Writer’s conventions are, let’s face it, a bit of a party; and the lonely craft of writing can make some writers crave that social atmosphere. What does the writer do post-party to stay connected, after a serious dose of socialising with his fans and fellow writers? For some it is a case of going cold turkey and returning to the solo status of scribe with keyboard, screen and not much else. For others it may be Facebook, Twitter or one of the other social media channels, where the intimacy is questionable but there is some sort of connection.

Post-writers-convention blues: how to stay connected. Writing science fiction can lead one to explore other technological options for networking. Perhaps, something inspired by the futuristic imaginings of characters who live in the twenty fourth century or beyond. What will innovation have created by then? Will it be nodes planted directly in the brain and special channels of communication predicated on passwords shared by telepathic thought? The wonderful worlds of William Gibson and their chilling melding of human and computer, come to mind. Digital chips now impregnated with souls and cyberspace awash with metaphysical characteristics.

Post-writers-convention blues: how to stay connected. Returning in time to our own twenty first century, writers who wish to share points from the convention can do so with Microsoft’s technology designed for just that purpose. Connecting to a network of specialist users; free from the distractions inherent within platforms like Facebook. Security and peace of mind are paramount for writers when sharing; no chance for trolls to unleash their bile on revolutionary ideas. Social media usage by writers, of all descriptions, is best managed by neutral professionals. They can maximise the opportunities presented by social media exposure and minimise the risks at the same time. Avoid the slanging matches on Twitter, as much as you may miss the social interaction; you will only end up in Coventry.

Science fiction and fantasy writing is a medium for the presentation of bright and bold ideas. Hidden within narratives your characters can put forth the kinds of things you would like to see happening in the world. New ways of bringing up babies and children; freed from the social conventions of tradition. Or, novel approaches to feeding the world; unhampered by cultural conditioning and taboos. There are so many things to be imagined differently and this is at the heart of all good science fiction and fantasy writing. Perhaps, we could eat our dear departed relatives, instead of wasting their nutritional potential in the ground or in the flames; a way of honouring them at a farewell dinner. There is always something to think about when reading and writing science fiction.