Book Review: The Drowned World by J.G. Ballard


Diane Morrison

The Drowned WorldThe Drowned World by J.G. Ballard
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Read for the Apocalypse Now! Reading Challenge and the SF Masterworks Reading Challenge.

Method of the world’s destruction: fluctuations in solar radiation melt the polar ice caps, causing massive flooding in most of the world’s major cities, rising heat, and heavy rains that make the equatorial belt uninhabitable.

This was definitely not my favourite of the SF Masterworks collection. It’s my first acquaintance with the writing of J.G. Ballard, aside from his autobiographical Empire of the Sun, which made an enormous impression on me as a child when I saw the Spielberg movie. I never forgot the thousand-yard stare so accurately portrayed by the boy who played young J.G. after his ordeal as a British prisoner of war in WWII Japan. It was said in the introduction to the edition of this book that I read…

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Women of Harry Potter: Minerva McGonagall, Bright and Burning


Diane Morrison

Brilliant article from in a series about the women of Harry Potter.  Written by Sarah Gailey.

Born to a man who can’t possibly understand, and the woman who chose him over her magic.

Born to take care of two brothers who have powers they must, at all costs, hide.

Born to leadership.

Born to duty.


Prefect, Head Girl, winner of Transfiguration Today’s Most Promising Newcomer award. Minerva McGonagall is born into a home that requires stringent observation of rules; a home that will eventually attempt to conceal no fewer than four magical residents from the Muggles that surround them. Young Minerva is the brightest witch of her generation by many estimations. And yet, for as many years as Harry Potter will live in ignorance of his magic, Minerva is forced to hide her light behind a bushel in order to protect her Muggle minister of a father…

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Book Excerpt: Between the Rock and a Hard Place


Diane Morrison


From the Wildspace Spelljammer blog, an excerpt from my fan fiction series that takes place in the Spelljammer D&D setting:

Spacefarers everywhere agreed: the Rock of Bral was a wretched den of vice, thievery and betrayal; the midden-pit of the Universe.  But everyone came there eventually.  That’s what Shaundar Sunfall was relying on.  Sooner or later, if his sister yet lived, she would come to this place.

He had been in port three months now, however, and he wasn’t sure he could wait here much longer.  The handful of coins he’d arrived with when he hit the shore had quickly dwindled away.  Shaundar had no idea how expensive everything was here.  The last time he had been on the Rock, he’d still been a member of the Imperial Elven Navy, and they’d seen to his needs at the base.  Now that he was officially a deserter, to return to…

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So I’m Writing a Magicpunk Kindle Serial


Diane Morrison

So I’ve been kicking around this idea for a steampunk/magicpunk series for a few years (since 2012, it turns out).  I was intending to sell a couple of stories to some magazines to build interest, then publish a book that was a collection of short stories.  But instead I’ve been collecting rejection slips, and those who offer critiques and feedback tell me it’s because it seems like part of a larger work.  Since that’s essentially true, I guess I have to accept that!

My current thought is to publish them instead as a serial short fiction series on Kindle (and possibly other e-book platforms too; we’ll have to see, but I thought Kindle was the logical place to start) for 99 cents per approximately 6000 word story, with a regular publication schedule of one every two or three months (because otherwise I won’t have time to write anything else).  Is…

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I Tried to List the Top Ten Books I Read in 2016, But…


Diane Morrison

…I apparently read a lot of outstanding books over the course of the year and simply could not pick a top ten list!  More than twenty of the 56 that Goodreads tells me I read (my goal was 50,) I gave a rating of five stars to.  And choosing which ones stayed with me the most between them was frankly impossible.  So instead, I’ve decided to show you the summary from Goodreads, and cover a few significant highlights.  Among them:

  • Reading challenges and book clubs are a great way to expand your horizons.  Because we’re all monkeys, we read more if we offer ourselves little (meaningless, personal) rewards for doing so.  And if our challenges are well-chosen, we read things we otherwise would never have read, often discovering brilliant work in the process.
  • When you take a bunch of stuff that nobody ever does and mix it all together, it often works…

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