Saturday Musings - A Journey Through Time

Saturday Musings - A Journey Through Time

When I attended the recent Domain Conference in Florida I had a few copies of my science fiction book, Battleframe, to hand out as giveaways. It provoked a lot of discussion about scifi and one of the members of the Godaddy team ended up telling me about a book called “Read Player One”.

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Ready Player OneBy the time I’d finally returned to Australia I’d completely forgotten the conversation until I received an Amazon delivery with a copy of the book inside. For a start the cover intrigued me, it had a picture of a young man climbing a stack of caravans……so I thought I’d give the book a shot and started reading.

What surprised me was the fact that the central theme running the whole way through “Ready Player One” was everything about the eighties. Computers, board games, computer games and music were all fodder for creating elaborate puzzle clues that the protagonist had to solve.

To be quite honest with you I cared less about the plot (which was a little simplistic) and more for the fact that it was a personal journey through time. Trash 80 computers with 16K or RAM, cassette loaders and Atari 2600 game consoles were carefully weaved into the overall story. I loved it!

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Skunk works and visions

Skunk works and visions

About eighteen months ago I started writing a series of episodes for a science fiction website that I started. Over time this grew into a manuscript of 106,000 words and this week a lot of the final pieces of publishing my first novel finally fell into place.

For a start I purchased a block of ISBN numbers. These numbers are used to uniquely identify each version of a book (eg. ebook, paper back) for libraries, shops etc. It was a great feeling buying the “codes” that my own book will be designated by.

Just yesterday, I commissioned an artist to do the front cover…..you’ve got to have a decent looking cover as many people will judge the book by it. So where did I find the artist? I perused thousands of illustrations from artists all over the world at DeviantArt.com (it’s a great site). I then narrowed down the selection to about five artists I thought best represented what I was after. Of the five artists, three responded and I interviewed each from there.

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This Sunday evening I’m having a group of beta-readers provide their feedback on draft five of the manuscript. It’s the final feedback prior to me doing any minor clean-ups and fixing some grammatical errors that may have slipped through. It will probably be around two weeks work…..so not too long!

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Personal Musings - My SciFi Novel Sample

Personal Musings - My SciFi Novel Sample

As many of you know I've been writing my very first science fiction novel. Writing the book as been one of the most enjoyable, rewarding and stretching things that I've ever done in my life. Over the years I've written a lot on my blog, technical manuals and for a number of different magazines but nothing prepared me for my first book.

It's been quite a journey for me and the characters in the story over the past 18 months. At times, I've found myself typing furiously on my laptop just to find out what was going to happen next. It almost seemed like the story was unfolding before my eyes but I couldn't see the next part until the words were on the page.

The first draft was finished about twelve months ago and then I began the many rewrites. My father is a great science fiction buff and he spent a lot of time reading the book and a lot of his suggestions are embedded in the pages. My wife has read the first hundred pages and added her unique insights in how the story could be improved. So knows nothing about science fiction so it was great getting her thoughts.

When our son Timothy was home recently I shoved a few pages under his nose to read. His comments and suggestions were all about the characters and how they could grow and gain greater depth. That added another 3 months of rewriting....sigh.

So after all the work I'm now relatively happy with the setting, plot and characters. I plan on doing a final clean-up of a few minor issues in my last rewrite before finally publishing.

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