Tag Archives: speculative

SciFaiKu: Discs Flit Overhead

A Scifaiku Poem by Wendy Van Camp

discs flit overhead
nuclear power draws interest
all hands on the deck

I was invited to create a series of scifaiku poems about UFOs by the editor of “The Flying Saucer Poetry Review”. It is a topic I’m not familiar with except as part of pop culture. In my research, I discovered flying saucers are in the news and the US Navy concede the objects are real. They call the sightings “signs of novel technology” and that is where I took the title and theme of this series.

This poem is a part of the scifaiku poetry series “Signs of Novel Techonology” that appeared in “The Flying Saucer Poetry Review” in the Fall of 2021.

Author Interview: Lee Garratt

I originally know Author Lee Garratt from speculative poetry, but he is also a novelist! When I asked him how he might describe himself as an author, he replied: “Regularly entertains delusions of grandeur.” Please welcome him to No Wasted Ink.

Hi there. My name is Lee Garratt. I am 49 years old and, after rather a varied career history, I am currently teaching High School English in the English Midlands. I have a 10 year old son, Alfred.

When and why did you begin writing?

As a serious thing after a marriage break up 7 years ago. I suddenly had more time to myself and I thought it was either now or never. Writing was always something I was going to do – it was time to either get busy or to drop that dream.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

That’s an interesting question. It is something of a sliding scale isn’t it? When I first started writing I went to a local poetry club. There, the first thing I wanted to do was to write poems that would stand up against the others and get good feedback. Once I had achieved that, I set myself a goal of getting one of my poems or stories published. And when that happened, when I finally saw my name in print, it was, as every writer knows, a very exciting moment! Since then, I have been lucky enough to have more things published and even, more recently, whole books of my own.

Whether I consider myself a writer though, or ‘just’ a teacher who writes in the evenings is a moot point. I think, until I could quit the day job, I would feel a little bit of a fraud giving myself such a grand title! To be a writer, to actually be one, is really quite something.

Can you share a little about your current book with us?

Certainly. It is, I would say, a YA fantasy novella It is set in a land (a future Earth?) where society has, to a large extent, broken down. Culture only barely clings on in an almost mythical faraway place, SeaCity. The protagonist, Alfred, grows up in a dysfunctional, barely alive, settlement stranded in a dystopian waste. Events conspire to send Alfred on a dangerous journey to Seacity.

What inspired you to write this book?

I think the genesis of it was just the image of a place; a barren wasteland where people barely cling on after some unspecified cataclysmic event. The place itself captured my imagination and I started from there.

Do you have a specific writing style?

Ooh. That’s interesting. I think my ‘natural’ writing style is a kind of rational exposition similar to, in my mind at least, John Wyndham. I think it probably seems a little ‘old fashioned’ to some these days.

I play around with different voices though. I recently wrote a story in a more fevered Irvine Welsh kind of manner (or that was my intention). I’ve tried imitating a Stanislaw Lem voice (very difficult). It is fun to play around with these things.

The settling on a ‘style’ is an interesting thing actually. You read the vast majority of authors and they certainly do this. It’s surprising actually, how many of them settle on a single ‘voice’. Perhaps that is a good thing – perhaps most of us have one true authorial voice that, if we are lucky enough to discover, would be best advised to stick to. On the other hand, I sometimes wonder whether, given the sheer infinite amount of forms a story can take, many authors aren’t just settling for safety?

How did you come up with the title of this book?

It took a little while to get there actually. Indeed, I had another title in mind, ‘Dirt’, until very late in the day. When myself and the publisher decided on the cover image it was only then that I decided on ‘Remains’.
I like the process on deciding on a title – when you hit on the right one it just fits somehow.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Hmm. I think I am a little obsessed with the randomness of life. And how often things, actually, aren’t ‘meant to be’. So, if there is a message, it is perhaps something of how the world is a big place that couldn’t care less about you as an individual – even if you do happen to be a fictional character in a book!

Are experiences in this book based on someone you know, or events in
your own life?

