Sunday, December 28, 2008

My writing week (35)

Hi all,

Three days to go, yaaaa. Assuming I write today, tomorrow and the next day, I will have done some writing on every day of this year. Am I looking forward to taking a day off writing or what.

I am halfway through chapter twenty-two of my novel. I still have two and a half chapters to go, less than 10,000 words.

No critiquing this week, but I am on the lookout for a science-fiction critiquing group. In a few months time, after I have tidied up the novel, I want to start sending it out to be critiqued. I might try for dedicated novel readers on Otherwise, I might be spending a bit of time next year searching for a group of science-fiction writers who write helpful critiques.

I have nearly finished the novel I am reading, Grey Egan's Teranesia, so there could be a review of it later this week.

Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season and preparing to make outlandish new year's resolutions.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

My writing week (34)

Hi all,

I finished chapter twenty-one last week, twice. I went back and added to the ending after some new ideas wouldn't go away. I also crossed the 100,000 word mark. I figure that I still have at least 10,000 words to go in the final three chapters. So, I aint gonna finish it this year. Oh well, what's new: another deadline drops dead. But it is going to be hard letting go of the characters.

No critiquing, a bit of reading and I did peruse a few writing blogs. It would seem that the book industry in the US has been hit by the recession George Bush and Dick Cheney had to have. As a result, many US publishers are saying that they are not going to be taking on new authors. While in Australia there seems to a bit of optimism that consumers will turn to cheaper forms of entertainment like reading a book. That makes sense, meaning increased book sales. But no doubt the Aussie publishers will look at what the US is doing and think the American must be right, like look how they managed their financial sector, and copy it.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

My writing week (33)

Hi all,

Still writing chapter 21, nearly finished. I spent much of my writing time last week researching what I was writing about. My chances of finishing the first draft this year are not looking good, about 10,000 words to go.

Did a bit of reading and no critiquing.

I will be glad when this year ends and I have finished my new year's resolution to write every day of this year, I can't wait to have a few days off.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

My writing week (32)

Hi all,

I've done some writing on every day of this year so far, only 23 days to go and I will have actually kept a new years resolution. I didn't keep a few others though, like eating only black jelly beans or traveling back in time and making George Bush Senior impotent.

I finished writing chapter 20 last week. I still have three chapters to go, even though chapter 20 was supposed to be the third last chapter. Chapter 21 is the beginning of the climax or what is called the Road Block in Christopher Vogler's The Hero's Journey. My main character has to overcome the road block in front of him to survive. I still have around 10,000 words to go.

Didn't do a lot of reading this week and no critiquing, but I did read some writing blogs and watch the First Tuesday Book Club on the ABC last night (Sunday).

Now back to writing.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Review - Analog Dec 1996

Hi all,

I very much enjoyed the originality of the stories in the Dec 1996 issue of Analog. In fact, I think it is the most original set of six stories that I have read in a speculative fiction magazine.

A Replant Day Carol,
by John Vester started off the collection. It was a strange tale about the interactions between a planet's colonists and the local flora and fauna, and the frequently violent symbiotic relationship they had. It did rely on the contrivance that only one food source could be grown on the planet.

The Lily Gilders by Joseph H. Delaney (the only one of the six authors I had heard of) was a good industrial espionage story where giant water lilies are used to extract gold from sea water, causing a massive world glut in gold.

The Widower's Wife by Jayge Carr explored the consequences of a husband downloading the brain of his dying wife into a brain dead body. Their children didn't accept the stranger. The story relied on some contrived laws, that I doubt would ever he enforced if this future technology came into being, but it still explored some interesting issues.

The Best is Yet to Come by H.G. Stratman, threatened to be the least original, with a husband wanting to take advantage of new technology to extend his life, while his religious wife just wanted nature to take its course. I have read a lot of similar with the theme of religion versus science, but perhaps we need more, especially in parts of the US where the understanding of science seems to be going backward due to an increase in the unquestioning adherence to ignorant preaching that has propaganda like Intelligent Design on the rise.

The Shaper by Rick Shelley seemed like fantasy until a twist at the end. It was the least memorable of the stories. I find that a lot of stories that have twists are all set-up for the twist, so unless the twist absolutely astounds a reader, which this one didn't, the story is very easily forgotten.

The last, and for me the best, story was Gerry Boomers by A.J. Austin and Daniel Hatch. It told of the effects on neighbours after a EMP pulse from an exploding satellite fries the circuits in most electrical items in a region of the U.S. Its theme is similar to one in the novel I am writing of the effects on humans when they lose their technology, so I took interest in how he had his neighbours reacting.

All the stories were well written, and none of them had me pulling out the dictionary. Overall, I would give the issue of Analog 3 and 1/2 stars out of five.