East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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Strength is not just kicking ass (and vice-versa)

Something funny happened the other day – funny up to a point, as I will try and explain later.

One of the usual debates started, about reading and writing and what else, and the discussion turned to strong female characters, and we were given a brief lecture about how

a woman will never be stronger than a man – it’s a matter of muscular mass: the strongest woman warrior will always be at the same level of a mid-range male warrior, and she could never beat a stronger opponent


Now, this statement is – of course – mindboggingly asinine on two counts1
Continue reading


The Story of Whatsisname

Book-titleOK, so I lost the race but I’m on my way to finishing my second novel.
There’s a catch – apart from a few bits that still grate a little, and that I’ll have to discuss with my editor and beta readers… there’s the matter of the title.

Because so far, I’ve worked on files codenamed Matter/Energy, but let’s admit it – as a title for a science fiction novel, Matter/Energy sucks.
And is sounds like some kind of slash fiction for horny trekkies, which might attract the wrong readers.

So, I’ll have to invent a title.
The publishing gurus talk about compelling titles – but a cool title would be enough.
Because a cool title is something that really sells the novel. Continue reading