Channelling the Ancients

April 18, 2010
Cover of the compilation Best of British SF 1, by Mike Ashley
Best of British SF 1, by Mike Ashley

OK, so I’m not holding a seance or anything, but this seems like a good follow-on from my previous post.

I find it much easier to write when I’m on holiday, and so in sunnier climes last week I began writing at pace. Like most people, I also read a lot on my hols, and was reading the fascinating, almost historical, The Best of British Sci-Fi, edited by Mike Ashley (1977).

There are two roughly chronological volumes, and so I found myself immersed in some great stories from Wells, Conan Doyle, Wyndham and others. It was certainly the case that these earlier science fiction stories were much more exciting than the more recent ones (though very modern sci-fi often tends to be much better than this poor intermediary phase).

So my current project is to try to recreate this type of story. I don’t want it to be some kind of costume drama, but I’m having great fun including some of those aspects (naivete and non-PC attitudes for starters) which make the stories such a guilty joy to read. I won’t go into specifics, as I’d rather you weren’t reading the story waiting for those things to crop up, but I promise to get it up here when it’s a fully polished story!

And hopefully I won’t have to worry about thinking of strange new ideas – I’m putting quite commonplace ones in front of historic characters!