Category Archives: Sci-fi

What a stunning piece from Tania

Here’s some news from Tania Hershman, a talented and accomplished writer of stories about science. Tania read her own story on Radio 4 and her reading voice is a pleasure to listen to.

Tania Hershman smallLatest News

Aug 2016 my brand new short story, There Is No-One In The Lab But Mice, was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Sunday Aug 28th at 7.45pm, and is now available on Listen Again if you’d like to hear it!

 

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Filed under Arvon, BBC RADIO4, fiction, flash fiction, Free writing, New Scientist, perseverence, RADIO4, Sci-fi, Science fiction, short stories, short story, success, Tania Hershman, Uncategorized, winning, work, write what you know, writing, writing courses

Arvon’s inaugural flash fiction course a great success

I have just returned from my first Arvon creative writing course – an intensive week at The Hurst in Shropshire.

What an experience! Thank you Tania Hershman and David Swann for insights, advice, encouragement and inspiration to write and write and write. I came home with a dozen drafts of new material and am working on two or three of them now. What a thrill to have some new pieces to focus on. And I got going at last on the production of some science fiction/scientific story items. Thanks Tania for the critique and pointing me towards superb role models for scientific fiction writing.

Arvon Foundation

Fifteen of us from several countries (Luxembourg, USA, Italy, Scotland, England) gathered on the Monday night and it was a rollercoaster of reading short stories, writing flash fiction, discussing our work and others’, listening to the experts and finally performing our work at Friday evening’s finale.

An inspiring and amazingly varied group of students – of all ages – we worked together and learned from each other and cooked for each other and washed one another’s dishes. I can’t thank everyone enough for making the week so memorable.  The Hurst is a wonderful setting for such an event and my first Arvon experience will certainly not be my last.

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Robert Louis Stevenson might have sat here

As I always carry a notebook and pen with me I often capture my thoughts when they amount to something. Yesterday I sat at the harbour in North Berwick and looked across the Firth of Forth to the massive slab of rock that is the Bass Rock. It’s an uninhabited volcanic island that is home to thousands of seabirds and was an inspiration to Robert Louis Stevenson. It featured in his 1893 novel, Catriona, which he wrote as a sequel to the more famous Kidnapped.

word in-notebookYesterday, this sombre edifice three miles away inspired me, too.

The sun shone on the green-swathed headland to the east, it bathed the northern coastline of the Firth of Forth in golden light. Even the harbour wall at North Berwick gleamed on this bright February afternoon.

But Bass Rock was brooding. Solemn and grey against the blue of the winter sky it lay in the shadow of a single blanket of darkness, the only cloud in sight. It was as if the rock was sulking, waiting for someone to switch the light on.

And then a shaft of light trickled over the top of the tiny island, sneaked down the vertical cliffs to the sea and the rock smiled. Warm at last. Gloom dissipating.

 

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Filed under adventure, Bass Rock, deadlines, fiction, flash fiction, Kidnapped, North Berwick, Robert Louis Stevenson, Sci-fi, Science fiction, short stories, short story, Uncategorized, work, writing, Writing problem, writing resources

What a useful coincidence

It’s only two days since I was bemoaning my inability to write some science fiction.

By total chance an email from the local library dropped into my inbox yesterday telling me about their new e-resources. Lo and behold they offer some online magazines. Best of all they have available my favourite magazine – New Scientist. It’s chock-full of snippets about science, medicine, climate, all sorts of information on Pluto in case I want to write about alien worlds. (I don’t)

scrabble wordwriting

 

So that’s today’s writing planned. I have no excuse at all to complain I’m short of ideas. I’m spoilt for choice in fact. Now I just need a plot, or some free writing to get me going…

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I want to write science fiction stories

I am a scientist and I love science, medicine, drugs, technology and learning about their use and mis-use. I wrote two stories last year using science as a base and I enjoyed doing it. Two different subjects and quite different stories.

Then I ran out of ideas. I surprised myself that the well of imagination was dry. Why?

long DNA colourI did research in two or three new areas that I have some knowledge of so that I would be up to date in those fields. The research excited me and thrilled me with possibilities. I spent ages online and printed off lots of useful background and even drew up a list of possible story plots.

But my pen wouldn’t write about them.

  • what if my science was rubbish?
  • what if the story had already been written by someone else?
  • what if my story was so scientific it was boring?

But when it comes down to it, why don’t I just write it and then ask those questions? Not all of my stories are boring so why should these ones be? aaarrgghhh

Resolution for February 2016 – write at least one science fiction story. And don’t be such a wimp.

 

 

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