Clearing My Throat

Eh, I’m terrible at this blogging thing, no?

Check out my story BOOTBLACK at Expanded Horizons. Maybe content warning? Nah, go for it. You’re adults.

Some stuff:

My novella The Murders of Molly Southbourne is due for an October release from Tor.com. First reader responses are good. I’ve seen the cover art, and it’s superb. I will share what I can when I can.

I’m currently working on rewrites for a novella called Witch Gun Running which is a kind of batshit contemporary fantasy with pocket universe settings. The first draft is a mess, but it’s looking like I know what to fix.

In the Johannesburg Review of Books some other writers and I pay tribute to the writer Kojo Laing who died with not nearly enough recognition, in my opinion.

In a few days time I’ll be giving a talk at the London School of Oriental Studies titled Science Fictional antidotes to the Created, Observed and Experienced African Self. It sounds fancier that it really is, but I promise to entertain, at least.

I’m listening to Drum n Bass and reading Elephantmen.

Til next time.

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I Really Enjoyed The Unworthy Thor

hammer

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April 11, 2017 · 21:09

Kon-foo-shon breaky-boney

“Confusion Break Bone” is a Fela Kuti song.
It’s not pronounced the way it reads. You say, “Kon-foo-shon breaky-boney”.
This song is loosely about a place in Lagos called Ojuelegba (which translates to “where the cane sellers are” or “where the whip sellers dwell”-literally, “the face/eye of the cane seller”). If you’ve ever been to Ojuelegba (at least in the ’70s and ’80s) you’ll find the song haunting and frightening.

The place was a confused mess of cars, buses, corrupt police and thugs. I saw my first dead body there. Being so young, when I heard the Fela song I just thought it was a place people went to die alone in the mud or get arrested without charge. In the 80s a governor called Jakande imposed some order on it and in the 90s it was better, but still felt…unsettling.

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Sketchiness: Fan Art from ‘Hammers on Bone’

This is a character from the awesome novella ‘Hammers on Bone’ by Cassandra Khaw.

khaw

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“Unique and multi-layered”

“If you are looking for a unique and  multi-layered alien invasion story that has a truly devastating twist, Rosewater is your book.”

Little Red Reviewer reads ROSEWATER:

https://littleredreviewer.wordpress.com/2017/02/26/rosewater-by-tade-thomson/

 

cover

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Bill Paxton is dead

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10 Thoughts on Openings

Cross-posted.

Ten thoughts on story/novel openings:
1-Your first job is to draw the reader in.
2-Having drawn her in, keep her there till the story is done.
3-You might find that working on the first line is easiest when you’ve finished the whole story.
4-The opening should set expectations which, by the end of the story, will be met in full.
5-It’s probably best to avoid being boring here.
6-Concrete is probably better than abstract. In other words, who, where, what, why and when, rather than thoughts about the philosophical meaning of grout fungus in the biosphere.
7-The opening and the ending are inextricably linked to each other. These may be the most important parts of the story, so spend a lot of time and effort on both of them.
8-Beware of writerly advice that says “always” or “never” or “must” with respect to openings. Screw that. But *be mindful of what you are screwing*.
9-The opening, above all else, INTRODUCES. It’s not the best place for backstory or side-quests. Introduce characters, world and situation.
10-For my money, the best way to learn about openings is to take books off your shelf (or from the library shelves) and close-read the openings of the narratives that work for you.

Reading: The Making of Mr. Gray’s Anatomy by Ruth Richardson

Listening to: The Lady of Rage, Afro Puffs

 

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