Update March 2018

It’s been a little while since my last blog so I thought I’d write a quick update on ‘where I’m at’ with my PhD, conferences and several jobs all keeping me incredibly busy.

PhD progress

I’m currently at something like 75,000 words for my first draft, with my introduction and conclusion bringing it up a little bit higher than that at the moment. I have a new chapter plan mapped out, and several major changes I want to make to some of my earlier chapters to match the themes that have developed over the course of the last year. I have my confirmation panel in a few weeks, and hope to update my plans based on that.

Early drafts of my five chapters

Early drafts of my five chapters


I’m set to present a paper in Oxford later this month at the Human Body and WW2 conference. I’ve also submitted an abstract to CRSF, which I presented at last year and really enjoyed. I’m also presenting at Lancaster’s sci-fi study day in April, and am hoping to also present at After Fantastika, though I haven’t quite decided yet what I want to present on, so that last one is very much still up in the air.

Mike Ryder, 'Digital Marketing for Academics' at the AHRC's NWCDTP Conference October 2017

Me about to give a workshop on digital marketing at the AHRC conference October 2017.


I’ve recently submitted a paper on military ethics in Le Guin’s The World for World is Forest, and another paper on ethics and targeted killing in Ender’s Game. It’s still very early as the deadline for both submissions is yet to pass, so there’s a while to wait yet until I hear anything. As soon as I do I will let you know!


I’m up to 17 books so far for 2018, nine ahead of schedule apparently for my target of 52 in the year. I think I may just beat last year’s record!

Six piles of books ready to read.

I have a lot of books on my ‘to read’ pile


I’m still working in Student Communications here at Lancaster University, and spending a day a week working for the IT department at CCCU. I’m also still Assistant Dean at Graduate College, and have just finished work on a first-draft website for Pendle College. Strangely, the more I work at ‘proper’ jobs, the more focused I find I am when it comes to writing and working on my PhD. While this continues, and while I remain ahead of schedule in terms of my progress I plan to keep up work as long as possible while it helps me save for life after uni.


As you may have noticed, my blogging is perhaps the thing that’s suffered the most this year, as I’ve been working very hard on getting my introduction and conclusion to a stage where I can say I have a finished ‘first draft’ of sorts (before revisions). I do however still submit regular entries to the TTAC21 reading group, which is still going strong after nearly a year. I’ve found it’s been a great outlet for me, and I’m really pleased I got involved. I can certainly say it’s helped shape my thesis and the direction my research has taken me in.

What next?

Over the next few months I’m set to be quite busy with conferences, reviews, publications and (hopefully) a week back home over Easter. I’m currently working on my presentations for CRSF and Fantastika, and awaiting my confirmation panel so I can return to my thesis. However, I’m aware I’ve been quite lax with blogging of late, and I will try my best to make up for it over the coming weeks!

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