The Silly Robots Podcast

There’s a new thing in town. And by town I mean the internet. And by the internet I mean the thing that drives us all mad.

But I digress.

The Silly Robots Podcast is here, and we would love it if you would join us. Your hosts are Silly Robot Will and Silly Robot Grant, and we talk about lots of stuff. And things. We also have guests. You know, podcast stuff. The first episode is already up, and we will be publishing new episodes every Friday. Please subscribe! You can find us on iTunes, and also at our website.

Here’s a sneak preview of some of our upcoming episodes…

  1. Intro
  2. Interview with author Nick Thacker
  3. Music Review – The Dear Hunter: Act IV, Rebirth in Reprise/CHVRCHES Every open Eye
  4. Avengers: Age of Ultron Blu Ray review

Thanks for reading, now please go listen! You can also follow the show on Twitter and Facebook!

Have you picked up the latest book?

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Nerddom is here to stay

What drove you to write Sci Fi in the first place?

Or better yet, what is driving you to write Sci Fi now?

Is it books?

Graphic novels?

Movies?

Cartoons?

What is it?

What do you love so much that it drives you to create?

The importance of being a nerd

The status of nerds has changed over the last few decades. In the 80’s, nerds were made into comedy movies that became instant cult classics. In the 90’s, nerds were given two of their biggest icons in Steve Urkel and Samuel ‘Screech’ Powers, yet they were more the butt of a joke than tailor made heroes.

The turn of the century brought on something new though. Cartoon Network launched a block of shows that were translated from Japanese to English, giving science fiction other than American comic book heroes credence. This led to a further translation of many more shows, leading to a revolution among the upcoming generation of youth.

Of course anime was nothing new then; CN simply brought it to the status of an afternoon cartoon show like Animaniacs or Tiny Toons. What they did was bring it up from the underground and put it in the mainstream. Go ahead and talk to almost anyone age 25-35. I bet most of them know what Dragonball Z is (at least).

With all of this said, the shift had begun. Fast forward to 2013, and there are live action TV shows like The Big Bang Theory and King of the Nerds. Mainstream application of Science Fiction and its fans. I mean, the Scott Pilgrim movie made 47 million at the box office! Have you seen that movie?! It’s silly and full of all kinds of video game references! (For the record, that is one of my favorite movies of all time. I was super stoked that one of my favorite graphic novels was being made into a movie)

Not to mention the commercial successes of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Peter Jackson has accomplished what was once thought impossible with the fantasy genre. And now there’s Game of Thrones to go along with the Fire and Ice series.

Nerddom (?) has begun its reign after many years of a slow infiltration.

Which is probably one reason you create

Come on, admit it.

You know that you are a nerd for something. I like lots of sci fi things. I’m currently reading ‘The Moon is a Harsh Mistress’ by Robert Heinlein. I’m sure I will go see whatever cool Sci Fi movie comes out soon. I need to organize my 400+ comic books and graphic novels. All of these things drive me to create worlds full of adventure and sweet gadgets. The lightsaber still haunts me.

What drives you?

What are you so in love with that it makes you want to make your own?

The Process

Many of my ideas come to me at random times. Sometimes even when I’m already writing a different story! It is very important to keep your ideas documented. How organized you keep them is your own business, but at least get them where you can come back to them.

Once you have an idea, fleshing it out is the hard part. Most people tend to want a novel length project, but short stories are much easier to complete. Combining short stories can also lead to a novel. Don’t count out the short story.

Editing is absolutely necessary. There are mistakes. Your beta readers and editor will find them. Trust me.

Whatever makes you create is just as important as the process. Which is why I spent more words on nerd stuff than process in this post. I have tons of content on process and nerd stuff if you want to check it out. Just click on the archives and start browsing. I hope your holidays were great, and that you got some cool stuff that will spur your creativity even more. I’m off to get a bow this weekend with my Christmas earnings.

Keep Writing!

Genre Mixing

I’ll be honest, Sci Fi is not the only genre I like.

And I will probably try to write something that is not in some sort of Sci Fi subgenre someday. But here’s a good question:

What if I could mix Sci Fi with another genre?
Well I certainly wouldn’t be an innovator.

I think Mel Brooks is a genius. He is a comedian, but his movies are comedy set in another genre. Blazing Saddles is a western, Spaceballs is Sci Fi, Young Frankenstein is horror. And yet they are all comedies.

So what if Science Fiction was the permeating undertone?

SPOILERS IF YOU CONTINUE!

 

Some of you may hate this, but I am a big fan of Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series. When I was in grade school, I read those books as fast as I could, seeing the planet Pern in my mind’s eye, wanting to be a dragon rider. But the most interesting thing to me was that in the end, these novels are not fantasy.

They’re Sci Fi.

McCaffrey had this whole world planned out with Dragons and a seemingly supernatural enemy set in what seems to be a feudal time period in the planet’s history. But we find out that that what actually happened was that a group of people came to Pern on spaceships and genetically engineered an indigenous species to create the Dragons. Eventually they uncover the original ship, a supercomputer, and tons of data about why they are on Pern.

In my young mind, Sci Fi and Fantasy were very much two different things.

I read Tolkien’s books and they were far different from Star Wars or Star Trek.

Harry Potter is not Blade Runner or The Matrix.

But I wasn’t paying attention to one of my other loves: Comic Books.

Comic books have a wonderful way of mixing Sci Fi and Fantasy.

Aliens who have powers bestowed by yellow sunlight are susceptible to magic. A Norse god fights alongside a suit of high powered armor with a supercomputer.
They do it pretty well too.

So here’s the big point for today:

 

Don’t be afraid to mix genres. Keep Sci Fi as your starting point, but don’t be afraid to throw in some Fantasy or Thriller elements. Maybe even delve into myths and legends to help complete your story. Make some genetically engineered fantasy creatures to use as an army force.

Don’t be a genre snob. Nobody likes that guy.

 

Anyway, keep writing.

My NaNoWriMo has taken a turn for the worse and I fear I won’t catch back up. But I’ll keep writing and trying. How are your projects going? Let me know.

I also have a guest post coming up at livehacked.com in November, and you should go check out the website and get some helpful tips for marketing your book.

Have a great week everybody, keep calm and Sci Fi