Saturday, 14 May 2016
Running late again due to the knock-on effects of the time it took me to sort out my computer.
I think it's clear from previous posts that I'm a fan of Jack McDevitt; in particular the Alex Benedict and Priscilla Hutchins' series. Though I was rather disappointed with the last Hutchins book Starhawk, which I thought added little to the series story arc or character development. Thunderbird is a sequel to his 1996 novel Ancient Shores, which was a novel I really enjoyed.
However, while the writing is good, the plot of Thunderbird was rather disappointing. Not in the same way as Starhawk, which added nothing to the series, but because of the direction McDevitt decided to go with the idea of a stargate that can take one to other worlds. For me, while the characters made perfectly acceptable decisions, they were the wrong characters to be telling a story of exploring strange new worlds, seeking new life and alien civilizations, and boldly going where no one has gone before.
It's unlikely there will be a sequel to Thunderbird, which is another reason why it felt disappointing. There again, I never expected a sequel to Ancient Shores, as the novel is self-contained, and ends with the puzzle solved and hope for a new journey. I'm reminded of the adage that a sequel written many years after the original is generally not improved by the passage of time, because the author will have grown and changed.
Other than that my spare time has been taken up with dealing with computer issues, archery practice and my job, which has meant a failure on my part to progress the draft of my third novel. This is quite troubling to me as it indicates a failure to adapt, as the Marines would say, but it reflects the demands of my job and why I hadn't been writing while working full-time.
At some point I will have to make a decision on what I'm going to do if I sell my first novel. Until then I have the luxury of waiting and seeing what happens.
NB: Please excuse my overly critical voice of a writer whose work I greatly admire.