Right and Wrong Stuff

Psychological Factors in Space Flight by Nick Wood © Nick Wood 2008. All Rights Reserved. Like so many excited children my age, I watched the Apollo 11 moon-landings live, on a fuzzy black and white TV. There was a surreal edge to my experience, watching this from only 12 degrees south of the Equator, in northern Zambia, Africa. I wondered what it would be like to be up there and what sort of people were these super-human astronauts? The 'space age' stumbled during the 1970s an...
More

Thirstlands

by Nick Wood © Nick Wood 2008. All Rights Reserved. First Published In "Subterfuge", NewCon Press, 2008. One thing I knew for sure; the rains were late here too. I scanned the ridge of grey rock towering off to my left - there was no vast, unified surge of water pouring over the edge as I remembered only five years ago - just sparse, thin water curtains dropping from the escarpment into the sludgy green river over a hundred metres below me. Gone w...
More

God In The Box

by Nick Wood - As published in Interzone 187 © Nick Wood 2003. Michael knew exactly how to irritate me. Even when I controlled myself pretending I'm cool, he knew I wasn't. And the bloody amazing thing was --- he could even anticipate the evolution of new pet-hates of mine. From dirty socks in the bath to toilet seat in the up position to concerned talks from teachers whom I agonisingly hoped would never ask what I do for a living. I needed to remind myself that I'm the psy...
More

Diamond in the Dirt and Blind South Africa

by Sinethemba Vumazonke © Sinethemba Vumazonke 2007. It's a Friday afternoon, two-thirty, Thuli is on her way to St. Paul's Church. The last time she had set foot in this church is about six years ago. Slowly she walks, as if a tortoise. The reason is that she didn't want to get there in a hurry, yet that was her destination. She was nervous of meeting people for the first time. There was also the desert sun that made the place unbearable and like a oven. Thuli sighed as ...
More

Noluyanda Roxwana – Oscar Mpetha Writing Workshop Winner

© Noluyanda Roxwana 2005. Theme - How May The Future Be Different From Now? I was nine years old when I was in standard one, which is grade three these days. I had a cousin who is one year younger than me, but we looked as if we were equal. She was exactly my height but the worst thing; she sometimes looked like she was older than me, because she looked as if she was growing every day. We went to the same school, but not in the same class, as she was one class behind. One morning w...
More

Nick Wood – Oscar Mpetha Writing Workshop

A writing workshop was held at Oscar Mpetha High School in Phillip, Cape Town, on 27th July and 3rd August 2004. This was held under the auspices of the South African Environment Project (SAEP). Writing in the first week focused on writing in different styles and genres, such as romance, mystery, political writing and fantasy and science fiction. There was some focus on the speculative fiction being written by writers of 'colour' in other countries, such as the two 'Dark Matter' anthologies ...
More

Part 15 – SF in SA 15 – On Writing the ‘Other’, with Zandile Mahlasela (March 2012)

It took me Nick Wood a good few years before I plucked up the courage to write the 'Other', i.e. to me, someone who was not white and male. I firstly wrote as a 'white woman' in God in the Box (2003), set in an increasingly familiar London. Phew - that was picked up, published in the British science fiction magazine Interzone - and I wasn't scorned as a 'sexist impostor'! The leap to crossing the 'colour' divide took a bit...
More