22 thoughts on “Open Book Blog Hop, 20th April

      1. So what did they pop round the pub to eat. Fish and dirt? Sorry. Irreverent, but couldn’t resist. Or was it rush on Potato chips (crisps) like the toilet paper famine of 2020? Sorry. Again.


    1. I’m guessing it’s not as tricky as creating whole worlds as I assume you do, Richard. I confess I’ve not read any SciFi in years. As a young man I read all the classics: Heinlein, Azmov, Sheckley, Herbert, Clarke, Bradbury – to name a few!

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      1. I’m not so sure. I can base a fictional universe on one fact, you need to fit your fiction around what people know (and is recorded), which is a lot more complex. You’ve provided a roll call of my favourites there.

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      2. There’s a lengthy discussion here about fictional universes that maintain the human condition experience, Bonanza in Space, or a completely “alien” realm wherein nothing is relative to what we currently understand. In which case a version of nonsensical post modernism must arise that is understood only by the author. I think of the psychedelic experience authors writing not in the experience transcribed in real words but in the language of the experience. Seriously. A fictional universe is either a described dystopia or beyond language. A pure fiction. But then that’s a little extreme…Yeah, I use that riff in a book. Someone’s writings are described as Carlos Castaneda meets Miss Marple.
        I say this and admit freely I don’t write scifi because I don’t understand! I played with a bass player for years who inhaled the stuff and he’s still sane.

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  1. My latest novel’s main character travels round England in 2014 and only visits places I have been to! In my trilogy the characters live in a London suburb that doesn’t exist, but has all the features that one would find in a typical suburb. In my first novel the family who set off for Australia in 1964 live in a suburb identical to where my aunt and uncle lived. I enjoy being inspired by places I know or visit.

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    1. Why? There’s no one to argue with you if it’s old enough! Except other historians who are working with the same information. And pre 1850? Nobody has postcards. f they did we’d know what Rome looked like and how Stonehenge came to be. Pre postcards historians are as much fiction as fiction writers. Stonehenge? Aliens!

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      1. We might not have photographs, Phil, but we do have drawings and paintings. And there are contemporaneous written records that go back a long way. Not as far back as Stonehenge I grant you. So the aliens built all the many henges that are all over Europe, as well as the Easter Island sculptures and the ancient structures in Asia and South America? Who can tell? And why did they not bother with North America? (This is your chance to tell me about similar structures in your neck of the woods!)

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      2. Drawings and painting are always suspect. I mean look at the Byzantines! Cave drawings and writing only came about with the Sumerians around 2400 BC. And we all know history is writ by accountants and the winners! We have Mayan pyramids over here in Mexico, dated to be roughly 1,000 years younger than Giza. There was another burst 2,00 years ago. What we have plenty of is mounds and caves from the same era as the 13,000 year old Englishmen. There is talk of some 20,000 year old sites that they are blaming on the French. Which makes sense because the alien coneheads always said “We are from France.”

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  2. Aha! Frank is here. Okay, historical-fiction types. My father read and wrote it, so I have no beef with it unless it gets too long in the descriptive tooth. I mean knights are knights and days of yore are days of yore and indoor plumbing didn’t exist. But – I have a riff from my American in Cambridge bit along the lines of “What do you mean no one knows where Stonehenge came from? Like it just showed up in some farmers backyard one day? You people have been on this island for what, thirteen thousand years? And nobody knows where freaking Stonehenge came from? I say it’s a tourist trap.”
    Welcome, Frank!! You old historical fiction guy.

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  3. Interesting to hear about your work, Frank.

    My fiction is almost exclusively in the genres of urban horror and dark fantasy, but I pride myself on recognizable, real-world settings (usually contemporary but sometimes historical) with only an element of the paranormal injected into them. (Most of my stories are set in New York City and the Hudson Valley, where I grew up.) I find that readers are more likely to buy into a supernatural premise if the world of the fiction itself conveys a certain verisimilitude. I much prefer magical realism to high fantasy, as both a reader and a writer.

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    1. Thanks for joining the conversation, Sean. I think you are absolutely right about the impoprtance of authentic, relateable settings, especially when the events you describe are beyond everyday experience.

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