Edward Willett


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 »

The Big Idea: Magebane

(This is a slightly modified version of an essay that originally ran on John Scalzi's blog Whatever--here's the original version. John generously gives over his popular blog on a regular basis to authors with new work coming out, for which he deserves much praise and honor. Thanks, John!) I know this is called “The Big Idea,” but my new fantasy novel Magebane didn’t grow out of a single big idea.  Instead, it grew out of four ideas: three big ones, and one not-so-big one. (But “The Big 3 1/2 Ideas” isn’t nearly as catchy a name.) First: it is, of course, one of the hoariest of fairy-tale tropes that ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 14:29, November 18th, 2011 under Blog, Books | Comment now »

John Scalzi posts my Big Idea essay about Terra Insegura

John Scalzi is one of the most popular SF bloggers on the Web, as well, of course, one of the most popular SF writers around. He's also a tireless promoter of science fiction: not just his own, but everyone else's. For several years he's been running The Big Idea, a series of essays in which authors talk about the ideas behind their books. It's proved so popular it will soon be its own spin-off website, but for now it's still part of his blog, Whatever...and today he's posted my 1,000 Big Idea essay about Terra Insegura. Go check it out! And if you haven't read Scalzi's own books, you most definitely should.

Posted by Edward Willett at 10:32, May 5th, 2009 under Blog | Comment now »

The writer formerly known as Ed

So I had this dream last night in which SF writer John Scalzi decreed that henceforth he would only be known by the single name SCALZI (always in all capitals).This got me thinking that perhaps I could leap ahead to that level of fame myself and decree that henceforth I will only be known by my middle name CHANE (and I like the all-caps idea).Then, after a while, I could replace it with an incomprehensible and unpronouncable symbol and be known as "The writer formerly known as CHANE."This way, I am sure, lies fame and fortune.Or maybe it's just a ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 16:04, July 27th, 2008 under Blog | 2 Comments »

Photo of the Day: Lunar Eclipse. No, really, believe me!

I was feeling a bit disappointed in my best picture of the lunar eclipse tonight (this is about halfway to totality) until I saw John Scalzi's photo.Now I'm thinking I did all right in the absence of a tripod and with a six-year-old girl tugging on my elbow and begging me to go back inside...

Posted by Edward Willett at 4:09, February 21st, 2008 under Blog | 2 Comments »

John Scalzi interviews Robert J. Sawyer…

...and you can read it here.

Posted by Edward Willett at 14:57, June 27th, 2007 under Blog | Comment now »

More from John Scalzi on teen writers

Sometime last year John Scalzi wrote a post at Whatever called "10 Things Teenage Writers Should Know About Writing". I agreed with pretty much all of it (although Scalzi's default writing style is more...well, I don't think even he would disagree with the description "snarky"...than mine). In fact, I agreed with it so much that I passed it on to the young writers whom I instructed in last year's Sage Hill Teen Writing Experience, and also to the young writers I mentored earlier this year, and I have no doubt I'll use it again for the upcoming Sage Hill Teen Writing Experience, which I am once again instructing.Now Scalzi has a follow-up post ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 18:46, June 18th, 2007 under Blog | Comment now »

"The purple, purple grass of home…"

I blogged briefly a couple of posts ago about the fact the early Earth might have been purple, not green. This means, of course, that other planets could even now be predominantly orange or purple rather than green, and still have organisms drawing their energy from the sun just as green plants do here.John Scalzi took that notion and ran with it...straight to PhotoShop.

Posted by Edward Willett at 4:21, April 13th, 2007 under Blog | Comment now »

John Scalzi for SFWA president?

John Scalzi has announced he is in the running as a write-in president for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).I just received my ballot and haven't given it any serious thought yet, but after reading his comments and platform, I have to say I'm leaning toward writing him in.If you're a SFWA member--or if you're just interested in science fiction or organizational politics (and who isn't?) check out what he has to say.

Posted by Edward Willett at 5:40, March 16th, 2007 under Blog | Comment now »