Writing dreams (and waiting for reality to catch up)


Never fear, this won’t be a deep and disturbing look at the world inside my head as I wake each morning. Such revelations would be sadly underwhelming I fear, unless you, like me, dream far too often of zombies. I’m not sure what it is about the undead that plagues my nightmares. I say nightmares… every night I’m a hero.

Sadly when I wake up, I’m a writer again. That’s not to say that’s not its own kind of heroism. You can’t approach the fraught world of writing submissions, long waits and ultimately heartfelt rejections without a great deal of bravery and commitment. I don’t think the Avengers are going to be calling me up anytime soon however. You won’t find a Captain Wheezy shield keeping Iron Man safe while Captain America takes his holidays. I do however now want a shield.

Anyway, that’s a two paragraph digression. The editor would be horrified. Luckily she’s not here right now. I can put the apostroph’es where I want.

Almost there...

Almost there…

The dreams I speak of are the ones that make it onto our page. They’re the exciting ideas that grab you and drive you to write. This is perhaps more true with elements of science fiction than anywhere else, a fact I was reminded about by the exciting events of the Rosetta probe and Philae landing on Comet 67P recently. I was watching the live feed, wondering when we’d get to cheer (then wondering why everyone was cheering and if I should to) when it struck me how exciting it is to see those kind of dreams made real.

I remember reading authors such as Arthur C. Clarke growing up, the power of his stories made all the more demanding by this strange feel of almost being there. It’s those kind of imaginings coming true that contribute towards people becoming excited by the likes of space exploration. It’s those kind of strange dreams that lead me to write Another Sunset back in 2012, my first published short story.

And there are so many weird and fascinating leaps towards that future now, whether it’s Google planning blimps to share internet through Africa, a crowd sourced robotic Moon Landing or some Star Trek like scanner to tell you what’s in your food.

bfi-virtual-sci-fi-festival-harper-voyager-logo-20141111 It seems there’s no more exciting time to write Science Fiction, because there’s so much exciting science fact too. It’s one of the reasons I found the recent BFI Voyager Virtual Sci-Fi festival such fun, there was such a great attitude of positivity and engagement around those who took part. It was also great to see the forward look world of sci-fi try a new and exciting way of engaging that community too.

So while it’s so challenging to attempt to emulate the likes of Clarke, with his vision of the future that was almost prophetic at times, we can at least enjoy trying. Because you never know which idea that starts in your head and makes it onto the page, might make it a bit further one day.

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Posted in An interesting story, Short Stories, Writing

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