Wednesday, 9 December 2009

From one ship to another

It's been a while since I've written, both here and any fiction. The real world took over in a big way, in the form of a conference our company ran in Trinidad, on a cruise ship, of all things. It was an adventure to say the least, but also the culmination of months of hard work. Though the event was successsful, I'm glad I'm on the Christmas side of it!

Even being away from my little son Oliver for 2 weeks was tough. He's 6 months old now and such a joyful little person to be around. Right now it feels more important to hang out with him than trying to finish The Fourdrinier Operator or reworking the short stories I've got in the pipelines.

That said, I'm really looking forward to seeing my next Axiom Few story in January's issue of Jupiter magazine. The Voidant Lance is inbound, and the team have a hell of a job ahead of them if they're to avert a global catastrophe.

On the back of The Voidant Lance, I'll be uploading the very next Axiom Few instalment to my website for you to read for free. The Techipre Filament, while not a direct follow up, will fill in some of the blanks created by the earlier stories.

And it might serve as a springboard...

Ian Redman, editor of Jupiter, rightly reckons that the ideas behind the Axiom Few adventures are growing beyond the short stories. Perhaps it's time I looked at expanding the concept into a full-blown novel. That is something I'd love to do.

Here's hoping that I can make the time to get it written. Maybe I'll be able to take Oliver to see the tie-in movie when he's old enough!

Monday, 26 October 2009

Halloween Story - Plan B

Thanks for all your generally positive feedback on my previous post about whether to put up a serialised novel on this blog for Halloween. Most of you said you would read it.

Events however have forced my hand on this, and I'm not going to be able to progress it in the way I had hoped. Real life intervened and sent me to Trinidad and Jamaica on a rather hectic work trip in advance of an event we are holding in November. I didn't have enough time to finish The Fourdrinier Operator, so I will have to go with Plan B...

A short ghost story... which will hopefully give you the creeps when you read it this coming Saturday...

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

A Serialised Novel?

I'm thinking of trying a new thing. A serialised novel. I'm drawing near to the end of writing The Fourdrinier Operator, a supernatural/chicklit story I've been working on for a couple of years (it's a little like Spireclaw, with spooky twists and turns along the way), and I'm rather warming to the idea of serialising it on this blog; posting instalments of the story on a weekly basis, perhaps starting this coming Halloween.

Perhaps unlike other serialised blog stories (though I can't say for sure, I've not actually read any, and am therefore prepared to be corrected), this story is almost complete and therefore has all the foreshadowing, red-herrings and clue-planting necessary to bring the story to a pre-defined conclusion. It has a beginning, a middle and an end. On that basis it won't ramble on, creating narrative problems for the writer who is then challenged with sowing all the disparate plot-lines together in some cack-handed way.

So what do you think? Would you read it? Did you enjoy Spireclaw, At Steepdean Halt or Last Train to Tassenmere ? Would you like to read another, longer story, of a similar style, if it was presented in weekly bite-sized chunks?

Do let me know.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Book Soundtracks?

A friend of mine always listens to music when he reads books. A few years ago he told me he read the four Rendezvous with Rama books while listening to Vangelis, and that, like a cinematic experience, the two mediums merge to complement each other. Now, for him, listening to Vangelis reminds him of the awe he experienced when reading those books.

Now, I studied Music and am compelled to listen to, and dissect melodies and lyrics, and to that end tend to give music my full concentration while I'm hearing it. I told my friend that I couldn't concentrate on music and read at the same time, that it would feel like I was doing a disservice to both the musician and the writer. And that would especially be so for any music with lyrics.

However, the other day I decided to give it a go. As a lifelong fan of seminal synth band Tangerine Dream, but one who had gotten a little tired of their mid-to-late nineties output (for those who don't know, Tangerine Dream have released a staggering 107 albums since the sixties). Tangerine Dream were pioneers of electronic music in the seventies and eighties, but in the nineties, where keyboards, synths and samplers became commonplace it must have been harder for them to be as pioneering as before. And then they started using the saxophone too much, and basic keyboard presets clanged a little too often, but my thesis on the progression of Tangerine Dream's unique sound is for another day.

Having said that, I decided to give some of their more recent output a try. I purchased a handful of their latest albums, namely Mars Polaris, Views From a Red Train, Mota Atma and Seven Letters From Tibet. What better way to try out these instrumental records than to listen to them while reading Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy (Red Mars, Green Mars, Blue Mars). I'm most of the way through the first book as I write this.

