The SFF Chronicles Science Fiction & Fantasy Community

Am I losing my love of Discworld?

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As a young teen, if anyone asked me who my favourite author was I would have said Terry Pratchett, hands down. Despite that, I only read probably less than ten Discworld books at that time (in a weird order because we didn’t think to ask the internet how to read books back then), mostly because I spent most of my spare time playing the guitar or listening to music rather than reading.

I read a few more over time, but hadn’t read any for about five years until recently reading Moving...

The Imaginary Corpse by Tyler Hayes

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When Angry Robot tweeted about this book a few weeks ago, I jumped up and down in excitement and was delighted when I got a NetGalley ARC. The idea of a detective in a dream-land of ideas and stories? Gold. And the detective is a fluffy Triceratops, greatest of the dinosaurs?

I was, and am, actively jealous of Tyler Hayes for having the idea first.

What I didn't know at the time was that the book is written in present tense, which would have cooled my excitement no small degree. That's my...

The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi

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Humans have expanded out to the stars but the inconvenient light speed limit imposed by physics would make trade and communication across such interstellar distances impossible. However the ‘flow’ was discovered, a kind of little understood hyperspace that has allowed short cuts between locations in real space. It is this flow that has made the Interdependency Empire possible but it seems the flow is about to collapse making travel and communication between the colonies in the empire...

Xenophobia by Peter Cawdron

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When an alien spacecraft unexpectedly arrives in orbit the UN peacekeeping force is pulled out of Malawi allowing it to collapse into the civil war the UN has just about been managing to keep the lid on. Are the aliens friends or foes? And with no common language to allow meaningful communication do the UN or any of the world’s governments dare gamble on them being friendly especially when much of the human population are terrified of them and attacking any of their draft on sight.


The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch by Philip K Dick

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Perky Pat Layouts are making a comfortable profit from their monopoly providing colonists on marginally inhabitable planets with an escape to an idealised ‘virtual’ earth-side reality (virtual in experience but drug induced dream world rather than cyberpunk-style). Then Palmer Eldritch returns from Proxima with a competitive product, only his drug is apparently much less harmful than P.P. Layouts. Although no cause is identified in the book, Earth itself is far from an idealised reality with...

The Moth Snowstorm by Michael McCarthy

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Let me start by saying what this book is not. It is not a polemic about the evils of megacorporations, capitalism and Big Oil. It is not a bludgeon loaded with mind-numbing and soul-deadening eco-facts, figures and data sets designed to beat you into quivering compliance. It is not a left-wing, eco-commie manifesto prophesying the path to a new Eden.

Now here's what The Moth Snowstorm is: an intensely personal account about how a love...

What is your preferred reading environment?

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An answer to another thread got me thinking of what conditions you need to read (other than your book).
For myself, I cannot read in competition with the TV, or any other conversations people are having close by. Music is very distracting for me, too. So I try and find a quiet place, or if I am in a public space, an area where noise is more of a background hum.
Ideal spot - sitting on an island on the lake where we go for holidays. Second best - my bedroom in a totally quiet house.

May 2019: 75-Word Story Challenge—READ FIRST POST

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Write a story inspired by the chosen theme and genre in no more than 75 words, not including the title.

ONE entry per person.

NO links, commentary or extraneous material in the posts, please -- the stories must stand on their own.


All stories Copyright...

Gene Wolfe (1931-2019)

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One of the truly great literary talents to work in the field of imaginative fiction:

Gene Wolfe (1931-2019)

Star Wars IX: Rise of the Skywalker (Trailer)

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The first official trailer for the new and final film of the saga!

Presenting invented hybrid cultures

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Something that comes up in my critiques on a semi-regular basis (and apologies to anyone who has critiqued and said this if it feels like a get at - it emphatically isn't, this is me reflecting on a wider writing issue that transcends any one piece of text) are comments that amount to "This doesn't feel faithful to the historical inspiration I think it is taking from."

Nine times out of ten for me this is deliberate because there is no single historical inspiration. I think it does the...

Chekhov's armoury and narrative dead ends

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Taken from an excellent blog post by @The Big Peat "The Shape of Stories"

When reading the following article by MD Presley some of my thoughts on this started to coalesce as to just why its so important not to let the story's shape be so obvious.

I believe that at the very heart of...

Joker (2019)

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A Joker movie in a failing franchise? My initial cynicism counter turns to 10 - then I notice it's Joachin Phoenix playing the lead, which is a good start. And the teaser trailer itself.... teases nicely:

April 2019: Reading Thread

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Now that 1st April has been and gone, members may be more likely to feel they will be taken seriously if they post details of what they have read or are reading...

I remember it like it was yesterday, reading...

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I had a brief exchange on another thread with dannymcg regarding a book he read back in 1984, in which he recalled exactly where he was and the circumstances, in which he read it.

It occurred to me that this was not bad thread material. There will be some books you've read where the location or time is not especially memorable, but there may be others where the time and place is etched in your memory like it was yesterday. There...

April 2019 -- 75 Word Story Challenge -- VICTORY TO TERESA EDGERTON!

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Write a story inspired by the chosen theme and genre in no more than 75 words, not including the title.

ONE entry per person.

NO links, commentary or extraneous material in the posts, please -- the stories must stand on their own.


All stories Copyright 2019 by their respective authors who grant the Chronicles Network the non-exclusive...

300-word Writing Challenge #33 (April 2019) -- VICTORY TO JO ZEBEDEE!

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The inspiration image for Challenge#33 is:

Stone Stacking.jpg

Image credit: Ken O'Brien


To write a story in 300 words or fewer
INSPIRED by the image provided above, in the genre of...​

April 2019 Photo Challenge Entries

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This month's theme is shadow maker...

Usual rules apply:
- Only two photographs per participant
- All photographs entered must be owned and have been taken by the member posting
- Do not use photographs already posted around the site
- The Challenge will close on the 27th of April, whereafter the POLL will be up for 3 days.
- The winner must post a new challenge within a couple of days
- All Chrons members welcome to enter
- All Chrons members may vote...

The Big Chronicles SF/F Reading Quiz

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You know how we always look at lists of books on other sites to see how many we've read?

How about we do that on chrons?

I thought it would be good to do a reading test, based on the most discussed authors on chrons:

How many have you read? :)

EDIT: I've checked my own tally, and I've finished books by 60 of these, and started books by another 14 without finishing. I have a couple...

Is it only writers who read SF and Fantasy mags?

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Of course I know this isn’t entirely the case, but I wonder what kind of audience is catered to by magazines like Interzone and Asimov’s.

I’m getting more into short stories. Always liked the medium, and as a kid used to enjoy the bit of fiction printed in magazines like White Dwarf and Dungeon/Dragon, having come to fantasy and SF through tabletop gaming as much as through wardrobes or magic rings.

I’ve always dipped into short story collections by the likes of China Mieville, Michael...