Thursday, March 29, 2012

To the winners

Somewhat serendipitously given my last post, Christopher Priest has let loose on a group of hopeful winners of this year's Arthur C Clarke Award. The full post is here and it's convinced me that sometimes it's actually good not to be shortlisted. Here are a few of Mr Priest's choicest comments:

On Charles Stross for Rule 43 - 'It is indefensible that a novel like Charles Stross’s Rule 34 (Orbit) should be given apparent credibility by an appearance in the Clarke shortlist. Stross writes like an internet puppy: energetically, egotistically, sometimes amusingly, sometimes affectingly, but always irritatingly, and goes on being energetic and egotistical and amusing for far too long. You wait nervously for the unattractive exhaustion which will lead to a piss-soaked carpet. Stross’s narrative depends on vernacular casualness, with humorous asides, knowing discursiveness, and the occasional appeal of big soft eyes. He has PC Plod characters and he writes och-aye dialogue! To think for even one moment that this appalling and incapable piece of juvenile work might actually be chosen as winner brings on a cold sweat of fear.'

On Greg Bear for Hull Zero Three - 'it is capable in its own way, and hard in the way that some people want SF to be hard, and it keeps alive the great tradition of the SF of the 1940s and 1950s where people get in spaceships to go somewhere to do something. In this case, the unlikely story begins as the interstellar spaceship arrives somewhere. The paragraphs are short, to suit the expected attention-span of the reader. The important words are in italics. Have we lived and fought in vain?'

Sherri S Tepper for The Water Rising - 'how can one describe it? For f***’s sake, it is a quest saga and it has a talking horse. There are puns on the word "neigh".'

Thursday, March 22, 2012

To the losers

To you who do and make, but who never win anything, know this.

Your work is seen and enjoyed and talked about and remembered. It enriches others in experiencing it. And it enriches you in the making of it.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Ditmar time rolls around again. Normally the eligible list includes stuff that I've edited - and that's true this year too, with the 29 science fiction stories that graced Anywhere but Earth. This year, however I'm listed for a piece of my own original fiction. 'A Mirror, Darkly' is a piece of urban horror that appeared in Andromeda Spaceways #51. It's not often I find time to finish something of my own and get it published. If you liked the story, and you're eligible to vote, don't be tardy! Nominations close 13 April.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Endings and beginnings

I've finished transcribing the handwritten scrawl that's brought me to the final battle in the two-book Kresh saga. At 172,000 words so far, that's a decent two books and doesn't count the secondary protagonist intertwiney story bit and the final bloodfest with bells, whistles and the odd extradimensional piece of space tearing ships apart. It's a good place to be. And a good place to stop right now because Pyrotechnicon beckons.

Adam has finished his draft in response to my structural edit and also incorporated some very wonderful comments we got from Wendy Waring - linguistic editor extraordinaire - about the proper use of the Latin, French and German dotted throughout the text. I'm glad I didn't have to tackle THAT bit on my own.

So now it's down to formatting the latest version and then commencing the copy edit. Before you know it we'll have first page proofs. While all this goes on I need to check out printing and pricing options with our printer. And also investigate the functionality of Bookout as our primary ebook editing tool.  All good stuff.

After all that's put to bed, it's back to the Kresh - finish up the first draft and then start on the second.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Paul Haines died today. A good friend, a very warm and loving human being and a great writer. He will be sorely missed.