Monthly Archives: August 2013

Not true dat?

Still putting my writing through trueness to SFF. Memo to self, of all fake genres, using bits of SFF to sex up a straight-down-the-genre-line romance, crime thriller, action, etc is

not true dat

The core SFF readership are geeks in the purest sense of the term; an enthusiasm that can follow Brony to the ends of the earth. For why? Because everybody else thinks it’s weird but we don’t, so what everybody else thinks doesn’t matter? Who knows, it’s about commitment to the largely-indefensible, perhaps. It has its own battles, the fake geek chick being the most insidious. Like mixed bathing, we’re at our most vulnerable when we’re just letting go in front of others in our core geekhood.  Pointing up gender in those circumstances (and the wicked corollary that female = fake geek chick) is the last thing you want.

I’m checking that I haven’t used SFF like a piece of lego slotted onto a standard YA, NA romance or crime thriller or even litfic looking for niche-cred. Because that is messin’ with irrational enthusiasm. Which, when messed with, comes out the other side as seriously pissed off.

The temptation’s always there, to increase the chances of publication or shelf-space by introducing SFF elements, which is like introducing a fake tattoo. Inkers and the SFF community have that well-weathered tolerance of any group that’s spent its formative years in a niche in the smooth surface of the status quo, waiting to be absorbed, Borg-like. But even inkers and SFF can be pissed off by fakes.

The answer is, have I written books like Margaret Atwood, Kazuo Ishiguro where the SFF is part of good, good stories that challenge the status quo?

No, I have not written books like Margaret Atwood and Kazuo Ishiguro.

But yes, I have been true to the SFF genre.

true dat.


Handing over the sonic screwdriver

This has nothing to do with the place of sci-fi on the “small” screen (have you noticed they qualify as an entire wall now?) shifts in storyline in the Doctor Who seasons, or even how Malcolm Tucker is going to turn into the next Doctor, let alone Matt Smith into Peter Capaldi.

I sat down to watch the announcement of the Next Doctor in the same spirit as the Cup Final, Wimbledon and the last eppy of Broadchurch. Caught the vibe and punched the air when they announced Peter Capaldi. He’s just right for me, after the romantic Doctor of David Tennant and the physical, alien presence of Matt Smith. The 12th Doctor will no doubt be funny, but  he’ll also be scary. Nine-hundred odd years of knocking around the universe, you’ve got to see in the Doctor’s eyes when it’s just not funny any more. I don’t expect Peter Capaldi to use either the sonic screwdriver or the word “fuck” much, he’ll just look at things and they’ll nod and sidle away. I would, to be honest.

I’m waiting for a Doctor who has been bending time and the universe for ever to keep it safe for us little, mainly stupid, people to mess around in, occasionally learning stuff. Watching the Doctor fall in love was like watching two people cuddling on a sofa. Who for me  is about recapturing the moment where I hid behind the sofa. I think he’ll deliver.

I don’t analyse Doctor Who, it’s just something running alongside my life on an increasingly large screen. Yesterday was important for that reason, just a punch the air moment.

Peter Capaldi, you’ll rock.