Something about the synergy between the music and the books now seems to click. Perhaps because it has been a number of years since I was so heavily into studying and composing music, therefore my analytical thoughts on melodies and chord sequences are not so prevalent. I really am able to enjoy both. The music, when I hum it in my head now, really does remind me of the barren Martian landscape created in Kim Stanley Robinson's vision of the terraforming of our nearest planetary neighbour.

So now I think it is possible to enjoy the two at the same time, if you can find the right music to fit the right book. But make your choices carefully, as one really does influence the perception of the other.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Your train terminates here

"...Looking along the side of the train, which curved slightly away from me I could see that I had been the very last person to get off the train. The platform was empty. Everyone else had gone. The station sign read Tassenmere. The train had not terminated at Farnham after all..."

Supernatural Tales #15 is out now. My story "Last Train to Tassenmere" is nestled within its pages and I'm really looking forward to finding out what people think of it, as it's a story that's very close to my heart. Without wishing to give anything of the plot away, the idea for the story came from two different recurring nightmares I regularly had when I was in my twenties. Thinking about those nightmares even now brings a chill to my spine, and I was really pleased with how well the mood of those dreams translated across to the page. I really felt that I had nailed the weirdness I was trying to convey. It doesn't often happen, but when it does, you realise why you're writing in the first place.

You can get your copy of ST15 by emailing the editor directly here. David Longhorn runs a PayPal account for subscriptions and will reply with a payment link.

Supernatural Tales also has a webpage.

Monday, 1 June 2009

The 11:17 Enigma

For many years now I have been accidentally looking at the clock at 11:17am, nearly every day, and especially on weekdays. When I mention this to people, they find it quirky and funny and odd. In fact, so do I. This little quirk is even mentioned in a recent interview and in an older blog comment on here.

I always wondered whether it signified that some monumental moment in my life would take place at 11:17am one day, and that I was aware of it on some deeper level of my subconcious.

On Saturday morning, the day before yesterday, my wife gave birth to a beautful baby boy who we have called Oliver Thomas Langridge. We are absolutely over the moon with joy. What a rollercoaster of emotions this has been. We didn't know the sex of the baby before he arrived and my wife Alison and I had discussed many times that I would be the one to tell her what our baby had turned out to be.

Oliver was born at 11:15am, depending on whose clock you look at. I told my wife the sex of the baby, and we agreed his name, at 11:17am, depending on whose clock you look at. Who would have thought such a momentous thing would happen at 11:17am?

Well, actually, I did.

I wonder if my 11:17 thing will stop now that I have become a very proud Dad.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Spireclaw - An easier way to get the free audiobook

One of the "quirks" of my website is that, because it runs in Flash, I was having problems making the MP3 files of the Spireclaw audiobook downloadable. They seemed to only want to run in Quicktime in a browser, and were not right-clickable (to enable people to save it to their computer). This hasn't been much help because I want people to put the chapters onto their iPods and listen on the beach or in the garden.

Anyway, I stumbled across a solution. Go here to see all the files listed directly. Here you can happily right-click and Save As to your heart's content.

I hope you enjoy Spireclaw, and I look forward to hearing what you think of the ending (but please don't post spoilers here!)

Web Fiction Guide

The Web Fiction Guide is a really nicely presented site that lists and reviews online fiction of all types. They approached me through Twitter and I have now received news that my novels "The Daedalus Transfer" and "Spireclaw" are listed with them. Fingers crossed for some extra traffic to my stories. The Web Fiction Guide can be found here.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Now Available - New Schaefer's Integrity Book Cover

Yes it's true. After much waiting, Blackwell Bookshop is selling copies of my novel Schaefer's Integrity with the new cover for the great price of £6.99.

To mark this memorable occasion, I have posted an article on my website that looks at the creative process behind Marvin Herbring's fab illustration, complete with a short interview with the artist, and some interesting and cool preliminary sketches that he put together prior to delivering the final version. You can read the article here.

I always wanted Schaefer's Integrity to be a science fiction novel for people who have never read science fiction. Many non genre readers who have read the story say that it achieves that admirably. So, will this be the book that gets you into sci-fi? I hope so.

Friday, 15 May 2009

3 Arthur C Clarke novels I wish were movies

So science fiction is cool again. Thank God for that. But it's been a few years coming. I think there are a couple of reasons for its resurgence. The primary one being Mr JJ Abrams and his Star Trek reboot, and a very fine reboot it is too. Add to this James Cameron's upcoming Avatar, Peter Jackson dabbling with District 9, Sam Rockwell on the Moon, and Terminator Salvation, and we've got a busy and exciting horizon in the genre.

