Edward Willett

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When Words Collide 2017: Canada’s best writing conference

Last weekend my wife and daughter and I made our annual pilgrimage to When Words Collide in Calgary, which has become, not only my favorite writing conference, but, I think, the best writing conference in Canada. (Admittedly, I haven’t been to all of them, but I don’t see how any of them can be appreciably better!) There are panels on every aspect of writing, and even though many of them are aimed at writers who are just starting out, there are plenty of others of interest to more experienced writers. This year, I particularly enjoyed Tawny Stokes’s panel on pitching books to TV/movie production companies—something I ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 13:34, August 20th, 2017 under Blog, Writing and Editing | Comment now »

The Space-Time Continuum: What’s the Big Idea?

Here's my latest "Space-Time Continuum" column from the Saskatchewan Writers Guild's magazine Freelance. “Where do you get your ideas?” is a question every author has heard multiple times. I usually say something about how story ideas are all around us, and give some examples. But recently I’ve realized there are two different kinds of ideas at work in a book: the idea that starts the book, and the idea at the heart of the book—what you might call the “big idea.” Or, at least, that’s what I’m going to call it, because that’s what bestselling science fiction writer John Scalzi calls it in his popular blog “Whatever," where for years he has generously ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 11:15, August 6th, 2017 under Blog, Columns, Science Fiction Columns, Writing and Editing | Comment now »

The Cityborn is out! Reviews, interviews, and more…

The Cityborn, my eighth novel for DAW Books (though only the fourth under my own name) officially released on July 4. All of the United States celebrated with fireworks, which was nice. This is an ongoing post that I'll update as new things appear online. It's been getting some nice attention! It made Inverse Entertainment's list of "7 Essential Science Fiction Books for July 2017" and Barnes & Noble's list of "The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Books of July 2017." I wrote a "Big Idea" for John Scalzi's popular blog WhateverYou can read it here. John has generously provided these guest spots for many years for authors to ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 11:05, July 8th, 2017 under Blog, Books, Writing and Editing | Comment now »

New Aurora Award Storybundle includes my novel Marseguro

A new Storybundle has just gone live featuring winners of (and finalists for) Canada's Aurora Award for best Canadian science fiction and fantasy. It's curated by Douglas Smith, so I'm going to let him explain it in the guest post below... The Aurora Award Bundle #2 Curated by Douglas Smith How would you like to own, at an incredible bargain, ten books that readers like yourself have already voted to be the best examples of speculative fiction published in Canada? Well, here's your chance. I'm once again curating an ebook bundle for StoryBundle.com that contains more winners and finalists for Canada's premier speculative fiction award, the Aurora Award. The Auroras are awarded annually by the Canadian Science ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 8:20, July 5th, 2017 under Blog, Books, Writing and Editing | Comment now »

Publishers Weekly reviews The Cityborn…”will entertain SF adventure fans”

Another review has bubbled up, although the release of The Cityborn is still more than a month away. This time it's from Publishers Weekly: "Willett (the Helix War series) wraps his capable new adult science fiction adventure around the fate of a mysterious many-tiered city and its inhabitants...Willett’s spunky protagonists and colorful world will entertain SF adventure fans." Entertainment is what this book is all about, and the common thread running through all the reviews--people seem to be finding it a fun read. I'm sure you will, too. :) Now I'm looking forward to receiving my authors' copies and actually seeing the book in the dead-tree flesh..could be any day.

Posted by Edward Willett at 9:14, May 30th, 2017 under Blog, Books, Writing and Editing | Comment now »

Door into Faerie a finalist for the 2017 Aurora Award for Best Young Adult Novel!

I’m honoured that Door into Faerie has been shortlisted or a 2017 Aurora Award (for the best Canadian science fiction and fantasy) in the Young Adult category. This is the second Shards of Excalibur book to be a finalist for the YA award: Twist of the Blade was also shortlisted. Other titles on the final ballot include Day of the Demon by Randy McCharles (CreateSpace), Heir to the Sky by Amanda Sun (Harlequin Teen), Icarus Down by James Bow (Scholastic Canada), Mik Murdonch: Crisis of Consience by Michel Plested (Evil Alter Ego Press), and The Wizard Killer – Season One by Adam Dreece (ADZO Publishing). Any Canadian citizen or permanent resident can vote ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 18:19, May 28th, 2017 under Blog, Books, Writing and Editing | Comment now »

Great review for The Cityborn from RT Book Reviews

There's a great new review of the The Cityborn in RT Book Reviews (not currently publicly accessible online; once/if it becomes so, I'll link to it). Reviewer Bridget Keown gives it 4/5 stars and writes:   "Willett brings J.G. Ballard’s High-Rise into the distant space age in this dystopian tale of class, power and freedom that will entertain devotees and non-genre fans alike. The worldbuilding in this book is impressive, creating an atmosphere that is both fascinating and oppressive, and characters who are magnificently complex. Though the final revelation ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 19:16, May 23rd, 2017 under Blog, Books, Writing and Editing | Comment now »

The Space-Time Continuum: Aliens in Science Fiction

Having just posted my column from the February/March 2017 issue of Freelance, the magazine of the Saskatchewan Writers Guild (see previous post), it behooves me to be more timely and post the most recent column, from the April/May issue. And here it is! I remember being confused, as a kid, the first time I encountered the term “illegal aliens.” “Alien,” to me, had only one meaning: intelligent creatures from other planets. How could they be illegal? I wondered. Not being from this planet, were they really subject to its laws? Yes, I was a weird kid. Aliens are one of the great tropes of science fiction, as the length of the article in the ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 16:15, May 21st, 2017 under Blog, Columns, Science Fiction Columns, Writing and Editing | Comment now »

The Space-Time Continuum: Creating Magic Systems

This is a belated posting of my column from the February-March 2017 issue of Freelance, the magazine of the Saskatchewan Writers Guild. Don't know how I missed posting it, but better late than never! Most fantasy stories include magic: that’s kind of what makes them fantasy. (In fact, if I had to distinguish between fantasy and science fiction, I’d say, “The fantastical stuff in fantasy is ascribed to magic. The fantastical stuff in science fiction is ascribed to advanced technology.”) However, different authors take different approaches to the use of magic in stories. In older books of the fantastic (think The Lord of the Rings), magic is (in the words of Brian ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 16:05, May 21st, 2017 under Blog, Columns, Science Fiction Columns, Writing and Editing | 2 Comments »

Read a sample of my new science-fiction novel, THE CITYBORN

Just two months until the July 4 release of The Cityborn, my eighth novel for DAW Books. Review copies have been sent out, and I'm on pins and needles wondering what the reaction will be. On the plus side, both the copy editors and my publicist told me the book was a lot of fun to read, so...from their mouths to readers' ears! And speaking of readers (nice segue, eh?), if you would like to one of them, you can get a head start: I've just posted the prologue and first two chapters online. It's a good solid 10,000-word sample, and hopefully will whet your appetite for the additional 120,000 ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 9:55, May 2nd, 2017 under Books, Writing and Editing | Comment now »