Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Good Stuff

Watching Source Code last night I was pleased to see a very well put together science fiction idea presented on screen. Parts of the movie had a Twilight Zone feel and Jake Gyllenhal acted his eyeballs out. There were moments towards the end when I feared it would veer into schmalz. Director Duncan Jones’s earlier movie Moon almost did that too – but again it was another solid sci-fi idea. However the ending was more than satisfying and the other characters in the movie were well played. An adult science fiction movie that doesn’t fail to entertain. It’s interesting to see the rise of this phenomenon, and it is now officially a phenomenon when you look at Moon and Inception. The latter has probably done more to cement the probability of more intellectually stimulating sci-fi movies seeing the light of day. But it is a satisfying trend.

Actually watching the upcoming trailers I was amazed to see how many movies coming up I really wanted to see. Captain America actually looks like it will be good, ditto X-Men First Class, shit even the next Transformers movie looks kind of cool in a Michael Bay OTT sfx kind of way. And then there’s Joss Whedon’s Avengers to look forward too.

Speaking of sci-fi and spec fic more broadly, the annual Aurealis Awards went off very well (in Sydney for the first time) last weekend. In fact it looks like the women really took home the majority of the awards – lift your game guys. Case in point: only three books made the science fiction novel shortlist, written by two women. They were all very good, but it’s pretty bad when there’s not enough good novel length sci-fi out there to round out a shortlist of five.

The TISF podcast is now well and truly over. I sold the podcast mic, to a podcaster who is just beginning her podcast adventure, so I know it will continue to be used well. A lot of pretty cool Australian spec fic writers mixed their spittle on that mic – hmmm, better not go there. As for me, I’m concentrating a bit more on me and ‘me and my partner’ stuff from here on in. Certainly the coeur de lion adventure will continue but I want to relax a bit more at home, read books I want to read – not because I have to review them – concentrate on the writing, yes, but also just do other stuff: learn the guitar, go for walks… I’m getting old – 49 last week. Okay not so old, but in the last year or two I’ve been through the whole ‘wow you’re actually going to die someday’ thing. Hopefully a long way off, but it’s important to concentrate on the things that give you energy and happiness. That’s where I’m headed.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Endings

As the princess in Dune said, ‘a beginning is a delicate thing’ — or something like that. Well an ending is pretty blooming delicate too. After saying for months I was approaching the endgame for the Kresh, and then finding some — hopefully entertaining — business that my characters had to attend to before that, we are finally at the spot where weapons must be drawn. And that’s caused a bit of a problem. I’ve been writing this thing over such a long period of time, I’ve lost track of a lot of the detail: who said what, who knows what. But I kind of need that front brain so I can tie up all the loose ends. This has forced me to stop forward momentum and actually type up the 62,000 hand written words and read the other 120,000 typewritten words, before I get back into crafting an awesome denouement. Oh well.

Speaking of endings, I just posted the very last Terra Incognita Speculative Fiction Podcast. Thirty shows over two and a half years is not bad, and I want to thank all the authors who gave freely of their time, stories and vocal talents. I had a lot of fun doing this, learning how to use the technology, editing up the stuff and posting it and I think people enjoyed listening. But there comes a time when all the work starts to be a bit of a drag. That’s why I decided to end it. Time for something new.

My favourite TISF episode? That would have to be 'Come To Daddy' TISF #14 , a very entertaining story from my Serapeum buddy Brendan Duffy, with some cool raps laid down by another Serapeum mate, Matthew Chrulew. It was a lot of fun to edit.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Progress

Things are really popping now, Jeldon-wise, with some major plot points being revealed. We're in the end game which will lead to a simultaneous battle between the opposing Kresh on their homeworld and a major space conflict between the Hegemony and the Jantri - and whoever else they can round up - in the unforgiving environment of tenspace. This is just as well as my sometime writing buds are firming up plans for our semi-annual novel crit workshop 'Serapeum' for the last week in October. The line-up this year will be Rjurik Davidson, Andy Macrae, Peter Hickman, Paul Haines and little old me.
I'd like to get the novel finished to get to them by 1 July. This means some major keyboarding as I've pretty much written the last half longhand. Of course the parrallel story of poor, unloved Rhys and how he gets to join Jeldon against the humans will not be done, but at least I can give them an idea of how it fits in. Full steam ahead!