Friday, 24 June 2016

Perfidious Albion

The majority of British subjects have just proved themselves to be economically ill informed.

I could be wrong, and I will wait with bated breath to be proven wrong.  If the politicians adroitly manage the changeover, by keeping London's position as an economic powerhouse in Europe, and the economy doesn't tank, then all will come out in the wash.

Meanwhile, all we can do is wait and see what happens.

Monday, 20 June 2016

The Crucible of Empire

I hadn't planned on reading the sequel to The Course of Empire so soon, but my partner decided she did and went and bought a secondhand hardback from Amazon, so how could I resist?

The story starts two years after the end of the end of the previous book and introduces a fourth race to the Jaoverse.  If you want a synopsis then I recommend reading Amazon or Goodreads.  The plot has enough shenanigans going on to keep the reader engaged, but what I liked most was the alien culture building.  I was sucked into the world and society of the Lleix, so much so that when we start to see them through the eyes of the Humans and Jao it's quite a shock.

On other matters, I've been busy.  Work mostly, including writing for the Galactic Journey blog, which takes a lot of time because I have to research everything to make sure it's not anachronistic.  For example, making sure I didn't use the phrase male gaze, which was not coined until 1975.  Still, I like a challenge, and it makes a change to write outside of my usual areas of interest.

On my own writing, well that's been interesting.

Currently, I'm working through another edit of Strike Dog, folding in my Beta reader's criticisms and suggestions, and I'm up to chapter five, which is 13,597 in out of a total of 95,768 words.  So a start, but what this doesn't tell you is that chapter four has yet to be written.  Though I have 6,682 words from an earlier draft cut and pasted into my novel, it requires a drastic rewrite, because the reason those words were cut in the first place was because they were a dreadful info dump.

In the meantime, my beloved is re-reading Ghost Dog, but before she started, she decided to re-read Bad Dog.  Guess what?  She found some typos.  Only four, which to be fair isn't many, but still a shock for me, and I imagine that given another set of eyes or a longish break, more could be found.  However, they were mostly trivial things like an extra and an the, but there was one character name error, and a line that needed revising to reflect changes made in an earlier edit of the novel that I missed.

C├ęst la vie.  Gnashing of teeth.  Until next week, take care.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

An Update

I was reviewing my writing progress or lack of it a couple of weeks ago.  I discovered that I effectively hadn't written anything to do with my two unfinished novels for two months.  So I restarted work on Ghost Dog.  The first day getting back into the writing was difficult, and I only managed to work through 2766 words, which was a bit rubbish.

Over the next two weeks I found my writing mojo and finished the remaining 39,174 words.  This was an out loud read-through and edit of the third draft which means it's now ready to send to my Alpha reader for her input.  When she sends it back I will do another quick revision to get it ready to send out to my Beta reader.

As a result, I've now started work on the next draft of Strike Dog, having read my Beta reader's feedback.  One thing is becoming clear to me, it seems I'm completely tense deaf.  Not sure what I can do about this, because given my age, educational background etc. it will be hard to change.  Not because I can't remember the rules, but because I'm oblivious to the changes in tense when reading.

What can I say?  Must try harder.

Monday, 30 May 2016

Shooting the Rift

A disclaimer, just in case you don't know, but Alex Stewart is a long-time friend of mine and therefore I'm probably biased in my review.  So I'll get that out of the way right now: go buy this book.

OK, plug finished.

I really liked Shooting the Rift.  The story felt very comfortable to me.  It had the feel of putting on a pair of slippers and dressing gown and curling up in comfort.  At times the book read like yesterday's future of tomorrow, but Alex managed to remind me that the future will be unevenly distributed and the mix of tech levels as his protagonist travels from one world to another.  Shooting the Rift features a fascinating melange of cyberpunk in a trans-human future where mankind has spread out across the stars; so while this is not full-fat, high caffeine, raw meat science fiction, it is in the tradition of grand sweeping space opera.

I'm so glad that I really enjoyed reading this, because so often when I read friends books they're OK but, they don't grab me and make me want to read the sequels.  The denouement of Shooting the Rift leaves everything with the promise for more.

Quite frankly I want more and it can't come soon enough.