When Arthur C Clarke passed away last year I was surprised that there wasn't a clamour in Hollywood to greenlight what could potentially be the next "2001" in memory of the visionary author (and I don't mean "2061"). So here's my tuppence-worth. The three Arthur C Clarke books I think should be made into films.

Rendezvous with Rama: Being the first of 4 books, this has scope for a franchise. The story centres around a strange cylindrical spaceship some 40km across that drifts into our solar system. A team is sent to investigate. The film project has been in development hell since the nineties, when Morgan Freeman acquired the rights to make it, got David Fincher on board, and decided to play Commander Norton himself. A release date was set for New Years Day 2000, and I vowed to be at the front of the queue when it was released. Websites were set up, deals struck with Intel for the technology aspect, David Fincher postulated ideas about hand-held cameras in a pure digital environment. The special effects in Independence Day proved that it was possible to represent sheer size on camera (the best example being where a satellite zips past the camera only to crash into the side of a huge mothership). This is the project that had fans salivating, but since Morgan Freeman's recent car accident, Fincher has gone on the record that the project has ground to a halt. Really really sad, for now. But I think this one might still come out, and I think Cameron's Avatar might be the thing that kicks this one back into production. I hope so.

A Fall of Moondust: A great disaster story set on the moon, where dust seas act like liquid water due to reduced gravity. A tourist "boat" gets stuck on a voyage and sinks below the surface. What follows is a race against time to find and rescue the passengers before the air runs out. The resolution to this story is intelligent and believable. A Fall of Moondust would make a great sci-fi movie which I would love to see realised on the big screen. It could be great opportunity to put up some vibrant and exciting lunar landscapes in glorious widescreen.

The Trigger: I worked for a time in Sudan a few years ago. One morning I was at breakfast in our company staff house, when our security officer told me that during the night a young boy was caught by the police trying to break into one of the company cars outside the gates. I was told that he would probably be taken to a station, have the sh*t kicked out of him, and be sent to the south of the country to be handed a gun to fight in the territorial war that rages down there. At the time I was reading The Trigger, and it had a real effect on me. This is a story of a group of scientists who accidentally invent a device that ignites any explosives within a certain radius. This effectively means they can disable weapons and firearms at a distance. They spend the rest of the book trying to come to terms with the implications of such an invention, and so does the rest of the world. From a form of disarmament, to a protector, to a new form of terrorism. This book teaches us that scientific discovery is a gathering snowball crashing down a steep mountain, and sometime's we're only along for the ride. A good political thriller with a lot of cinematic potential.

So let's honour the great man and get one of these made. Is "2001: A Space Odyssey" set to be his only major screen legacy?

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Kindle-format my eBook for a signed copy of Schaefer's Integrity

The heading rather says it all. But here's the scoop.

I would like to reformat my two online eBooks, "Spireclaw" and "The Daedalus Transfer" for the Amazon Kindle but my skills at HTML are pretty limited.

So I thought I'd put it out to the wider world. Do you reformat ebooks for Kindle all the time? If not do you know someone who does? If you're up for the task please get in touch via the Contact Me page on my website and I will send you a Word version of either "Spireclaw" or "The Daedalus Transfer".

The first successful reformatter of each eBook will receive a signed copy of my sci-fi novel "Schaefer's Integrity" with the new cover art by Marvin Herbring, sent to them anywhere in the world.

Monday, 4 May 2009

New Schaefer's Integrity cover imminent

After much work, redesigns and repositionings, I am reliably informed by YouWriteOn, publishers of my novel Schaefer's Integrity, that the new cover will be on the book in about 7 days.

I am hoping the image will change on the online bookseller's websites but that remains to be seen. I may end up making those amendments myself if I can.

Anyway. I know a number of you have been holding back on your purchase until the new cover appears, so it looks like the wait will soon be over.

I will post here if anything changes, or indeed if I get any specific indication that the cover has actually changed.

In the meantime, please head over to my Facebook group for the book and join up, if you happen to be a Facebooky kind of person.

Friday, 1 May 2009

Another review of The Darken Loop

Rich Horton over at SFSite has reviewed Jupiter SF 23, and says of my piece The Darken Loop that "...As with many time travel stories, paradoxes are a bit of a problem, not too badly navigated here. Interesting work, on the whole."

Far be it for me to review a review, but here it seems the use of negative words to describe my story positively should still be viewed as a good write up, so I'm grateful for that.

I think I fared well compared to some of the other stories in the magazine.

