Writing science fiction – free tools for the trade

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One of the biggest challenges for a writer who wants to write science fiction is to be up-to-date with the most recent developments of real world science, not to mention the constant upgrade of the speculations about the nature of our universe. We all know that a science fiction novel (or whatever format) is not an essay about some peculiar field of science. We also know that without enough scientific (or para-scientific) elements in the story we’re not writing science fiction but some kind of fantasy (that’s not a problem, of course, but we’re talking about sci-fi right now).

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The Fandom, the Awards and the Business

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It looks like that 2016 will be remembered as a turning point for a lot of matters about modern-day fandom and for all the turmoil connected to the awards. I wrote about it a few months ago (here) and sadly I’ve to say that things have not improved so far.

The online debate after the last WorldCon reached a new level of bitterness and the echo in the mainstream media has been, if possible, even worse than at the start of the Sad Puppies / Rabid Puppies campaign. The public image of the sci-fi fandom could be compared to a downsized version of a noisy political debate, with very few attention to what really matters: the business of acquiring and selling good stories, no matter who write it and why.

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The Moonbase that never was

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I’m enjoying a family rerun of the first season of Space:1999, a show that never fails to amaze me. While my nine-year-old son is accepting this show at face value (this is part of his formation as a sci-fi fan, he’s already a whovian – this is also parenting done right), me and my wife remember our impressions from the bottom part of the seventies (in Italy the show was aired in 1977 or in 1978, I believe).

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The rise and fall of the fandom

Rise and Fall

Rise and Fall (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Being a sci-fi fan for more than thirty years has been a great ride so far, but I can’t help to notice that fandom is changing again and I’m not sure that I like the new situation.

This is not about the sad/bad puppy campaign for the Hugos or related rants, nor it’s about a specific set of people. It’s about the changes that are in motion, my personal feelings and a handful of ideas about what’s going on.

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Get ready for Dark Legacy

Time for a self-promotional post, just to remember to everybody out there that there’s a new e-book incoming, hard and fast like any science fiction story should be.

The third installment of my ongoing series, Ghosts Of War, will hit the digital market July 15th, with the focus of the story about a young spaceminer in the Asteroid Belt and his dangerous journey to go back home.

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Frederik George Pohl Jr. (1919-2013)

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Another legend is gone. Pohl was one of the pros that defined the Golden Age and the Silver Age, active from 1939 to this year. The last entry of his wonderful blog was entered yesterday.

He was one of the few who happened to left his mark on the sci-fi genre; co-founder of the Futurians, editor, publisher, literary agent and wonderful author in his own right. Countless readers have been influenced by his works, a great number of fellow authors came into business thanks to his efforts.

People like him defined this little thing called “science-fiction” and helped greatly to establish a market for it. Just remember him next time you read anything, it’s the best way to pay homage to such a man.