About Me

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Susie Wild is a poet, writer, journalist, critic, lecturer, festival organiser and editor based in Cardiff. Her debut poetry collection 'Better Houses' is out now through Parthian Books. 'The Art of Contraception' was her first book. It was long-listed for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize 2011 and won 'Fiction Book of the Year' in the Welsh Icons Awards 2010. Her Kindle novella 'Arrivals' was released globally through Parthian Books in May 2011. She edited the illustrated short story anthology 'Rarebit' for Parthian's 21st birthday, released December 2013. Illustrated by John Abell. She is Publishing Editor at one of Wales' Leading Indie Publishers, Parthian Books. @Soozerama

Saturday, 28 May 2011

GOODREADS | Review of The Winter of Our Disconnect -- Susan Maushart

I finished reading this in early hours of this morning... 2 Stars...

Overall I think the book irritated me more than I liked it, but there are some good points and if you haven't read much in this topic area, which I have, it offers a decent pop psychology intro into some of the issues of futurism, technology and the changing brains of modern teenagers. Mostly though, not being her target demographic of menopausal parent with teenage kids, all the "LOLs" and "Randoms!" (her own, not her kids') and the mundane discussions of things like what they ate for dinner in the diary ('oversharing', but in paper form) coupled with the fact that THEY CHEATED -- they did not disconnect completely, they still used the internet (just not at their house), the three kids still had mobile phones, and Maushart caved on many aspects of The Experiment all means that I don't feel it is particularly valid... but for those considering streamlining the screen time that they and their family spend and trying to spend more face-to-face time with each other there are some good pointers and pitfalls-to-avoid here.


Guardian Article about the project here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2011/jan/01/technology-ban-kids-home-experiment

Friday, 27 May 2011

All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace

I watched part one of this new documentary series today. "A series of films about how humans have been colonised by the machines they have built. Although we don't realise it, the way we see everything in the world today is through the eyes of the computers." 

You can watch it on iPlayer here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b011k45f/All_Watched_Over_by_Machines_of_Loving_Grace_Love_and_Power/

Ayn Rand features in the film, in fact she's all over the media at the minute.

I've also been reading quite a lot by Slavoj Zizek, the Slovenian philospher, including older articles like this 2006 one for The Guardian 'Is this digital democracy, or a new tyranny of cyberspace?'http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2006/dec/30/comment.media

In other news, there's a bit of a sneak preview of my novel-in-progress in Issue 3 of The Lampeter Review, out now: http://lampeter-review.com/

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Kindle launches and other things

Wow! It has been a bit of a busy week on Kindle ebook promo for my novella Arrivals. The launch party was last night, and I did a guest blog about it for Guardian Cardiff. Hop on over to my journalism etcetera blog Wildlife to find out more on that sort of thing: http://susiewild.blogspot.com/

It all seemed to go well in the end. 

In book terms... My research book pile is reducing as I have been reading them. I've also been devouring fiction, especially short form like All My Friends Are Superheroes by Andrew Kaufman and Anthropology by Dan Rhodes. I've also just finished reading A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan which was accomplished but not quite deserving of all the hype, aka 4 stars, although the PowerPoint chapter was impressively effective, especially so to me, as I get more and more fascinated with the power of brevity. Probably appropriate that The Collected Stories of Lydia Davies is next in my reading pile then. On my Kindle (!) I've downloaded Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart after reading this review in The Guardian. 

Saturday, 14 May 2011

I have been reading...

1.Great voices of science fiction: In these interviews, recorded between 1987 and 2001, past masters of the genre discuss why they write SF, the future and how 'this thing called the internet' might change the world 

[Sat 14 May, Guardian]

Douglas Adams: 'This phrase "virtual reality" needs to be explained, because in fact we all live in virtual reality. We think that the world is a solid, vivid place, full of shape and colour and solid objects like this table and this microphone and so on, but we actually create that in our heads out of the bits of information that hit the back of our eyeballs, or hit our eardrums, or hit our tongues, or whatever. It's very raw data, and we have wonderful pattern-matching systems inside our head that we use to synthesise the world, which we then move and walk through. But there are all sorts of things we don't see, we don't hear, patterns we fail to respond to, things that get filtered out because they were not appropriate to cavemen. What the computer in virtual reality enables us to do is to recalibrate ourselves so that we can start seeing those pieces of information that are invisible to us but have become important for us to understand.'

JG Ballard: Throughout your work there is an emphasis on psychological metamorphosis, on the way in which human beings change, first of all in relation to natural or manmade disasters and then in the work in the 1970s in relation to image society. How far do you think you're describing real psychological metamorphosis and how far is this a sort of metaphor?

