straight-forward: if you understand the goals and desires of a person, you are moreContinue reading “The beauty of unrelatable characters”

Why writing genre fiction nowadays is more difficult than fifty years ago

Creating art and producing quality research is bloody difficult. The effort never changes. Yet, we live in an interesting world that venerates the past and honours pioneers. Undoubtedly, it was more difficult for the pioneer to pave the way. Only it is not necessarily true. It may be this way in science. However, art andContinue reading “Why writing genre fiction nowadays is more difficult than fifty years ago”

The problem with sci fi/fantasy politicians

‘Political’ is my personal favourite kind of fantasy. The sheer amount of mental satisfaction it offers is extraordinary. A good political fantasy is akin to a game of chess, where you not only get to play, but also get to watch the duel of minds with expert commentaries in the background. While many fantasy novelsContinue reading “The problem with sci fi/fantasy politicians”

The importance of character description

When I started reading Scalzi’s Collapsing Empire, something about the novel did not sit right with me, impairing my perception of events and characters. It took me a while to realize that all three instalments of Scalzi’s space opera lacked character descriptions. By the time I opened the third book I knew everything about flowContinue reading “The importance of character description”

What makes a good political fantasy

As a social historian I have always been fascinated by the patterns of human interaction and the ways one can influence them. In reality, we are not as unpredictable as we want to believe. Choices can be manipulated. Heroes are made rather than born. Above all else, our nation-states are all creations of the 18thContinue reading “What makes a good political fantasy”

The Stigma of Fantasy

There exists an unwritten assumption that certain books are considered literary fiction and belong in one section of a bookstore, while others are genre fiction and, therefore, belong somewhere else. And literary or even speculative fiction pieces receive fancy awards, while not a single fantasy author has ever won a Nobel Prize. Despite general assumptions,Continue reading “The Stigma of Fantasy”