Posts about my writing
“I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.”
If you know your Science Fiction, and maybe even if you don’t, you recognize the iconic line from the HAL 9000 in Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece, 2001: A Space Odyssey. HAL was the artificial intelligence who, while incredibly smart, was driven to violence by the directives provided by his human creators.
Artificial intelligence is a staple of science fiction, and it’s a trope that enables writers to examine what it means to be human, what it means to create life and what our responsibility to that life we create actually is. And further, it enables us to tell stories about what that life might want to do to us in return.
There have been brilliant examples of stories in the AI genre. Colossus: The Forbin Project is a terrifying vision of what could happen if the tools of war are handed over to a machine intelligence designed to make war more efficient. The Terminator, with all it’s lean savagery, is another take on what happens when the machines come online and want control. (more…)
Other than in my first attempt at novel writing, which we shall speak of no more, for it is legendary in its awfulness, I write queer characters. They aren’t all queer, but my heroes are. The whole raison d’etre of both my standalone novel, Chasing Cold, and my Maverick Heart series is to write the kind of heroes I loved growing up, but make them unapologetic in whatever flavour of queerness they called their own.
In the early days of what would eventually become Soul’s Blood, I submitted to a press in Edmonton run by Candas Jane Dorsey. As it turned out, I was going to be in town, and she very graciously took me to lunch and gave me feedback on my very early efforts. And one of her comments formed a cornerstone of how the novel and series would grow.
In the initial incarnations, Keene and Daevin were initially forced apart because Daevin’s father was bothered by Daevin being in love with a man. It was the late eighties/early nineties when the novel was first conceived and I was living in a city where there were no Pride celebrations, no businesses that specifically targeted the queer community, other than the one gay bar. In many ways, we still lived our lives in shadow. (more…)
I have loved Space Opera since I was three.
That was when the original Star Trek series aired on one of the only two channels that were available in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada in 1966, and it was something we, as a family watched. I remember my mother being certain that the sight of one alien in the closing credits (Balok from The Corbomite Maneuver) would scare me too much, so she charged my sisters with distracting me so I wouldn’t see it.
Of course, when I finally did, I wasn’t bothered at all.
Star Trek truly entered my consciousness in the Seventies during first run syndication after school. When I rediscovered it, I would race home and hope it was one I hadn’t seen yet. Not that it mattered. I watched them over and over, poring over every detail, memorizing the look, the ideas, the performances. I tried over and over to build the Enterprise with my Lego. And this was back in the day when there weren’t any specially shaped blocks, just flat bits, rectangles and squares. My love for the show just continued to grow. (more…)
I have been remiss in posting this here, after blanketing my social media with the news. I’ve signed a contract with Bold Strokes Books to publish my next book, Soul’s Blood (and hopefully, the sequel, Gatecrasher, too) We’re in early days right now, in a bit of a holding pattern, but aiming for publication next fall. The ball is rolling though!
Well, I checked for the review in Publisher’s Weekly today and it had gone up.
It’s not exactly awful… just kind of… Meh.
And I was tired and off my game from the time change and the stress of waiting and a dozen other little life things, so, initially, it hit me hard. But I collected some thoughts from friends and Facebook folks and let it mull for the rest of the day. Some thoughts came to mind.
- Awkward pacing. What does that mean, exactly? Too fast, too slow, too both? It’s just sort of a vague comment that I can put into the mental filing cabinet, I guess. Note to self: make sure pacing in future is not awkward. Whatever that means. Flippancy aside, I thought I had paced well, so either my perception is way off or the reviewer’s is. Or it could be taste. As I move forward I may be able to take something from this.
- Reviewer seemed to think it felt dated, kind of like old school pulp fiction. My publisher referred to it as Golden Age. Okay. this I can form an opinion on. I grew up reading Edgar Rice Burroughs and Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke and Robert Heinlein and Anne McCaffrey. That’s my era, and I fully cop to showing my age. In reflection, I think on some level, I was trying to write a more overtly gay version of that kind of book. A space opera feel without the pulse-pounding plot. I get that it may not be everyone’s taste. Sort of feels like saying “I didn’t like Jaws because it had too many sharks in it.”
- The comment about older readers. Srsly? OLDER READERS UNITE!
Publisher emailed me tonight. He’s entered the information on Chasing Cold into the Publisher’s Weekly database of books being published between February and June. I should have edits soon and we’re already batting around ideas for the marketing and for who we can approach to write reviews. Once the edits are done, I should get an ARC. Of MY book
Pretty darned exciting.