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..?