science fiction and speculative fiction for avid readers
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Author chat "How I came to love sci fi without even realising it."
This post originally appeared on Elders of Genova in October 2014.
In October 2014, I was kindly invited
to write a guest post for a new sci-fi blog Elders of Genova. To be honest I haven’t written one of them for a while.
I'd been busy writing, I had nothing new to say, and I thought, what do I say that readers that, a) they haven’t heard before or b) they want to hear for
the first time? Seeing as how Elders of Genova was a science fiction blog (I believe it's now defunct) I
decided to talk about how I fell in love with sci-fi genre without even knowing
The TV years:
I was ten years old and at home
from school. I had tonsillitis. I was the type of kid who got tonsillitis three
times a year but they never took out my tonsils. Just gave me a dose of
antibiotics that later became the reason I suffered a few years of food
allergies. But I digress.
Maya from Space 1999
So there I was at a
neighbour’s house while my mother took my siblings to school and on the TV came
this show called Space 1999. I watched it with my mouth wide open. And no, this
wasn’t merely due to my inability to swallow at the time. It was because it
featured a character named Maya (Catherine Schell) who could shape shift into
anything – bug, monkey, monster, mouse. In this episode she shifted into a
black panther, which was the most magnificent thing my ten year old brain had
ever seen. From that moment on I was hooked on sci-fi, even though I didn’t
Since Space 1999 aired
during the day, I only got to watch it when I was sick, yet that brief
introduction was enough to make me a loyal fan of shows such as The Six Million Dollar Man, The Bionic Woman, and Lost In Space. These shows aired after
school, so my backside was firmly planted in front of the TV and no homework
was done till the glorious adventure ended. And still, I didn’t realize I was
addicted to sci-fi. To me, these were just cool shows.
The movie years:
My transition from
sci-fi series on TV to sci-fi movies was seamless because the movies I saw were
on TV. Our family wasn’t the type to go the cinema or even hire videos. TV was
it! The first sci-fi movie I remember watching on TV was Logan’s Run. I absolutely
loved the twist at the end. Not long after, I saw Planet of the Apes and the
twist at the end blew me away. Westworld became my favourite movie ever for a
while, even if Yul Brunner did give me nightmares. I could go on and on and on about the movies I loved and never once realised I was a sci-fi fan.
I didn’t begin going
to the cinemas till I started earning my own money. My first date, at fourteen
years of age was chaperoned by my older brother and my date and I saw Return Of The Jedi. And still, if you’d said I was a sci-fi fan I would have called you
crazy. Sci-fi fans were…weird, right? Geeks, nerds, unpopular. Besides, why would a fourteen year old
girl who thought she was tough and cool choose to see a sci-fi movie? Probably
because I was actually nerd though I didn’t really know that either. Blessed are the youth
for our ignorance.
The reading years:
One of the first books
I ever bought as a child from the school book club was Trapped In Space by Jack
Williamson. I had the choice of typical girl books with ponies and hair brushing
sessions but I chose a story about an astronaut who is lost in space. Perhaps
because I had three brothers and I preferred playing with toy cars rather than
dolls, this led to my choice of book to read. Perhaps it paved the way for my
reading choice as an adult.
I devoured Dean Koontz
and Stephen King, while most of their stuff was considered horror, they both
delved into stores about aliens. And then I read books by Michael Creighton and
STILL didn’t think for a second that I was reading science fiction. But I was. I think I
told myself that science-fiction had to be about space, but that was not true.
I’ve no idea where I got that idea from except from maybe those early years
when sci-fi on TV was about space.
My most recent
addition to my book collection is Robopocalypse by Daniel H Wilson. It’s a
riveting read about robots that go berserk and kill humans – sort of like
Westworld. The best thing about growing up watching classic sci-fi stories is
that I get to enjoy them in their original format, as books, which I’m in the
process of buying as many as I can get onto my Kindle.
The writing years:
I began my life as a
horror writer, though none of my works got published. I then tried my hand as
at contemporary women’s fiction, which I discovered wasn’t me. At all. I can’t
help it. Everything I write ends up with a fantasy or horror or science fiction
or supernatural angle. The speculative fiction genre is what I like to read
Anyway, it’s no wonder
I find myself veering towards writing speculative fiction. Through science
fiction we not only explore unchartered planets we also explore what it is to
be human, sometimes using topical subjects and taboo topics and current affairs
to act as a mirror to hold up to humanity and say WTF are you doing? Sure, the
government and the media attempt to do this, but when fiction writers, screen
writers, movie producers, actors, singers ... when we do it, people tend to
take notice. Why? I think it’s because we’re not peddling reform and more
regulation, we’re peddling the excuse to look within and make the necessary
changes on our own.
Thanks for letting me reminisce about my childhood.
D L Richardson
L Richardson is an author of paranormal books for teens, and author of apocalyptic
and dystopian sci-fi books for adults. Lover of coffee, music, and animals.
Lives in Australia with her husband and dog. WELCOME TO THE APOCALYPSE -
PANDORA avail now: for fans of Robopocalypse, The Hunger Games, Ready Player
One, World War Z.
When I started writing, I had one set goal: to become a prolific author. At the time I was into reading Stephen King and Dean Koontz, and I wanted to write books, lots of them.
Now I have that chance. After writing, publishing, and promoting 10 books, I've signed up to to write a series of post-apocalyptic fiction books for Mission Critical Publishing. The reason I signed up was simple. They're innovative. The publishing industry today is fast and fluid.
I've agreed to write 3 books in 6 months. Each book will be around 60,000 words when completed. I'll need to become a writing machine. To accomplish this I'll need to do 2 things:
#1 Write fast
The only way for me to write fast is to write an overview of the entire book (or series). This can be one page per book. Then I write dots points that become the chapters. Complications, conflicts, solutions, all fit into these chapters.
Then I set a daily word count. I'm now at the stage where, provided I know what I'…
First up, I have to say that there aren't 10 blog/magazines listed, only 9. I couldn't find 10 so if you know of any please please please let me know who they are so I can include them on this list.
Flicking through the internet for stories is a bit like flicking through a pile of magazine clippings on the floor. It can be fun putting everything you want to read together in one pile, but after a while you might want to sit in a chair and have that pile put together in more manageable fashion for you to read, say maybe like the magazines or blogs the articles were cut out of.
Okay, that's enough of that analogy. This article is about finished product of blogs and magazines that compile together a host of articles on subjects a reader is interested in. I'm featured ten nine Australian independent magazines both virtual and tangible which I came across during one of my wild searches through hundreds of internet sites.
Magazines have really taken a bashing over the past decad…
Just for fun, I thought I'd write a post about a great Aussie icon, the drop bear.
A drop bear is a hoax in contemporary
Australian folklore featuring a predatory, carnivorous version of the koala.
This imaginary animal is commonly spoken about in tall tales designed to scare
tourists. Why? Because Australia actually has some of the world’s deadliest animals. And Australians truly are larrikins, so we love a good joke. If you don’t know what that word is, then you’re missing out on some great Aussie
slang. Here is an extensive list of Aussie slang and their meanings if you're interested. If you ever set foot in the Outback (make that most of Australia), you will hear Aussie slang. Watch Crocodile Dundee and you'll pick up some Aussie slang: larrikin, strewth, fair dinkum, esky, bottle-O. It’s like another language. But that’s not all that Australia is known
for. We are also known for our dangerous animals. There is a common perception amongst tourists
that everything in Aus…