JGB: It's used metaphorically. Crash is a metaphor for what I see as the dehumanising elements that are present in the world in which we live. We're distanced by the nature of the society we inhabit from a normal human reaction. We're crossing some complex flyover in our cars, we perhaps see an accident on a lower level – people clustered around a fallen victim. We feel a moment's pity, but we're swept on by this elaborately signalled highway landscape. We have no time to stop and express our normal human feelings. And Crash is an extreme metaphor of the dangers that I see lying ahead of us.

Guardian Books is SF crazy today... so also:

2. Zoo City by Lauren Beukes – review

This Arthur C Clarke award-winner, recommended by William Gibson, is the other side of cyberpunk
~ personally I hated Moxyland, so am a little dubious about this.

3. A life in writing: China 
'People say, "you're escaping the genre". Not really! I know it's meant nicely, but I would much rather operate as a conduit than an outlier'~His latest book interests me, I reckon I'll read it.

4. The stars of modern SF pick the best science fiction

To celebrate the opening of the British Library's science fiction exhibition Out of this World, we asked leading SF writers to choose their favourite novel or author in the genre

5. Iain M Banks: Science fiction is no place for dabblers

6.Sam Leith's top 10 alternative realities

Monday, 9 May 2011



Need new ways to mess around?
A novel way to waste a pound?
Keen to make a farting sound?
There’s probably an app for that
Do you forget to do your bins?
Or set the DVD for Skins?
Up the duff? Expecting twins?
There’s probably an app for that
Bad with faces? Crap at sex?
Like Shakespeare plays in tiny text?
Has father lost his reading specs?
There’s probably an app for that
There’s definitely an app for that
You can get that app for free
And there’s one that finds his fishing hat
But that one’s sixty pee
Want to use the latest gear
To drain a pixellated beer?
Then watch the pixels reappear
There’s probably an app for that
Want a button – not to press?
A total waste of time? Well, yes
of course it is, but nevertheless
There’s probably an app for that
Dodgy motor? Leaky tap?
Want to pop some bubble wrap?
Want an app to find an app?
There’s probably an app for that
There’s definitely an app for that
Says boorish bloke with bony wife
Who spits his jargon like it’s scat
until you’re reaching for a knife
do you have scant regard for life
and boast about your phone all night
and pray your host is too polite?
To say you’re talking crap.
Because if you’re a techno drone
who reaches for his mobile phone
when the conversation’s not his own
you’ll need more than an app.

Interesting articles I have been reading

1. Social network users have twice as many friends online as in real life: "In wider society, the ways in which friendships are formed and nurtured is changing with people recognising that they can develop deep, meaningful connections with others that they've never met, and may never meet."

2. The web allows stories to be spun in new ways: 'The simple truth about the book in the 21st century is that this is a golden age of reading and writing. As Umberto Eco puts it in his latest publication, This is Not the End of the Book (Secker Harvill), "the computer returns us to Gutenberg's galaxy; from now on, everyone has to read".'

3. Adam Curtis: Have computers taken away our power? 'If you think machines have liberated us, think again, says film-maker Adam Curtis. Instead we have lost our vision.' -- I'm looking forward to his new TV series on the matter.

4. Love in LiteratureWhat do we talk about when we talk about love? Early poets reached for the sun and stars to describe their beloveds, while novelists have struggled to convey their 'wretched ordinariness'

A Life in Writing: Jennifer Egan

A life in writing: Jennifer Egan [Emma Brockes, The Guardian, Sat 7 May 2011]

'I really wanted to write a chaper in epic verse, because I thought epic verse and PowerPoint in one novel, come on. Irresistible!'

I am currently finishing off Look At Me and I am about to embark on A Visit from the Goon Squad next. Really enjoying reading her books and her style.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Reality is Broken by Jane McGonigal – review

An American games guru makes a persuasive case for investing in the virtual world if we want to improve the real one

'We crave, she argues, "satisfying work" that allows us to be "optimistic about our own chances for success"; that involves "social connection"; and that allows us to feel "curiosity, awe and wonder".
This craving goes beyond simple definitions of happiness, moreover: it can also help us to work collectively, to maintain optimism against the odds, and to remember that we are part of something larger than ourselves.'

What effect has the internet had on finding love?

Online dating has become big business over the last decade. But does this mean we're looking for love in a different way?

our proclivity for sharing personal things with virtual strangers – whether because of a heightened sense of anonymity or reduced social presence – leads to intensely electric interactions. These "hyper-personal" relationships, as Whitty describes them, can create problems for people already in a committed pair. "Online seduction is just a click away," says Professor Ben-Ze'ev. Great for cheap thrills, but potentially destructive for long-term relationships.