7 remarkably inventive ways authors have promoted their books

It’s harder then ever for writers to sell fiction, which means they're getting ever more inventive: here are seven real-life stunts that have been used to catch the customers’ attention – some formally and intellectually innovative, and some, well, just plain old audacious.

The 15 laws of literary life every writer should know

If you're not a writer, you probably have a certain perception of literary life. Take Hollywood. It just loves to portray the drink and drug addled escapades of wild writers like Hemingway, Hunter S. Thompson and Truman Capote. Sadly, or happily, depending upon your liver, the truth is a little more mundane. Here's 15 universal truths, which I've unearthed from half a dozen years' banging at keys and gazing at a flickering cursor.

Dark days: The fascinating history of the dystopian novel

Dystopia, or the inverse of Utopia, the ideal society, is often thought of as a relatively modern literary genre, but in fact it has a long and fascinating history. Here's a quick run-through of some of the most significant volumes that have made us think long and hard about the societies we live in.

10 sci-fi novels that’ll change how you look at the world forever

Call it SF, call it speculative fiction, call it slipstream – hey, we hear you can even call it structural fabulation. We’re not going to quibble on the nitty-gritty of nomenclature. What we do know is that these texts, however diverse, are yoked together by their reimaginings of reality – think parallel and sinister sister societies, alien worlds, or our own Earth, subtly altered.

Rock and read! The 10 funkiest novels for music lovers

Songs about books, books about music: who says worlds don’t collide? For all you ravers and disco-queens, grungers and jazz fans, we reckon there’s a book there that’ll yoke all your passions together. Here’s ten, we think, give you the best of both worlds.