One of the better pieces of creative advice I've received is "Look for the cracks in things." Leonard Cohen has a couplet along those lines: there's a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in. But the right way to apply that advice eluded me for a long time.Read more
One thing I've noticed about myself vs. other writers with a Web / social network presence is how much more explicit and candid many of them are about their work while it's still being produced. E.g., Twitter updates about word counts or editing status, or even posting the whole thing to their blog incrementally (my friend Scott Delahunt has been doing this with his Lethal Ladies and Subject 13 projects). I don't think these approaches are bad or wrong, just that I've found that they're not the approaches I prefer to take.Read more
... the reason that it is important to include diverse characters and diverse voices in speculative fiction would be because the assertion “we’re all in this together” is not, in fact, a pure, shining, unimpeachable truth, handed down by the gods of speculative fiction for our enlightenment. The statement “we’re all in this together” is, instead, an ideological presumption which is not supported by most of the extant facts.
I'd put it more this way: "we're all in this together" is a dormant truth, one which can emerge one of two ways: either as an evident fact of life, becuse we are all in fact in the same boat and pulling together; or as a grim specter, in which the connectivity of each to all is expressed despite this and not because of it.Read more
People tend to want artists to do the same thing, and it is incumbent upon artists to do something that the audience doesn't want — yet. I'll tell you this. I won't follow an artist who will be led by his audience. Because I don't want to have to follow an artist that I have to lead.
The comments about Silicon Valley aside (I use and make a living off this technology, but I see more and more every day why many creative people are embittered about it, but that's another essay), it was this comment — courtesy of Marc McKenzie, hat tip — which caught my attention.Read more
The usual way in which we plan today for tomorrow is in yesterday's vocabulary. We do so, because we try to get away with the concepts we are familiar with and that have acquired their meanings in our past experience.
This insight is a big part of why I'm convinced most any attempt to talk about "the future", especially in SF, is always going to be some form of talking about the here and now. When I wrote Flight of the Vajra I didn't really think the future I was imagining was the future we were going to have, or even a future we were likely to inhabit. It was a future, one I used more as a way to muse about where we're headed or even where we are right now. Such is the way of skiffy.
What I don't think we should ever do, though, is settle for only that. Today's tomorrow shouldn't look like yesterday's tomorrow if we can help it.Read more
He also spotted a few goofs. They're being fixed, I swear.
But really, I couldn't have asked for a better review.
I'll be adding other formats gradually, but these are the big two that matter for now. I also have a CreateSpace/Kindle exclusive on the book for 90 days, as a way to take advantage of some promotions that are being offered, but once that's up I'll look into Smashwords, etc.
A post worth sharing in toto (I hope Tim doesn't mind):
My somewhat satirrical definition of Hard Science Fiction is “Anything that reads like a cross between an engineering textbook and a right-libertarian tract”. This might be one cause of the sexism in the SF world, in that few women are interested in writing that kind of stuff; they insist on having things like three-dimensional characters.
That was something that turned me off consistently with most of the "new hard SF" I kept coming across: it was a race between the techno-porn or the politico-porn to see which would constitute the bigger audience endurance test.
Now that I think about it, though, those two things seem to come joined at the head for a reason. The latter is the theory and the former is the practice.Read more
Looks like I picked the wrong week to
stop sniffing glue taking amphetamines release a novel. Right now I've got major preparations under way not only for a new fulltime job (more on that after I sign the paperwork) but for having major and meaty chunks of my house ripped out and replaced.
That said — if I'm lucky, Flight of the Vajra should premiere as a Kindle / CreateSpace exclusive sometime this week. I'm almost all the way there, I just have to make sure the formatting of the e-book version is up to snuff.
I have some other Vajra-related goodies to premiere as well, time permitting.
Plus: Later this month I might also start some blurbage related to the next book, which I'm betting won't take anywhere nearly as long to finish or release. Working title is still Welcome to the Fold.