Monday, October 26, 2009

I Can Hear The Sound Of Christians Fuming

As part of a paper on Children’s Literature at uni, we studied Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy. It’s so much more of course than a retelling of Paradise Lost, but even if approached on that level it works rather well. So I for one am looking forward to Pullman’s new book, to be released around Easter 2010 – ‘The Good Man Jesus And The Scoundrel Christ’.

I can already hear the gnashing and gnawing of teeth over this. The book tells the story of how St Paul apparently embellished the story of Jesus having been the son of God.

Personally, I don’t particularly care what anyone believes, as long as they don’t hurt anyone in the process and refrain from forcing their beliefs on others. What is good about books like these is that they make people ask questions; hopefully they make children ask questions (even more so than necessary), because while it is most of the time beneficial for children to heed their parents, there are times when they should blatantly reject what grownups tell them.

So here’s to you, Mr Pullman. We’ll be seeing you a lot in the news come egg-hunting season next year.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Moon - Directed By Duncan Jones

Phenomenal. This is the kind of movies we want to see, Hollywood!!!!

H.P. Lovecraft

Because I feel the man and his work deserves all the attention it can get.

“If we knew what we are, we should do as Sir Arthur Jermyn did; and Arthur Jermyn soaked himself in oil and set fire to his clothing one night.”

-- "Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family" 
 by H.P. Lovecraft

The Weight Of Paper And Ink

I usually try and not print out chunks of what I’ve written so as not to get bogged down in edits. But Jen has been asking to read what I have so far, so yesterday I printed out 20 000 of the 30 000 words I’ve got down for book one of the Strickland Diaries.

Strangely enough, I haven’t had the urge to go sit down and read it all. Apart from making note of a few things courtesy of some crits from a fellow scribbler (inspiring red underlines and circles) I don't really feel the inclination to go and pour over it at all. Which is a good thing. Besides, I’m much to keen to figure out what happens next, and which characters jostling for attention will get the first say.

It must be said though – it feels good to hold 20 000 words in your hands.

If you missed it, Alex Strickland (of Strickland Diaries fame) has a Facebook profile.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Saturday Night: Changes

Was going to see ‘Moon’, but a change of plans now has that happening tomorrow night. Snuggled in bed with cats and lovely. Tea next. Then some mindless TV.

Saturday Night Word:

collywobbles: intestinal cramps or other intestinal disturbances. (also known as tummy ache)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Prologue. A City Before.

I was recently asked to write a Steampunk novelette for an anthology (deadline 2011, so still off in the future). Almost immediately, the notion came to me to write a prequel story to the book I'm working on, set in the Steampunk era of Juno City. Once that idea took root, another piece my universe fell into place. I'm continuously amazed by what an organic process writing can be, especially when you're working within your own newly created universe. It's like discovering history books about places you never knew existed. Pretty damn awesome.

Here then is a small introduction from that story.

When the Starfarers came—first came fear, of course. They were different; how they thought, the tools they used, what they ate. Their craft specs completely boggled our scientists, who were used to the noisy airships that hovered in the air above the city. In the end, our differences were too great. We scared them; they made us suspicious. We endured one another for seventy odd years before they left. One morning we woke up and they were gone, leaving behind a lot of tecc and a lot of junk. Some say that's the reason the Aldermen first came. There were plenty of conspiracy theories about where they had come from, that they were in fact Starfarers that had stayed behind, hoping to amass and one day take over the planet. No one really knew. But the tecc was what the Aldermen loved. They did nothing to hide their inclination to the strange, foreign science. Steam meant nothing to them.

Wherever the Aldermen came from, they were here and didn’t look like leaving. Soon the scales will tip. You can feel it in the air, an unspoken balancing act of dread and action. There are riots and violence, everywhere things burn. Cycles; these things have happened before. The prophets say the city is cursed. And behind the smoke that seems to rise perpetually from its ten rings, the stronghold of the Spider Queen cowers behind walls that no longer keep anything out, but simply delay the inevitable. The Queen—she has gone mad. Thrown us all from her bed, her silken web. She has poisoned herself up there, locked away, haunting the dark halls of her fortress and not even dead yet.

She will die, eventually. And so will we. But the city will live again. Not even the desert of aeons has managed to permanently swallow its great walls. A new name will find it. Perhaps the Aldermen will succeed. Until then there is life here still, what little of it refuses to back down to the whims of an insane ruler. Before history ends and begins again there is time still for a story or two to be told.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Alex Gets Her Own Facebook Page

The protagonist of my novel in progress, Alex Strickland, now has her own Facebook page.

There is also a Wordpress blog dedicated exclusively to the novel in progress called Strickland Diaries. Head on over to read more about characters, places, guilds and music. Oh, there are pictures, too. Updated continuously.

Protestant Guilt And Shifting Landscapes

Those are but two of the cool topics
I recently talked about the World SF Blog
in a short piece about the influence of
background and environment on writing.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Talking To LOTL About Periphery

I recently did an interview for Australian magazine
Lesbians On The Loose, talking about Periphery and
the stories published in this Lambda Award shortlisted
queer SF anthology. (Click pic for bigger resolution)