Any good story* is about people. (Or anthropomorphic animals. Or aliens. Or hyperintelligent shades of the color blue. Or… You catch my drift.) However cool the worldbuilding, however neat the new ideas about science, at the core of a good story are the characters. What happens to them, how does it affect them, how do…

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On the Paul Harland Day last Saturday, one of the topics tackled in the panel was that of originality. Should a writer always strive to be original? Should the story always reinvent the genre it belongs to? Is a newly invented subgenre more valuable than the next Tolkien or Gibson imitation? The answer was—and is:…

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Time to give some attention to the awkwardly titled story 51° 30′ 17.6″ N, 3° 28′ 59.2″ O 51° 30′ 20.7″ N, 0° 04′ 32.3″ W by Hein van der Schoot. This story is a good example both of what a writer can achieve through echoing content in form, and of how much a writer can…

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Next up: Trollen vangen met Max en Leendert (“Catching Trolls with Max and Leendert”) by Kees van Houte. Now some would argue that TvmMeL is not a good story. Technically, they would even be right. Does it have literary sensibilities? Not in the least. Are its characters three-dimensional and well-developed? Not at all. Does it…

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The Paul Harland Prize 2012 culminated yesterday in the Paul Harland Day, an excellent afternoon of immersion in–and celebration of–all things genre. Contest and Day were organized again by the tireless and excellent Martijn Lindeboom, who deserves to be covered in praise, showered with gifts, and followed by groupies. Highlight of the afternoon, of course,…

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With a response both accurate and fast, Bo Balder has won the grand prize in the Mashup Pop Quiz. The question was: in my story Mashup, protagonist David learns that the name of his love interest is Sarah, and thinks, “Of course it is”. Who plays the male lead in the movie David is referring to…

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To celebrate the appearance of my science fiction story Mashup on Daily Science Fiction, I’m giving out a great prize for the correct answer to this pop quiz question. At some point in Mashup, David meets a girl, discovers that her name is Sarah, and thinks, “Of course it is.” The pop quiz question is: who plays the male lead in…

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