A Year in Books – 2016

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Following on from my end of year wrap up, here’s the 101 books I read last year (thanks to Goodreads for the massive image) That’s a lot of books and almost 8,000 pages more than last year’s total. Looking back at that lot, there’s a lot of really good books (there were one or two bad ones as well including a couple I didn’t finish and one or two I didn’t post on Goodreads). It’s hard to pick favourites but here’s some of the best full length books (roughly in the order I read them): Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig (this is currently on offer for $1.99. Just saying.) Mockingbird by Chuck Wendig The Cormorant by Chuck Wendig The Bureau of Them by Cate Gardner The Voodoo Killings by Kristi Charish Young Slasher by S. Elliot Brandis Necrotech by K. C. Alexander Little Dead Red by Mercedes M. Yardley 50 Shades of Brain by Jeff Chacon A House at the Bottom of a Lake by Josh Mallerman That last one would be my pick for best book I read all year, with Mercedes M. Yardley’s Bram Stoker award winning, Little Dead Red a close second. They’re all worth checking out though. Plenty of good … Read More

5 Things I Learned Last Week

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It’s been a while since I did any of these so the “last week” bit of that may be a stretch. John Scalzi has posted some wise words on this year’s (extremely) controversial Hugo nominations. Runbell make a bell for pedestrians. Somewhere in the Alps a small designer cabin is hidden inside of a giant boulder. Marina Malygina has designed a pizza themed condom. A father and daughter team (and their friends) used $100,000 worth of LEGO pieces to recreate Jurassic Park and it’s fantastic   Get a FREE copy of my short story, Only Friends by subscribing to my newsletter. [5 Things I Learned Last Week by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 6th April 2015]  

Five Things I Learned Last Week

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Having just spent the weekend in a writing workshop with the wonderful Mary Robinette Kowal, I could have filled the next couple of months of Five Things posts with things I learned from her. But I won’t. That would be cheating. I will say you should check out her books and, if you’re a writer, her intensive short story workshop is well worth the price of admission. Author, Candace Mountain, is posting a picture of a cat every day this year. And she has to take them all herself. Tom Hanks has released an typewriter app – HanxWriter – I’m not convinced he wrote it himself. Montreal is using shipping containers to create ‘Parklets‘ – temporary parks that convert parking spots into public spaces during the summer months. Apparently, there’s also some in Vancouver somewhere. John Scalzi (and a bunch of other authors) has a very short story on the Popular Science website. The DoubleClicks have recorded a cover of The Cure’s Friday I’m in Love. And they’re currently on tour and have a new album you can buy here. [Five Things I Learned Last Week by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 1st September 2014]

Hugos 2013

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I’ve decided to try and lighten my writing workload by taking today off (from my day job) so I’ve just got time to congratulate this year’s Hugo Award winners. Sorry to see Howard Tayler’s Schlock Mercenary didn’t win but I’m a big fan of John Scalzi’s Redshirts, Clarkesworld and Writing Excuses so I’m pleased for them (and Howard Tayler is part of the Writing Excuses team so he’s still a Hugo Award winner). You can get a detailed breakdown of the Hugo voting here and it’s quite interesting. The list of nominations in the Best Semiprozine category pretty much matches my wishlist of publications I’d like to appear in. [Hugos 2013 by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 3rd September 2013]

Buenos Dias

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On Wednesday, we got back from a holiday at the Hacienda Cerritos near Todos Santos, in Mexico. It’s the first time we’ve been to Mexico and we had a fantastic time. The Hacienda Cerritos is in an amazing location with stunning views and a very nice beach. They could do with a new set of pool balls though. The Hacienda Cerritos, Mexico We were planning a very laid back, relaxed holiday so I was hoping to get some serious writing time in. That didn’t quite work out, but I did get some serious reading done and finished a whole bunch of books (thanks Mr Kindle): Red Shirts by John Scalzi The Lady Astronaut of Mars by Mary Robinette Kowal The Door to Lost Pages by Claude Lalumiere A Short Stay in Hell by Steven L. Peck The Dervish House by Ian McDonald Pantomime by Laura Lam Filaria by Brent Hayward Yes, I read too fast but some of those are pretty short books. That’s a lot of great fiction but the highlights were Mary Robinette Kowal’s poignant science fiction novelette, The Lady Astronaut of Mars (which you can get for free from her blog) and Ian McDonald’s The Dervish House – a dizzying mix of Istanbul, … Read More