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!