Wednesday, 27 March 2019

What is Good?

The future of all books, to be sold on a secondhand stall.

And not only that, but what is remembered?

The latter question is probably more important than the former, because if writer's and or their works are not remembered, then no matter how good they may or may not be, no one will read them.

A thought triggered after I came across an article bemoaning the fact that bookshops don't stock new authors. 

In the past, works have been lost for lots of different reasons. Fires, earthquakes, and other disasters have played their part. I posit that in the future that quantity will also play a part in works being lost, for the simple reason that so much more is being written now than was written even just a hundred years ago.

I propose Pollard's Law:
Ninety-nine percent of everything written, and the names of their creator's, will be forgotten, lost in time.
Besides that, what is good is down to the assessment of others yet to come. Or if you prefer, what is good is a matter of taste, and tastes change. Patricia Wrede has a piece here, but there are many other writers who have said similar things too.

So, looking back over the last week what have I been doing?

I've gotten back my draft of The Bureau with a list of corrections: errors and omissions that need to be addressed.

In the meantime, I'm writing a creation myth for an alien race that appears in my next novel, Two Moons, which is tasking me. That's it for now, catch you on the bounce.

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Now Watching

Now that The Bureau is with my Alpha reader, so after a long break I'm in the process of reacquainting myself with my Bad Dog universe. I've started writing Two Moons, and I've got 14,856 words knocked into shape.

Two Moons is a side-story or spin-off from the main story and so it doesn't focus on combat armour suit action. The plot is basically a mystery, so this is very much a new challenge for me.

In the meantime, we've been rewatching an old favourite, Babylon 5. Hard to credit that the original pilot was shown in 1993 and that the series ended in 1998. However you count the years, it's a lot.

There's even been mention of Babylon 5 on Geek dot com. I'm not sure that I agree with the assessment of it being an intimidating show, or the need for a must watch episode list, but whatever floats people's boat – if it gets them into the show.

While the CGI is lacking by today's standards, the story remains compelling. We're pretty much mainlining three episodes each night and are currently halfway through season four. Got to love the Shadow ships, which remain one of the most interesting bad guy ships ever seen on screen.

I'd forgotten how good the story was/is. It's also recharging my creative juices, as in giving me a lot to think about in terms of where I want my story to go. My motto now being, think bigger! Think evil!

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

RAFAEL's Advanced Suite for AFVs

Found this on the web: RAFAEL's Advanced Suite for Armoured Fighting Vehicles - A Quantum leap in Armored Vehicles Transformation. There's an interview about the project here.

People who have read my novels will know that the combat armour suits have AI/expert system interface that allow the pilot to get on with the mission, which is the foundation for their nicknames.

The Marine suits are called DOGS, which stands for: Dispersed Operation and Guidance System.

The Army version are called APES, which stands for: Autonomous Pilot Expert System.

This YouTube video pretty much nails what I described in my stories. It's really hard to stay ahead of what can be done, let alone predict what might be doable in the future.

Thursday, 7 March 2019

World Book Day


Having finished my current novel, well doing edits, I'm enjoying the chance to read a bit more. I was also reminded that it's World Book Day. Yay!

Books I've recently finished are:

Shambleau by C. L. Moore, which is a collection containing: Black God's Kiss; Shambleau; Black God's Shadow; Black Thirst; The Tree of Life; and Scarlet Dream. That's two Jirel of Joiry tales, and the rest feature her other famous character Northwest Smith.

A very different story telling style to what I normally read or the current fashion. Besides enjoying the stories, it left me thinking about how I write. Recommended.

I've also read the next two book in the Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher: White Knight and Small Favor. Urban fantasy is not my go-to genre (I like rockets, robots, and rayguns too much),  but I've enjoyed the stories for what they are.

However, these last two reads have blown my socks off. Great stuff, but I can't imagine that anyone needs a recommendation from me, but recommended anyway.


Another book that knocked my socks off is Beholder's Eye by Julie Czernada the first of a trilogy called the Web Shifters. We had read her Species Imperative trilogy omnibus collection, and I had been most impressed by her alien biology and world building so I was on the look out for another novel from her.

Beholder's Eye starts slow, but by page 60 I couldn't put the book down.

And another, new to me author, I've read recently is the first book in the Diving Universe series, Diving Into the Wreck by Kristine Kathryn Rusch.

Her writing is as smooth as silk, and her ability to provoke emotions in the reader was awe inspiring. So again recommended.

Currently I'm reading Cibola Burn by James S. Corey, book four in The Expanse series. What I've read so far has grabbed me, making me want to read more. So, wishing you all a very Happy World Book Day, and let me know what you're reading.

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

The Bureau: Draft Finished

Susan working on her longbow.

We were away this weekend on a longbow making course run by Pip Bickerstaffe and Ben Lamb of Bickerstafee Bows at the The Longbow Shop in Birkenhead. It was a long drive up on Friday due to the number of roadworks. It seems there's a drive to make our motorways "smart," which will be great when its done, but now is not so great.

Anyway, the two day course saw us shaping our bows from pre-prepared laminated staves, and you can see more pictures here.

In other news, I have for all intents and purposes finished the first draft of my next novel, The Bureau.

For definitions of finished that means it's heading off to my Alpha reader for feedback. It may come back with requests to expand the story, because I have a tendency to write terse descriptions that can leave out details that a reader needs. Deborah Chester would no doubt call it bland description.

Writing, it has a learning curve.

We shall see.


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