Nowadays it seems that every other urban fantasy book I pick up has witches in it, and the blurb goes along the lines of “she’s a witch, but she helps humans” or “she’s a witch, and now humans are after her”, or it has some other iteration of “witches vs. them” theme. And that, sadly, is usually the reason I don’t even continue checking out the rest of the blurb, let alone reading the actual book.
It’s because I miss the witches of old. Or rather, to be more precise, I miss how they used to be portrayed in stories. (more…)
By a chance, I’ve learned that World Dracula Day, commemorating the publication date of Bram Stoker classic, falls on May 26, and it sparked some thoughts about vampires in fiction and pop culture. They’ve been around in books since late 19th century (if we take Dracula’s release date as a marker), and had accompanied us for thousands of years in oral storytelling, folklore, and various myths. After such a long time, are they a little bit stale? Are they… dare I say it, boring? Or, perhaps, like certain pieces of clothing, vampire never go out of style?
Back in February, JD Estrada—writer, poet, and Youtuber—invited me to take part in his online event, March of the Writers. With many interesting prompts, I was hoping to join in the fun, but unfortunately, reality decided otherwise. The beginning of March wasn’t too kind to me, and as weeks passed, things didn’t improve enough for me to take on another commitment. But I still didn’t want to miss the opportunity, so in a way of a compromise, I’m writing this post. I won’t cover all the 31 prompts, but I chose the ones that seemed the most interesting. (more…)
As much as I love the colorful galaxies full of various alien species that coexist in a more or less peaceful manner, I think the biggest power of science fiction is presenting the unknown. And to present an alien species that is truly different from human species, not only in its anatomy but also in the way it thinks, is an art in and of itself. Therefore, books that explore this aspect of speculative fiction always get my attention. Here are some that I consider noteworthy, even years (or decades) after I’ve read them. (more…)
A great part of what makes being science fiction fan so great is the ability to share the passion with other fans. Discussing your favorite book, newly discovered show or even joining a co-op fight against alien creatures in a game often enhances the experiences. But when you also read in a language other than English, you suddenly discover that nobody has read that exceptional book and you can’t share your excitement with anyone in the English-speaking world. With so many wonderful books around the world, there are never enough translations, and it’s hard to be aware what available outside of the anglophone world.
So today I’m sharing my list of Polish science fiction I would really love to see translated in English. (more…)
My transition from adventure and action books to speculative fiction happened through fantasy. To the teenage girl I was back then, magic had more appeal than technology-heavy books. Even though I enjoyed science fiction movies, some recommended books discouraged me from diving into the genre (back then, in Poland, prevailed socially involved hard scifi, and the teenage me didn’t find them appealing). It wasn’t until a few years later, when my library was running out of fantasy books I wanted to read, I started picking up science fiction books. I discovered that science fiction could be fun too, and my imagination as well as the understanding of possible future technologies broadened, so I wasn’t bogged down by technical details anymore.
I still tend to read more fantasy than science fiction, but if you ask me about my favorite speculative books… the science fiction ones always first come to mind. (more…)
I think it was 2 years ago when I first came across the SciFi Month on Sarah Higbee’s blog. I loved the idea, since I’m as much a fan of science fiction as I am of fantasy, but it felt rushed to try joining mid-month. Instead, I hoped to join the following year, which in the end, never happened.
This year, I was determined to not miss it. I noted the date in my calendar and started gathering ideas—and there were so many! Time, of course, flies and I might be far from feeling prepared, but I’m still joining it. (more…)
“Dreams do not come true just because you dream them.” – Shonda Rhimes
Back in my youth, when I was only starting my writing journey, it always seemed clear to me that I would one day be traditionally published. But while I grew as a writer, gathering short story publications from publishers small and big, the world around me grew as well, changing in the ways I couldn’t have predicted. Traditional publishing wasn’t the only valid way anymore.
Over the years, my perspectives broadened, and my priorities shifted, leading me to realize that it was time to change my decades-old approach to my writing.
I decided to become an indie author, and here’s why.
I’ve read Richard Morgan’s Takeshi Kovacs series in my early twenties, back when I lived in Poland. There was a bit of hype about it, and I decided to check it out. Needless to say, a book that started with the main character dying on the first two pages had to suck me in (and I missed my tram stop because of it). I devoured all three books as they became available in Polish, and then—since there were no more Takeshi Kovacs stories—I moved onto other exciting reads.
When Netflix released its series based on the books, I hardly remembered the stories, only the setting, so it took me a while to actually get around to watching it. That delay allowed me to watch season 1 and 2 of Netflix’s Altered Carbon almost back to back.
If you had not watched the series, be warned—some spoilers ahead. (more…)