Hmm, I'm beginning to wonder what he'll make of my upcoming Axiom Few story The Voidant Lance (Jupiter SF January 2010)

Thursday, 23 April 2009

The Voidant Lance accepted by Jupiter SF

More great news for my ever-resourceful team of freelance techno-graduates The Axiom Few, who seem to ricochet from one high-tech problem to another. The next installment in their adventures is called The Voidant Lance. Those who were paying attention while reading The Darken Loop (Jupiter SF January 2009) will have seen the seeds of this story planted during Geek's conversations with Brenda.

The Voidant Lance will be appearing in the January 2010 Issue of Jupiter SF. For more about their adventures go here.

If you can't wait that long, check the back issues of Jupiter SF for The Ceres Configuration, or head over to my website to read the free installment in the canon, entitled The Detention Spore.

My First Interview

Allan Mayer is a fellow YouWriteOn published author, responsible for penning the #1 YWO book on Amazon "Tasting the Wind" (and a great book it is too). He is currently building a collection of author interviews over on his website. My interview is the first to be added. Thanks for that Allan. Head over to his website and have a read, and don't forget to order a copy of "Tasting the Wind" while you're at it.

Knowing - A Great Science Fiction Film

I saw "Knowing" last night and was profoundly moved by it. Alex Proyas, the director (Dark City, The Crow, I-Robot) has a stellar visual flair and a clear idea of what makes good science fiction. I love all his films.

What saddens me is that Knowing has been almost universally hated by critics, except for Roger Ebert, who gives it full marks, stating that "Knowing is among the best science-fiction films I've seen -- frightening, suspenseful, intelligent and, when it needs to be, rather awesome." Go here to read Eberts review.

I fully agree with him. This is science fiction at it's best, among the best of the decade (Minority Report, AI, I-Robot, T3), and I recommend anyone who has a penchant for grand philosophical questions sees this film.

But other critics rarely give Proyas any slack. Criticisms of I-Robot (that it wasn't true to Asimov's stories) don't wash with me. I think Proyas and his screenwriters distilled Asimov's Robot Laws perfectly, and dealt with the themes and questions that the great writer sought to question. Was it Will Smith that turned people off, just in the same way that Nicolas Cage might put people off seeing Knowing?

I hope people can see beyond that. I understand why big names get cast in these films. When there's big investment in a special effects movie, the ROI has to be there for the studio. If that means a big name, so be it, at least I get a grand vision for my money. The IDEAS transcend any casting quibbles.

I heard a couple talking to each other as we left the cinema last night. She said "Well, that was odd." and he said "Well, it was your idea to see it." I guess the film may not be for everyone. I can imagine that the ending might turn people off in it's execution, but it IS original, and it DOES deal with big concepts, and it doesn't cheat. I applaud it.

The images and ideas of Knowing will haunt me for a long time to come. In particular, a sequence in the film involving an aeroplane, which all takes place in one dizzying, terrifying shot. It is a truly breathtaking bit of cinema. I can't wait for the Blu-Ray.

Monday, 20 April 2009

Advanced English? Moi?

Whilst indulging in that narcisstic habit of Googling myself (sometimes it's the only way of finding websites who have reviewed me...honest...), I stumbled across a blog aimed at teaching people advanced English, linking to my novels, among others, as examples.

I'm not sure of the language it's aimed at, but I don't know whether to be honoured to be included in such a listing, or worried that my cobbled prose might be used as a method to teach people.

Well, I shan't be too worried, it has all helped my site in attaining the lofty Google page-rank of 4.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Revision Oblivion

I bet you're thinking I'm going to blog about a redraft of some story I've got on the go. If only. No, the revision I'm referring to here is actual, proper, study type revision, the likes I haven't indulged in for some 18 years. I'm filling my head with PRINCE2 Project Management methodology for my upcoming Foundation exam next week.

That's why I've not done an awful lot to any of my stories lately, although, in the dead of night last night I did have the twinklings of a sci-fi story set in a skyscraper. But as is usual in the pre-dawn hours, it's more about the mood of a piece than any coherent plot or character elements. It may or may not come to something.

Now, where was I? Ah yes, what's the bloody difference between an End Project Report and a Post Project Review Plan..?

Thursday, 26 March 2009

The Inevitability of Twitter

Someone mentioned Twitter to me the other day and then it kept popping up in the periphery, so there's an inevitability about it, like when you think you want to buy something then you end up buying it, even though you hadn't fully decided to buy it when you first thought of it. Hope you're still with me!

