Hugh Likes Fiction: Six Wakes

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Six Wakes
Written by Mur Lafferty
Publishedd by Orbit
Six Wakes is the ultimate Sci-Fi locked room mystery. The six-person crew of the Dormire wakes up in the cloning lab. They are staring at their own corpses, with no memory of what happened, or anything else, for the last 24 years of their interstellar journey. Light-years from Earth, they’ll have to figure out what happened and how to survive when at least one of the crew is a murderer.
This novel is a story of paranoia, survival, and the ethics of cloning and life extension. Mur’s story is full of rich characters, drama, and unexpected twists. But what I found most interesting were the choices Lafferty made in building her world. The premise hangs on some very hard science astrophysics to build the sense of tension and isolation. This isn’t a quick warp through the galaxy. The characters have been stuck together for a very long time, and they have a much, much longer way to go. The cloning technology, however, is very soft SF. It’s a surprising choice, considering how much of the story, and the mystery, relies on it.
While she never breaks her own rules, Lafferty focuses on the ethics and moral issues of life extension, and what a world where some people will effectively live forever and others won’t, means, and the paradox of the ultimate revenge being reduced to a minor inconvenience. The cloning tech, however, is based on a movie-producer’s idea of how hacking works, and literal glowing goo. I wasn’t particularly bothered by this choice, but hard SF purists may consider it cheating.
Six Wakes is a chiller of a Sci-Fi mystery filled with interesting ideas and plenty of tension. You can find it at your local bookstore, or in print and ebook from Amazon.

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Hugh Likes Podcasts: Ditch Diggers

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Ditch Diggers

Hosted by Mur Lafferty and Matt F. Wallace


Ditch Diggers

“Ditch Diggers” is a different kind of writing podcast. Hosted by Mur Lafferty and Matt Wallace, with special guests from throughout the SF writing community, this is less a writing podcast and more a writing-adjacent business advice show.

The Campbell award-winning Lafferty is perhaps best known as the host of “I Should Be Writing,” an also excellent podcast featuring encouragement and practical advice for aspiring writers. This is the other show, where she gets more down to earth with business advice for writers who know how to put one word in front of the other. Co-host Matt Wallacer contributes his own expertise as a novelist and screenwriter. The podcast actually springs from a segment on ISBW called “Good Cop, Bad Cop,” in which the pair answered letters, with Mur offering encouragement, and Matt giving over the top criticism.

While they aren’t in character on this podcast, “Ditch Diggers” has the same energy as those old segments, and the banter between the two is a delight. They’ve also featured guest authors, including Kameron Hurley and Chuck Wendig, to talk about their career successes and failures.

While “Ditch Diggers” is geared towards writers looking for career advice, it is still an entertaining listen if you aren’t looking for an agent or an editor. It’s a peek behind the the curtain into the real world of how books get from manuscript to bookstore shelf, with a pair of wry, witty hosts who work well together. “Ditch Diggers” can be found at their website, via Mur Lafferty’s site, or in your favorite podcatcher. It’s all the fun of going to a writer’s convention, without the bar tab.