Game Changer "Game Changer" is a book written by Douglas E. Richards, someone I would normally have considered extremely tech savvy and, until reading this book, one of my very favourite authors. I do not lie when I say literally devoured every book of his I could get my hands on; superb writing, good grammar and an incisive ability to create suspenseful situations. And then, completely out of the blue, it wasn't. I detested this book so much so that I doubt I will ever read one of Richards' books again.

Brexit: Two Nations I was one of the 48% of those who voted to Remain and, though I sometimes I was one of the 48% of those who voted to Remain and, though I sometimes have despaired of some of the things said by those in my camp, I am still a Remainer. In political and economic terms, I am a relative "know nothing" yet it has become increasingly clear that I know a lot more than most however, like everyone else who voted, I was asked to become a politician, a diplomat and an economic specialist for one day. Of course, I couldn't become that but I did do some research and, very briefly, voted remain for a number of reasons.

Finance is important to everyone and, whilst I felt Brexit would make little difference to me personally, I'd still get paid and I only had some 7 years to go until retirement. I was wrong as I was made redundant and it was mooted that the primary reason was uncertainties with respect to Brexit. Claims were made that Britain would be "leaner and meaner" which, with almost 40 years of work behind me, I knew referred to ordinary workers like me, not management or the elite. It was clear to me that the media (the right-wing tabloids in particular) have inflamed many Brits to a simmering xenophobic, nationalism when it is clear that any advancing technological nation needs the kind of skilled, trained workers from abroad. From the kind of fervour being whipped up I also felt it was not a great step from where we were to the kind of situation exiting pre-WW" Germany where such people were declared sub-human (or "Untermensch"). Humans do things better in cooperation with science, for example, advancing far faster than history suggests by the combined effort of "ordinary" jobbing scientists from all over the world.

But my major reason was quite simply war as there hasn't been a single conflict in the Eurozone since the end of WW2, and that in a region rife with war something clearly to do with standard of living and that the EU represents a forum to talk out our problems instead of fighting.

Science Fiction Science fiction is easy enough to write but not necessarily well and old bookshops (and now, I suppose, the equivalent virtual stores) are full of often exciting but essentially daft space literature. Whilst some liberties can, arguably must, be taken, having chosen to write science fiction the author needs to reign in his or her excesses and confine their tale to something more believable. I would argue a science fiction writer has to have a good grasp of what is or is not possible, not necessarily now but in the future and, more than that, it has to be reasonable. Hollywood space films have conditioned us to expect scenes of rolling asteroids, fighters swooping in and out of danger, manoeuvring around each other in aerial style dogfights, missiles streaking after ships in long curving paths and, of course, the classic sounds of laser and explosions. None of these can really happen in space and a science fiction author should consider such things carefully before using such tropes.

Paul Posing Ten years ago, Tuesday 30th October 2007, my oldest brother Paul was interred after taking GHB a well-known recreational and date rape drug. Unfortunately, he had also been drinking heavily and once he took the drug I guess his body just stopped.

The funeral was humanist and was extremely well handled by the celebrant, showing respect to those of faiths other than my own (which happens to be none) and I was one of those who spoke.

Recent Trends in Sci-Fi Books It seems to me that the science fiction bookverse (for lack of a better term) is awash with books that seem to tell the same basic story, that Earth is under attack (again) and that evil dastardly aliens are afoot. Whilst I understand that an author wants their readers to care about their characters and their story (if only to make them buy the sequels) I find this kind of scenario unadventurous and frustrating. I've read a lot of science fiction in my time and it is possible to get your readers to care even if the Earth is not in immediate danger of destruction.

L. Ron Hubbard's 'Battlefield Earth' It is said that opinions are like ****holes, we all have one but nothing about possessing ones means you're right, not unless you can justify it. With that in mind I am reviewing a book I happen to like by an author I happen to revile, especially the misbegotten abortion he spawned. I'm not saying it's a good book, just that I like it for various reasons.

Learning To Write In the last article, I dealt with mastery of your chosen language. This article discusses the basic inspiration which we gain from a variety of sources such as events, people, books, movies, television. My own arose from book series, several well-written and one not so much and from that, I could imagine better and whilst I may never fulfil that dream it gave me something to aim for. The next requirement is dealt with, in the following article.

Learning To Write Writing may not be as easy as it appears at first glance. This article, the first of three, starts the discussion of what I think are those essential skills, the first of which is a good understanding of the language in which you choose to write. It then goes on to discuss ways in which you can improve your language skills. The next requirement is dealt with, in the following article.

In Appreciation of E E 'Doc' Smith E. E. "Doc" Smith was a brilliant writer, not so much in a literary sense, but one capable of writing science fiction that spanned solar systems, galaxies and universes. Though his philosophies represented a bygone age, his technology was imaginative and carried me, as a young boy, into realms I had never before visited. There have, undoubtedly, been writers of his calibre (and far better) since but I am not sure anyone ever had as much scope in their stories.

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