Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Female Heroes

Reading a bit about female heroes coming to the fore in science fiction because of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Mad Max: Fury Road. I reckon female heroes have been around for years, but it does depend on your definition of what a hero is. Here are some that I think fit the label:

Ellen Ripley - The Alien movies
Sarah Connor - The Terminator Movies
Sarah Connor - The Sarah Connor Chronicles
Dana Scully - The X-files
Purdey - The Avengers
Major Samantha Carter - Stargate
Gwen Cooper - Torchwood
Myka Bering - Warehouse 13
Elanor Arroway - Contact
Aryan Sun - Farscape
Katniss Everdeen - The Hunger Games
Oliva Dunham - Fringe
Echo - The Dollhouse
Sarah Jane Smith - The Sarah Jane Adventures.
Starbuck - Battlestar Galactica
Ellie - Tomorrow When The War Began
Sarah Walker - Chuck
Dr. Ryan Stone - Gravity
Charlie Matheson - Revolution
Sarah Manning - Orphan Black
Elizabeth Shaw - Prometheus.

There's no doubt that female heroes are hugely underrepresented in science fiction, as they are in other genres, but to say that due to two recent movies there is a sudden trend of an increase in the number of female heroes in science fiction movies and television is clearly wrong. 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Christmas Anthology

Hi all,

I have gift for those who read this blog. A Christmas anthology, containing a fantasy story written by me. I have just fixed the epub and pdf file links as they did not appear to be working.

epub file 
mobi file
pdf file  

It has a diverse range of stories written by writers from the Australian Writers' Forum.   

Merry Christmas. 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

My writing efforts in November

The graph to the left shows a drop in my word output in November, which suggests I spent a lot less time writing. That is not the case. My word output dropped because I was proofreading/editing and redrafting. I continued redrafting a novel and I also spent a week trying to finalise a long short story that was due for submission at the end of November.

I ended up writing about 5820 new words of fiction for the month.


I received three critiques of my story during the month. One was a very useful full edit, another was just a comment agreeing with the suggested edits of a previous critique, and the other… Well, first some background.

I did a copy edit/critique of one of the other stories written for our Christmas anthology. It was a non-fiction story about a Christmas spent in an Aboriginal community. I really enjoyed the story, I found it informative and was interested to read about life in an Aboriginal community written by someone who had lived in one. I made a fair few edits to the story, many for what I thought were repeated grammar errors.

The writer was not happy with my critique or the other one he had received. He said that as his writing was not good enough, he would withdraw his story from the anthology, and quit our writing group. I wrote back to him that it was a shame he was withdrawing his story and I thought it would be a worthy addition to the anthology.

He also said this about my story:

“I printed it out and commenced reading but was unable to finish it...........without saying anything I gave it to my wife to read. She couldn't finish reading it, either and her 'critique, was summed up in two words, .... "It's weird."”

As you can see from his comment, one of his various writing problems is the overuse of ellipses.

But I did not take his comments to heart as they appeared to be written out of spite. I also don’t think my story is that great, and I am still making changes to it.

At the end of November I asked Chris, whose book I helped edit, to have a look at my story. And he agreed. But I then realised that I should hurry up and finish it (is a story ever finished?) because it was due for submission at the end of November. Chris did have a look at the first 2,000 words or so though.

In contrast to the upset I caused the writer of the Christmas story, another writer was very happy with my critique of his 66,000 word novel. It took me just on three months to critique and it was the first volume of a very interesting science fiction trilogy. I offered to critique the sequel. I also critiqued another story for the anthology, and again the writer seemed appreciative of my comments.


Again, I did very little reading for the month.

A New Article on Divine

An article I wrote on an audio description trial on the ABC’s iview service went up on Divine a few days ago. Please have a look, because in years to come, when your eyesight is failing, you might need audio description when watching television.