FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER @OLDMANNELSON

John Scalzi’s a name I saw long before picking up his latest book, The Collapsing Empire. I know he runs a WordPress blog and is active on Twitter. He’s won a Hugo award for best novel, and The Collapsing Empire is in the running this year for the same award. When I happened upon his book at the nonprofit library I work for, I knew I had to read it. Continue reading “Book Backlog: The Collapsing Empire”

Follow me on Twitter @oldmannelson

On July 31st, I submitted a short story to FIYAH Magazine, a speculative fiction online magazine for black writers. I wrote a 13,000 word story about a woman whose ship crashes to Earth. She enlists the help of a local boy to help collect money for her shuttle repairs, and the story follows how they survive in the lowlife backstreets of Seoul, Korea, while avoiding a bounty hunter. It’s the kind of story that someone like me would write, honestly and truly. I spent many weeks on that project trying to perfectly craft every single sentence into a masterpiece. But when my editor asked me if I was relieved to finally be finished, I told him that I’d never be satisfied with my work. Why is that? Continue reading “finishing your draft: the pessimist’s way”

Follow me on Twitter @oldmannelson

So you’ve got momentum after completing your first draft. Good job! You’ve done what many have tried to do and failed. The fun part for you (because you’re a pessimist) will be the editing. Nothing’s more satisfying that confirming your biggest bias: you’re not a great writer–not yet, anyway. Continue reading “editing: the pessimist’s way”

FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER @OLDMANNELSON

If you’re like every other writer I know, you likely have dusty sketchpads or old Word docs full of stories and ideas. Once in a while, you go back to those ideas and say, “I really need to finish this before I die.” In my case, I’m resurrecting a short story for Fiyah Magazine, which has a July submission I’ve had my eye on. The problem, of course, is that my old story was garbage. How will I know when it’s good enough to share? Continue reading “writing a first draft: the pessimist’s way”

FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER @OLDMANNELSON

Yesterday, I dragged my wife to the theatrical premiere of Fate/Stay Night: Heaven’s Feel, because I’m a nerd. She had no idea what the anime was about. The film barely explained the concept that underpins the franchise, which can easily discourage newbies from diving in. The question is, of course, was the film made for anyone but the true fans? Does it have to appeal to anyone else? Continue reading “the Fate of a franchise”

FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER @OLDMANNELSON

As I explore my place in the fiction-writing world, I find there are many writers from marginalized walks of life–a tragic fact, but I’m comforted in knowing people like me are telling their stories to the world. A question I see on Twitter (quite often, in fact) is how to have discussions about other races, cultures and communities you’re not from. In marveling at the possibilities of writing about anything, the best question a writer can ask is, “Should we write about anything?”

Continue reading “the specter of orientalism”

FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER @OLDMANNELSON

Like most 90s kids, Adult Swim was my window into mature Japanese animation, and Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex was part of the regular lineup. During my college years I watched the first and second seasons, and then read the original comics. I went on to write my senior thesis about the film adaptations, somehow convincing my art history department that I wasn’t just watching anime for fun. For a few years Ghost in the Shell was my life, so finding out Kodansha was working on a new 2018 anthology was very good news. Continue reading “Book Backlog: Global Neural Network”