I’ve not thought about that, Directly no. But the protagonist is called after my son so there might be something there.

What authors have most influenced your life?  What about them do you find inspiring?

Great question. I was something of a ‘bum’ in my 20s and 30s. So, for me, Jack London, Jack Kerouac, Mark Twain, Hemingway (and Tolkien too with his hobbits setting forth on journeys from the shire) have a lot to answer for!

If you had to choose, is there a writer would you consider a mentor? Why?

As in all time, alive or dead?
I think I would probably choose Ursula K Le Guin. As well as being a truly wonderful writer of genius she always strikes me as a woman of wisdom and kindness. I love Hemingway but I’m not sure how good a mentor he would be. I imagine we might fall out after a big boozy night!

Do you have any advice for other writers?

The first thing you write, try and make it incredibly, undeniably brilliant. You will then, in one fell swoop, have got yourself a publisher, an agent and lots of money, so can spend the rest of your life writing rather than having to bother yourself with all the boring stuff the rest of us have to.

Lee Garratt
Belper, Derbyshire, UK



Publisher: Dimensionfold Publishing


Author Interview: Nicole Luttrell

Author Nicole Luttrell is a speculative fiction writer. She writes about dragons, ghosts, and spaceships. Please welcome her to No Wasted Ink.

Author Nicole LuttrellI live in Western PA with my darling husband, a loyal dog, and a spoiled cat. When I’m not writing I’m reading. When I’m not doing one of those things, which is rare, I can be found working among my herb garden, haunting yarn stores or exploring the multitude of caves that surround my town.
When and why did you begin writing?

I was telling stories as soon as I had words to tell them with. But I started writing when I was thirteen when I came to the dawning realization that this was something that could be done for a living. That people could make their lives all about telling stories.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Right away. As soon as I decided I wanted to be a writer I got a copy of The Writer’s Market at the library. I never considered this just a hobby, just a dream. This has always, right from the beginning, been my life’s goal. I’ve considered myself a writer from that moment.

Can you share a little about your current book with us?

Right now I’m publishing my most recent novella, Station Central, on my website. It’s about a detective and a food stand owner who both live on a space station. They keep finding themselves in increasingly terrifying situations as these creatures called the Hollow Suits wipe out mankind on Earth, then turn their sights on the stations that hold the last examples of humanity.

What inspired you to write this book?

I love Star Trek, and I wanted to write something in the same vein. I wanted to write a story about a detective in a space station. But I also wanted to talk about food, as that’s a big thing with me. So I wanted to tell the story of a farmer, a chef, who moved to the stations to bring honest food to the stars.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I like to think so. I tend to tell stories from at least two points of view. But writing style, I think, is not an intentional thing. I think a writing style comes out or it doesn’t.

How did you come up with the title of this book?

The title of the series, Station 86, is actually a secret. I’m waiting for someone to guess why I chose the number 86. But the title for the most recent book is simple. The main characters, Sennett and Godfrey, are just trying to go on vacation in the original space station, called Station Central.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I talk about a lot of things. Gay rights, gender equality, religious freedom. But mostly, the point of my novels is not to give a message. It’s to tell a good story.

What authors have most influenced your life? What about them do you find inspiring?

I loved reading Ann McCaffrey as a little girl, and I consider her the original science fantasy author.

If you had to choose, is there a writer would you consider a mentor? Why?

Stephen King. I think I’ve read On Writing about a hundred times. Honestly, every writer should read it.

Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?

The first two covers were from an artist named Jeremy McCliams, who unfortunately isn’t in the business anymore. I designed the second two covers.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Read and write as much as you can. Consume stories, any stories that you can get. But don’t let the work consume you. You don’t want to look up from your desk to find yourself alone. Live and experience the world. Then bring those stories to the page.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Support indie writers. Not just me, not just anyone. There are some amazing stories out there, and not all of them are getting picked up by the Big Six.

51fxP9XGG+L._SY346_Nicole Luttrell
Butler, PA.


Seeming: Station 86

Cover Artist: Jeremy McCliams