Edward Willett


The Space-Time Continuum: Steam-Engine Time

Here's my latest column from Freelance, the magazine of the Saskatchewan Writers Guild. All forms of art, from the visual to the theatrical, from motion pictures to literature, tend to go through movements. One reason for this is simply copycatting, something that is most clearly seen in the motion picture industry: somebody makes a movie about, say, competitive cross-stitching, and it’s such a hit that suddenly there are a dozen more films about the cut-throat world of fabric-related competition. Another reason is conversation: artists within the same genre naturally react to, protest, and comment on the work of others within their genre. But sometimes, and especially in science fiction, it’s because it’s ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 8:05, March 28th, 2018 under Blog, Columns, Science Fiction Columns, Writing and Editing | Comment now »

The Space-Time Continuum: What do writers owe their readers?

Here's my latest column from Freelance, the magazine of the Saskatchewan Writers Guild. The Winds of Winter, the sixth book in George R.R. Martin’s bestselling fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire, still doesn’t have a release date, six years after the release of A Dance with Dragons. (And there’s a final book, A Dream of Spring, to come after The Winds of Winter.) Readers of the series are understandably antsy. Some have been downright rude about it, prompting Neil Gaiman to famously tell a reader that “George R.R. Martin is not working for you.” (Well, he put it that way the second time he said it: his original formulation was…pithier.) But ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 16:40, January 20th, 2018 under Blog, Columns, Science Fiction Columns, Writing and Editing | 1 Comment »

Latest issue of Grain Magazine (which I edited) now out

Grain Magazine 42.3, the second volume of this venerable literary magazine that I've guest edited, is now in the mail to subscribers. I really enjoyed working on it with poetry editor Kelly-Anne Riess and fiction editor Cassidy McFadzean. Among the duties of the managing editor is to come up with a title for the issue. I chose "The Maps We Make," and here's my editor's note, explaining why: Casting around for a title for this issue of Grain, I netted this quote from the novel Love Over Scotland, by Alexander McCall Smith: “Regular maps have few surprises: their contour lines reveal where the Andes are, and are reasonably clear. More precious, ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 12:39, July 15th, 2015 under Blog, Writing and Editing | Comment now »

The Space-Time Continuum: Two Roads

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. -Robert Frost When Robert Frost wrote his famous poem “The Road Not Taken,” he clearly didn’t have in mind the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, which postulates there is a very large—perhaps infinite—number of parallel universes, in which anything that could have happened in our past, but did not, in fact did. Still, even shorn of its quantum-mechanical underpinnings, the idea of the choices we make today altering our future was hardly original with Frost. The story of Adam and Eve, to name one obvious example, is all about having a choice, and ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 8:30, June 28th, 2015 under Blog, Columns, Science Fiction Columns, Writing and Editing | Comment now »

Giving imagination free rein: Sheila Gilbert of DAW Books

[caption id="attachment_11717" align="alignleft" width="300"] From left to right, Sheila Gilbert, me, and Betsy Wollheim.[/caption] I'm jumping the gun a little bit here, since Freelance hasn't come out yet, but here's my upcoming "Space-Time Continuum" column for the Saskatchewan Writers Guild magazine--an interview with my editor and publisher, Sheila Gilbert, nominated once again this year for a Hugo Award for Best Editor, Long Form. As a teenager looking for science fiction and fantasy, I was drawn to the distinctive yellow spines of paperbacks published by DAW Books—a name I found amusing because DAW are the initials of my brother, Dwight Arthur Willett. In fact, those initials belonged to Donald A. Wollheim, ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 19:12, April 24th, 2015 under Blog, Columns, Science Fiction Columns, Writing and Editing | Comment now »

Great video about best genre literary conference anywhere: When Words Collide

Here's a great video about the best genre literary convention in North America and probably the world: Calgary's When Words Collide. If you're interested in writing, you owe it to yourself to get to When Words Collide. My name gets mentioned about halfway through this video as an example of the kinds of deals that get made at the convention: it was there last year that Hayden Trenholm of Bundoran Press asked me if I'd write a sequel to Right to Know. That sequel, Falcon's Egg, will be out next year. you

Posted by Edward Willett at 22:25, October 19th, 2014 under Blog, Books, Writing and Editing | Comment now »

A sneak peek at Masks

That gorgeous cover, by Paul Young, will grace my next book from DAW, Masks, written under the pseudonym E.C. Blake. I just got it this week, and now I'm doubly excited about the book coming out. Here's what DAW has come up with for the book jacket flaps (Masks is coming out in hardcover, my first hardcover novel, so it actually has flaps). Now all I have to do is live up to it! Masks, the first novel in a mesmerizing new fantasy series, draws readers into a world in which cataclysmic events have left the Autarchy of Aygrima—the one land blessed with magical resources—cut off from its former trading partners ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 13:37, February 22nd, 2013 under Blog, Books, Writing and Editing | Comment now »

Aging my heroine, fulfilling my pledges

As I noted last week when I made my excuses for not blogging very much, one of the tasks keeping me occupied was rewriting Masks, the first book in my upcoming trilogy for DAW (under the pseudonym of E.C. Blake). This was an interesting pass through the manuscript, because its main purpose was to change the age of the central character, Mara, from thirteen to fifteen. In addition, I completely rewrote the beginning of the book, adding quite a few new scenes from Mara’s childhood that hopefully will set up the story’s situation better and develop the character more fully in the minds of the (no doubt millions...millions!) of readers. The “aging” process went very well: I didn’t have to change much at ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 8:39, February 12th, 2013 under Blog, Writing and Editing | Comment now »

The traditional “Blog post about why I’m not blogging much”

I know, I know. I post about getting a cat and then I fall silent, which can lead to only one conclusion: the cat ate my blog post. Not quite true, although Shadowpaw (Look! Another cat photo! Because there’s such a shortage of those on the Internet!) is sitting on my lap as I type this, purring and quite insistent I pet him. (It’s actually amazing how well I can type with cat legs sprawled across the backs of my hands.) My real reason for not blogging: I’m in a bit of a crunch trying to get another rewrite done of Masks (wearing my E.C. Blake hat) because things are moving ahead to ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 10:04, February 4th, 2013 under Blog, Writing and Editing | Comment now »

Things my editor told me

I think I’ve mentioned—though no more than a gazillion times or so, so you might have missed it—that my next book to be published by DAW will be Masks, first book in a trilogy (and hopefully series) that will continue with Shadows and Faces. Earlier today I spent a couple of hours on the phone with Sheila Gilbert, my editor (that's her on the right in the picture, with her co-publisher and co-editor at DAW, Betsy Wollheim, who won the Hugo Award for Best Professional Editor Long-Form this year at the World Science Fiction Convention in Chicago), who had a...ahem...few notes about Shadows, the second book. Plus a few additional ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 16:03, December 19th, 2012 under Blog, Books, Writing and Editing | Comment now »