Social Commentary in science fiction: How it changed after 9/11

I'm not here to offer platitudes, express outrage or appeal to jingoism and xenophobia. I think there has been enough of that in the last ten years and there is nothing I can say about the event that hasn't already been said. What I do want to do is discuss how the world's worst terrorist [...]

Challenge: Flash Fiction using the word “Dendrofilous”

Post a Day has set a flash fiction challenge. Here is my effort. Word limit: 300 "New to this?" Asked the site foreman with a knowing grin, passing me a coffee. I sipped it and watched the drill descend. It wasn't quite at the deepest permissible point but it was close. "You learn not to [...]

Challenge: Write a Story in Only Six Words

Challenging post a daytoday. I've seen on other blogs that some writers rise to the challenge of flash and micro fiction. These are incredibly short stories typically, 1000 words or (far) fewer for flash fiction, 500 characters or fewer for micro fiction. There is no formal set limit, different websites have different ideas about what [...]

Steampunk: Quirky, Funky, Sexy

I must admit that I've recently developed a bit of a fascination for the sub-genre and its something I've approached through the artwork. On my woefully underused tumblr page I have posted several steampunk'd science fiction icons (a dalek, optimus prime, predator, R2D2 and C3P0) and a computer just for the amusement. However I do [...]

Examples of Social Commentary in Horror

Having already established that science fiction often contains elements of social commentary, I wish to explore whether the same is true of horror. I had this idea about a week ago and in preparation felt I ought to write a few book reviews of my favourite horror novels. To be perfectly honest I can't think [...]

Book Review: The Thief of Always by Clive Barker

If somebody would have asked me which contemporary horror writer I would choose to write a dark fantasy largely aimed at children, I must admit that Clive Barker would not be top of the list. Most of his work is sexual often with themes of homosexuality and usually BDSM. Not that I have a problem [...]

Danny Boyle’s Sunshine: “Every time I shut my eyes… it’s always the same.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8BSlqHAhuY This past Sunday I watched Danny Boyle's Sunshine for about the tenth time. At the time of release four years ago I seem to remember it getting some mixed reviews with very few reviews praising it. Having just looked on IMDB, time seems to have been kind to the film with an average viewer [...]

Examples of Social Commentary in Science Fiction

So I can't really get the events of Frankenstein out of my head and it is still giving me much to ponder, not in and of itself, but how science fiction is such a major and important conduit for social commentary. If I had studied sociology instead of archaeology at university, I would like to [...]

Book Review: Web by John Wyndham

'Web' is a surprisingly pleasing addition to the career of John Wyndham. Published ten years after his death, it follows similar themes to several of his better known works. After an episode of PTSD, our protagonist purchases an island in the south Pacific in order to create a utopia and get away from the strains [...]

Book Review: The Maya by Michael D. Coe

I always like to have a factual book on the go at the same time as a fiction and though books like this are generally often more work than pleasure, I must say that this was a pleasurable read as an introduction to a subject I previously knew very little about. Quite possibly the most [...]