So my Twitter page is here and I'd be grateful if you would be so kind as to "follow" me so that I don't feel too lonely in there. I promise to write interesting things on it, rather than just use it to find out what Thomas Dolby is up to.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

I'm a Torrent

I've never managed to get Bit-Torrent to work, nor am I all that good at "leet speak", but for those that are even more geeky than me, my novel "The Daedalus Transfer" has been swept into a torrent file at along with a load of other ebooks. In fact, looking at the esteemed company that I am in (Orson Scott Card, Nick Sagan), I have to speculate about the legitimacy of the enterprise. But my novel is free so the more that read it the better.

In fact, I'm not endorsing that anyone actually downloads this torrent, I'm merely blowing my own trumpet.

Friday, 20 March 2009

The Axiom Few return in The Detention Spore

When a box of syringes mysteriously appears on Davey's kitchen table, the team suspect a Darken Loop is in play. But how does it connect to the letter Geek receives from his father in prison, warning of a virus outbreak inside it's walls?

The events in "The Detention Spore" take place six months after "The Darken Loop", and although there are references to the other stories in the Axiom Few canon, each works as a standalone piece.

Click here to go to the Axiom Few page on my website, where "The Detention Spore" is available to read for free.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Schaefer's Integrity - New wraparound cover coming soon

The awesome concept image that Marvin Herbring has produced is well on it's way to becoming the new replacement wraparound cover for my novel Schaefer's Integrity. I'm really excited about this as the image really brings the book to life. We should see it in the next couple of months.

Also, in anticipation of this I have created a Facebook group for the book, so do head over there and join up if you can.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Top 5 Sci-Fi Albums

I associate science-fiction with music quite a lot and, perhaps like other writers, use music as a strong influence when dreaming up thoughts of space and time. I wanted to list for you the top 5 records that influence me. In no particular order:

Vangelis - Direct: This album features the synthesizer sound that he used to such great effect in the compositions that formed the Blade Runner soundtrack, and although that soundtrack is excellent, the sounds in Direct are newer (1988) and are not tied to Ridley Scott's images, allowing the mind to wander in other directions. With track names like Intergalactic Radio Station, The Motion of Stars and First Approach, it really seems like Vangelis had his sci-fi cap on while sitting at the keyboard.

BT - Movement in Still Life: When BT started getting really granular with his music, splicing it and chopping it around and doing genuinely amazing things with sound, it felt like the future of dance music had arrived. With a pair of great headphones on, this album feels like you've plugged your head into a computer and you're listening to every single piece of data flying across the bus. After the hip-hoppy beginning it elevates to the stars and the last track, Satellites, is literally like being in orbit, complete with astronaut radio talk. A beautiful song. An inspiring album. Awesome.

Genesis - Calling All Stations: A lot of people slagged this album off but I really thought it worked, and Ray Wilson's at times tortured voice sounds like a man who's adrift in space (or at sea?) looking for comfort, or something he can tether himself too. The title track embodies this, and it's quite a dark album in places. Great catchy sci-fi songs with soaring instrumentals and some great drumming, especially on One Man's Fool.

Sasha - airdrawndagger: A soundscape unlike anything you'll have ever heard before, but not in an obcsure Tangerine Dreamy mid-seventies experimental, atonal type way. Sasha has drawn from those heady influences but has given rhythmic character to his sounds, shape even. The tunes take a little while to emerge but by then they're under your skin. More inspiring synth work that simply transports you off the planet.

Jean-Michel Jarre - Waiting for Cousteau: My friends and I used to lie on the grass in the garden at Selsey Bill on the south coast of England, looking up at the stars (or down, now that is an idea that can mess with your head!) while the beautiful 46 minute long title-track played. It has a floaty, watery, spaced out feel that is truly meditative. It complemented the stunning vista so well. That track works nicely as an accompaniment to writing too, as it's so unintrusive.

So there you have it. There were a few I left off in favour of these, but these are the holy grail in my eyes. If you're reading this I would really love for you to make suggestions of inspiring sci-fi music that transports you to that other place, as new music is always great to discover.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

More reviews of The Darken Loop

The February issues of SFrevu and SFCrowsnest have appeared online with reviews of Jupiter SF 23 and I'm pleased to say that the reviews of "The Darken Loop" have been universally good. Thanks guys.

Sam Tomaino at SFRevu calls it "... a nicely told story of alternate realities". Rod MacDonald at SFCrowsnest pays the story more extensive praise. He calls it "...exciting..." and says it's "An excellent story, one which has plenty of scope for development into other forms of media."

