Notes from sf author Stephen Palmer

SFF World Roundtable.

From 7th December there will be an SF ‘Roundtable’ event at the SFF World forums, with myself as one of the participants. Also there will be the superb Gwyneth Jones, also J.L. Doty and Chris Reher. Come on down!


The Great Extinctions, by Norman MacLeod

Very informative book about the major great extinctions, including a fascinating section on whether they were or not. Although this is technically a text book, it can be read as popular science by the informed reader. I really enjoyed it. Well written, well illustrated and thought-provoking.

the great ext

The Great Extinctions

Ecotones Kickstarter going well

The Ecotones Kickstarter project is going well, but, with 18 days left, more contributions are needed… Includes my own story A Theft Of Flowers, set in Ouagadougou.


What Makes civilisation? by David Wengrow

A very good book which looks at the two main civilisations of the Near East – Sumerian and Egyptian – and looks at how they were inter-related, through culture, trade, religious practice and ideas. The book is well written and readable, with much of interest to say. A concluding section examines how the notion of ‘the birth of civilisation in the Near East’ has contributed to Western ideas of our own genesis. The earlier sections on the nature of religious practice and commerce are particularly good. Recommended to all interested in the appearance of historical (written) cultures 5,000+ years ago.

what mc

What Makes Civilisation?

Ecotones anthology

The Kickstarter campaign has begun for the Ecotones (SFF World) anthology. There’s also a Facebook page to check out.


New anthology cover reveal

The cover has been revealed for the upcoming SFF World anthology Ecotones. Looks very nice.


Where Do Camels Belong? by Ken Thompson

A terrific book which takes apart the woolly thinking, prejudice and lies surrounding the issue of native and invasive species in the natural world. The author is an expert in this field, with much experience, and he writes well for the interested lay-person. I really enjoyed this book, which makes many valid points about the time-wasting and money-wasting that happens as species are targeted and then “dealt with” – or, more often, not dealt with. A very good book, that makes the reader open their eyes. Highly recommended.

w d c b

Where Do Camels Belong?

Nice new mention for Xana-La

There’s a nice new review of my short story Xana-La on the Goodreads site from Tim James. Xana-La is available free from various online sites…


Xana-La cover

The Humans, by Matt Haig

Not the greatest work I’ve ever read, though not entirely awful. The novel relies on the tried-and-tested formula of presenting human behaviour from an outside perspective, then requesting that we deem that behaviour odd, crazy, weird, irrational etc, and therefore funny. Douglas Adams did this much, much better. I didn’t buy the family strife plot either, which seemed unrealistic to the point of melodrama. The maths bit is hard to get a grip on. Simply not a book for me, I’m afraid.


Transatlantic chat!

A few weeks ago I enjoyed a FaceTime chat with Knotty Geeks pioneers Jeremy Reimer and Terry Palfrey. We talked about Beautiful Intelligence, and quite a few related topics. Jeremy has edited the conversation into a manageable podcast, and here it is… I hope you enjoy it. Many thanks to Jeremy and Terry for all their hard work on this one!



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