Tag Archives: writers

Wish Sir Arthur C Clarke a happy birthday

The title says it all; Sir Arthur C Clarke, living legend of science fiction, turns 90 on 16th December 2007 – that’s this coming Sunday. The Astronomical Association of Sri Lanka (where Clarke has been resident for many years) have set up a special blog where you can leave a message for the man himself. [Via SpaceElevatorBlog]

[tags]science fiction, writers, Arthur C Clarke, birthday[/tags]

The writer as entrepreneur

Striking writers outside Disney studios The WGA writers’ strike rolls on, pitting the justifiable desire of creatives to be paid a fair deal for the fruits of their labour against the same sort of grasping tactics that are causing the music industry to eat itself like a cancer. [Image by NoHoDamon]

While I’m supportive of the writers’ position on this issue, I’m intrigued by the outsider opinions. Techdirt points us to an LA Times article discussing the rise of alternative financing models in the movie industry, and suggests that if the big studios stick to their guns they will actually hasten their own demise by creating an environment where smart and talented writers can bypass the traditional system and take their scripts straight to the market, funding their productions using a venture capital process similar to that used by technology startups.

Now, I’m not an economist or a script-writer (and nor do I play either of them on television), but I find the underlying logic of this idea appealing – it seems to be a business model that fits the internet age. But then TechDirt, as fascinating a read as it is, is very much biased toward the independent operator/startup philosophy (as demonstrated by its previous coverage of the WGA strike). Perhaps this idea places too much of a burden on the writer – whose job is, after all, to write. But then again, it’s an accepted truism that novelists must self-market if they hope to be successful, even with the support of a publisher.

I guess only time will tell. But from my personal point of view, a significant lessening of the corporate homogeneity of Hollywood could only be a good thing – it might result in a movie industry that produces more than one film every year that I can actually be bothered to go and see.

[tags]writers, Hollywood, strike, entrepreneurship, business[/tags]

Futurismic needs YOU!

Futuristic City - digital art image by P1X3L

OK, ladies and gents – Futurismic is looking for a few good bloggers.

What we need from you is enthusiasm for the sort of topics we cover here (science fictional near-future phenomena and technogeekery with a slant toward the plausible), a commitment to doing at least one post per weekday (or more if you like), and some sort of writing experience, be it as a blogger or anything else.

What can we offer you in return? The chance for your writing to reach a wider audience, and to share your enthusiasm for science fiction literature and the ideas it deals with. What we can’t offer you is money – the only people who have ever made money from Futurismic are the authors of the short stories we publish, because that’s what the site is all about. The Futurismic team do it for the love – no matter how much our families and loved ones may rue us for it sometimes!

Still interested? Good! Drop me (Paul Raven) an email to the address hyperlinked in my name on the staff page. Put ‘Futurismic blogger enquiry’ in the title so as not to get caught in my spam traps, and send me the following:

  • A short paragraph about yourself and your relationship to science fiction
  • Links to your own blog, or other writing of yours available online
  • A couple of samples of the sort of post you’d contribute to Futurismic – we’re happy for you to have your own voice, indeed we’d prefer you to, but we like to keep things fairly short and snappy. If you follow the site regularly, you should know what I mean.

I’ll read them through, and get back to you as soon as I possibly can. Looking forward to hearing from you! [Awesome Futuristic City image borrowed from P1X3L]

Nobel winner writing new novel online – and giving it away for free

The science fiction genre is full of authors who, with a few exceptions, understand the value of giving content away for free as a marketing ploy (and we love them for it, too). The same attitude is less prevalent in the world of ‘proper’ literature, but the literary cachet of Nobel prize winner Elfriede Jelinek, combined with her enthusiastic adoption of a new publishing paradigm may change that fact. A recluse in real life, Ms Jelinek feels more able to communicate with people online, describing the internet as “the most wonderful thing there is. It connects people. Everyone can have input.” As an experiment into using the internet to raise an author’s profile, I’d say it’s been a success – Nobel Prize or no, I’d never heard of her before now. I wonder if the story’s any good?