Signal Boost #16: Fran Wilde (Horizon) and Bogi Takács (Transcendent 2: The Year’s Best Transgender Speculative Fiction)

22 Aug

In today’s episode of Signal Boost, Fran Wilde, author and tech consultant, joins Paul to dive into the final book in her Bone Universe series, Horizon. Fran and Paul discuss some of the worldbuilding and where this newest book takes us. Then Bogi Takács, writer of short-form speculative fiction, joins Jen to talk about Transcendent 2: The Year’s Best Transgender Speculative Fiction, and anthology they just edited for Lethe Press. Bogi talks about how they got involved, what it means to them, and the kinds of stories that you’ll find in the anthology.

We hope you enjoy the episode!

Note:  If you have iTunes and like this show, please give us a review on our iTunes page, or feel free to email us with your thoughts about the show!

Here’s the episode (show notes are below): Continue reading

#61: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017) — A Shoot the WISB Subcast

21 Aug

Rampant misogyny, batipi, and failed plots, oh my! Shaun, Paul, and Alex join together to absolutely destroy the mess that is Luc Besson’s newest film, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. They REALLY hated this movie, guys. From the wish-fulfillment misogyny of Valerian himself to the wasted potential of Rihanna’s character (and virtually everything else), they found a lot of things that just went horribly wrong with this CGI extravaganza.

We hope you enjoy the episode!

Note:  If you have iTunes and like this show, please give us a review on our iTunes page, or feel free to email us with your thoughts about the show!

Here’s the episode (show notes are below): Continue reading

#PollMondays: What was the best scifi film of 1999?

21 Aug

It’s that time again:  poll time!

This week, we thought we’d torture you with a poll of some of the biggest films of 1999.

Now it’s up to you. Decide once and for all which of these films was the best of the year. Your vote could decide the fate of the world!

A Book By Its Cover: My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

20 Aug

Picture yourself on a boat or a lakeshore,
with pastel balloons and ominous skies;
Some monster calls you, you answer quite slowly
— the girl with the GLOWING RED EYES!

My Best Friend’s Exorcism, by Grady Hendrix, is a work of art. You can tell just by looking at the cover. There is a LOT going on here! It tells a story all by itself, but go on and read the book, too. I can’t promise you’ll be glad you did, since I don’t know you, Gentle Reader, but I’d be amazed if you’re not interested!
Continue reading

The Intersection: Blackthorne and the Importance of Secondary Characters

17 Aug

There are many tools one can use for worldbuilding. A lot of them aren’t obvious to the reader—and in fact, I’d venture to say that the most effective techniques are those the reader doesn’t notice. This is how real life works. For example: events and cultural distinctions clearly affecting the world and those living in it but no one openly discusses are a big factor in everyday life.[1] Another of these hidden opportunities for worldbuilding involves secondary characters. One of the things I aspire to do is to populate my stories with any number of interesting characters capable of taking over the narrative. (Not that I let them.) Not only does it give the main characters people to interact with and thus further the plot, it’s realistic. Each of us thinks of ourselves as the main character of our story. Point of view characters in a novel are no different. However, we aren’t the only main character. Every “secondary character” we meet—doctors, neighbors, people on the street—is the main character of their own story in which we are the secondary character. That’s reality. In addition, well-developed secondary characters will sometimes alter the main character’s perspective of the world. This, too, is how the real world works. How many times have you encountered someone whose perspective on a situation altered your own? If you’re like me, quite a few. None of us operates in a vacuum. Characters in a narrative shouldn’t either. Continue reading

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