And for those who are interested, the Axiom Few do have a number of new adventures in the pipeline.

To read the full reviews, click the links above.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

First review of Jupiter SF 23

Thanks to Annie over at Random Thoughts for a very positive review of "The Darken Loop", calling it "Beautifully crafted". Click here to read.

So far the overall feedback on the story has been great and I have a real desire to expand on the Axiom Few universe to learn even more about who these guys are, and why they got into the sort of fringe stuff they do.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

The Fix

Forgive me if I'm asking a silly question but is anyone able to tell me why The Fix doesn't review Jupiter SF?

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Science Fiction Concept Art

Concept artist Marvin Herbring has produced a stunning illustration of the ten-kilometre wide Parts Yard station from my novel "Schaefer's Integrity". I think Marvin has done an incredible job of capturing the sheer size of the thing. It's really great to see my ideas come to life in an image like this. The illustration is available to download as a desktop wallpaper at 1600x1200 and 1280x800 resolutions. Click here to visit the page to get the wallpaper. Check out Marvin's other work here.

Friday, 16 January 2009

The Novel: A Love-Hate Relationship

So I started writing this novel. Well, probably a novella. I come up with titles quite early and I decided to call this one "The Fourdrinier Operator". I'm 400 words in and I synchronise it to my Palm Pilot so that I can write it on the train, even when it's overcrowded on the morning commute. That was how I wrote "Spireclaw".

I'm having a real burst of creativity on this one and I'm knocking out a respectable 2000 words a day. After just over a week I've written 16000 words and the juices were showing no signs of drying up. I think you might know where this is going.

I'm thinking I ought to backup the file. So I sit down in front of my laptop on a Sunday afternoon and sync it back to the computer. Does it sync the right way? Does it buffalo!

I'll never forget that moment, and the way I felt; the moment I overwrote a 16000 word document with a 400 word document. It was one of those moments like where you're trying to open a bag of rice in the kitchen and the bag splits and rice goes everywhere. It's beyond tragic and beyond funny, and it steals any coherent reaction from you. So I sat there tutting. Tutting at my rotten luck. Even now I have no idea how I managed to delete my burgeoning chick-lit tale of a meet-cute on Waterloo Station that descends into something a bit more sinister... a suburban haunted house story. I don't think I'll ever find out.

"Re-write it straight away," said my friends and family. "Do it now before you forget." But somehow I couldn't face it. I wanted to be telling the NEW bits, not re-hashing stuff I'd already done. It felt like too much bloody hard work.

That was four years ago. A year later I was in Malta running a conference (as part of my real job) and I was drunkenly recounting this story to a colleague at dinner, who then asked me to tell her the actual story of "The Fourdrinier Operator". I don't normally do that, as telling the story can often remove the desire to TELL the story. But I did, and she openly admitted to having goosebumps on her arms when I dealt out the twist ending.

This spurred me on to having another go at getting back to where I was with the story. I knew it could be good. I'm now at 24000 words and I think I'll end up somewhere near 40000, at the rate I'm consuming the plot.

I've run some of the early chapters through my writing group and the response has been positive and helpful. I have re-worked my meet-cute to give it better dimension, to put a few more obstacles in the way of this couple who are about to fall in love.

I want to finish the story by the summer. So I'm going to try and tackle it through this winter and spring. By the time summer comes around my life is going to get an awful lot busier and more wonderful, and who knows how much time I'll be able to put aside for writing. Fingers crossed that I can tap once more into the creativity that got "The Fourdrinier Operator" so quickly to where it did in the first place. I think I'll start by printing it off...

You may be interested to know that I got three-quarters of the way through writing this blog entry, when my browser window closed for no reason. Had it saved a draft? Had it buffalo! I almost couldn't bring myself to re-write it.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Jupiter SF 23 : Kalyke - out now

My short story "The Darken Loop" appears in the January 2009 issue of Jupiter SF which was released today. It is the second story involving the 3 members of the Axiom Few, and is a prequel to my earlier story The Ceres Configuration, which was published in Jupiter issue 4. Click here to purchase your copy, or subscribe.

Friday, 2 January 2009

Schaefer's Integrity now on Amazon

I received my first 5 copies of the book through the post over Christmas and I'm very pleased with the result. It's quite special having a book in print. I'm hoping you'll buy a copy, as a substantial part of the royalities will go to charity (more on that later). If you're in the UK, go here to purchase your copy. If you're in the US, go here.

And have a very Happy New Year!