Tuesday, 17 March 2015

And now, a quick word from one of our editors

I was checking the The Economist's iconic style guide and read the intro for fun (as nerds do). They quote this reader's letter:

SIR—At times just one sentence in The Economist can give us hours of enjoyment, such as “Yet German diplomats in Belgrade failed to persuade their government that it was wrong to think that the threat of international recognition of Croatia and Slovenia would itself deter Serbia.”
During my many years as a reader of your newspaper, I have distilled two lessons about the use of our language. Firstly, it is usually easier to write a double negative than it is to interpret it. Secondly, unless the description of an event which is considered to be not without consequence includes a double or higher-order negative, then it cannot be disproven that the writer has neglected to eliminate other interpretations of the event which are not satisfactory in light of other possibly not unrelated events which might not have occurred at all.
For these reasons, I have not neglected your timely reminder that I ought not to let my subscription lapse. It certainly cannot be said that I am an unhappy reader.

And then there's Mark Twain's take on writing and style:
Mark Twain described how a good writer treats sentences: “At times he may indulge himself with a long one, but he will make sure there are no folds in it, no vaguenesses, no parenthetical interruptions of its view as a whole; when he has done with it, it won't be a sea-serpent with half of its arches under the water; it will be a torch-light procession.”
Enjoy and keep writing (and revising)!

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Wordsmack in demand - find the radio and TV interviews here

The Wordsmack team has been featured on radio and TV in the last month, and we can't get enough of chatting about our incredible authors, and how our controversial city, Johannesburg, is fast becoming the new base camp for science fiction writing.

We have more exciting events coming up - so stay tuned on Twitter and Facebook.

Firstly, our authors Abi Godsell, Mico Pisanti and our director Louise Cosgrave, were on Radio Today. You can listen to the podcast here. We talked about Johannesburg as a location for sci-fi writing and about how young writers have a very fatalistic, yet practical outlook on the future.

Louise was also on Kyknet. Talking about ebooks and speculative fiction in her best Afrikaans. She chatted about Wordsmack Publishers and why we focus on African speculative fiction. She also touched on the future of reading: is the physical book dead or will we always have a soft spot for the ancient technology of paper?

You can watch the broadcast here.