Hot on the heels of Marie Philips’s anguished review of a rather wonky Doctor Who episode (I agree, it was awful), the twentieth anniversary edition of Concatenation is out, and includes my article The science in science fiction, in which I sound off on making the story central to any fiction (and, en passant, drop a major spoiler about my next novel, Flashback). Here’s a brief excpert:
I guess I’ve come to this conclusion through the editing process. I’ve learned that what makes a scene good isn’t the tech; it’s the meaning conjured by the characters, their struggles, the conflict, and the wider narrative. When working to improve a work of fiction, you can fiddle with the meaning (I’m using this word in a broad sense that encompasses ‘emotion’, ‘affect’, ‘interest’ and so on) or you can fiddle with the technical stuff. At the end of the day, it’s the sharpening of meaning that improves the work by any real margin.
You can read the full article here. Thanks to Jonathan, the editor, for commissioning the piece.
Incidentally, I’ve taken the opportunity to upload a book trailer to the Flashback page. Mmm, moody.