Tag Archives: biographical

Stross: how I ended up as a science fiction writer

lifeCharles Stross is recounting the long journey to his current position has one of the stars of British science fiction, beginning with his first steps into education during the years of Thatcher:

I already knew (from an early age — 12 or so) that I wanted to be an SF writer. But there was a fly in the ointment — a fly called Margaret Thatcher. I turned 15 in 1979, the year the conservatives won an election and the Thatcherite revolution swung into action.

Unemployment soared from around one million to over three million in twelve months as the UK experienced the worst industrial recession since the end of the second world war (largely caused by Thatcher’s dramatic decision to cut most of the state-owned industries off at their knees, on the assumption that the workers would find new and more productive jobs sooner rather than later — a misplaced assumption, as it turned out).

I come from a middle-class background; I could expect to go to university, but not to rely indefinitely on parental hand-outs. “You’ll need some kind of way to earn a living while you’re trying to write,” the careers guidance teachers told me.

A familiar story, as this happy university dropout will affirm (except it was Blair instead of Thatcher and the economic collapse only really started after I left).
[image from The Wandering Angel]

How to Dismantle the Wall Between an Author and Their Work

This month in Blasphemous Geometries: has the intentional fallacy had its day as a critical tool? Should we roll back the stone from the tomb of The Author?

Blasphemous Geometries by Jonathan McCalmont

Jonathan McCalmont suggests that genre fiction fan-writers and critics should cautiously embrace biographical criticism, and examine books and other works in the context of their creator’s mindset.

Continue reading How to Dismantle the Wall Between an Author and Their Work