What successful sci-fi authors blog about
I have been neglecting my writing duties lately, because of a big project that took up almost every waking hour of my life. That project isn’t yet quite finished but I have now been able to carve out a little time to be a sci-fi novelist in, and so I am getting back into doing all the things a self-published writer has to do. I won’t bore you with the list, because it is long, but one of the duties at the top of that list for me is blogging.
Looking over recent posts on this blog, all I see are a few reviews of the zeitgeist sci-fi TV shows we are all watching and a lot of verbiage about old comic books, specifically issues of 2000 AD from the 1970s and 1980s. I enjoy both subjects a lot, but it occurs to me that writing about current sci-fi TV is something everyone probably does, which means it is probably hard to get my blog posts noticed among the background chatter of similar writing, and conversely posts about ancient issues of a British sci-fi comic book are probably so niche that I doubt many people read them. In fact I’m sure not many people read them because the Blogger platform has a handy back end that tells me just how lacking in popularity they are. I need to find something else to write about, something that occupies the sweet spot between these two extremes.
After making the time to return to blogging more regularly I want to really make the work count, to write posts about things people might actually be interested in, to attract more visitors to my blog (and hopefully sell them a copy of Galaxy Dog, or one of my other ripsnorting fabulist* yarns).
A Message from the Author
I write sci-fi novels that belong to a series called Dark Galaxy, which starts with Galaxy Dog:
What starts as an ordinary invasion of an alien planet brings to light an ancient archeological site of huge importance. A young man called Knave makes a life-changing discovery there and rises from a lowly position as an infantry trooper to become a player among the powers of the galaxy.
The entire series is available to buy from Amazon.
So I started thinking, what do successful sci-fi authors blog about? And by thinking, I mean Googling. I found a page listing top sci-fi authors where I searched to see if any of them had a blog and, if so, what they wrote about. Many of the authors on the page, such as Frank Herbert, didn’t have a blog because the technology didn’t exist when they were writing, but a lot of the writers of more recent books on the list did indeed have a blog. The one with the nicest design belonged to Nick Harkaway. It hadn’t been updated since 2018, but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t take a quick look to see what he was writing about back then. It was quite a mix, including British politics and the etymology of words that took his fancy, such as ‘whelm’. Both of these are subjects I feel I could write about so they are going on my list. I’m going to use this list of post subject ideas to enrich this blog’s current mix of TV reviews and comic book musings, and make the whole experience more edifying and pleasurable for everyone involved.
Harkaway’s wasn’t the blog that had gone the longest without being updated, however, oh no, that was the blog written by Jasper Fforde. Fforde’s blog hasn’t been updated since 2007, and back then he wasn’t writing about anything in particular. It was mostly a bunch of diarist-type musings relating to interesting events in his life, which is something I can do, but only if anything interesting were ever to actually happen to me. We’ll see.
One of the big beasts of the list was Daniel Abraham, who is one of the minds behind The Expanse. His blog includes a lot of guest posts where other people write content for him. That is a nice trick if you can mange it. I assume he uses his Expanse millions to pay these people. I do not have Expanse millions, so guest posts are not an option for me. It is not an idea that is going on my list.
The next blog I checked out was the one written by Ann Leckie. She has the lovely habit of blogging about books she has just read without making the posts too much lie reviews. I would love to have the time to read actual books all the way to the back cover but sadly that just is not the case for me at this point in my life. Whenever I do finish a sci-fi book a review immediately goes on this blog, and that will continue to happen, just not very often. I might however try to make the posts more like a conversational report, in the style of Leckie, rather than a review.
The next blog I checked out, by Marie Lu, had an interesting post where she talked about trends in writing. It made me think that attempting to identify new trends in writing might be a good source of posts. I don’t think this would even have to be limited to writing. It might be interesting to identify trends across sci-fi popular culture. I’ll put this idea on my list and keep my eyes open for trends.
The last blog I checked out was by Nnedi Okorafor. It is a treasure trove of fascinating information relating to her Nigerian heritage. I don’t have Nigerian heritage, but I do have heritage. I come from a very specific region of the UK, where the people are called Geordies, and I could possible post about how that has influenced my work. People know a little about Cockneys but probably less about Geordies, if anything at all. I’m in two minds about it, but we’ll put it on the list for now. Okay, so the list is done, see below:
Etymology of words.
Trends in writing.
Keep an eye on this blog and see if I write anything along these lines in the future or if this blog remains a mix of TV and 2000 AD. To end, just a reminder that the best way to support this blog is to buy one of my books. Simply go over to Amazon, or Kobo and get one.
*Fabulist: Someone who writes or recites fables is one kind of fabulist. Another kind of fabulist is a person who tells tall tales, or who lies. The root of fabulist is the Old French fable, "lie or pretense," from the Latin fabula, "story, play, or tale," or literally, "that which is told."