I live in Italy, in Venice to be exact, and I’ve lived here long enough now to start thinking of it as my adopted home. My Italian isn’t perfect but I can read a book. I don’t understand every word, but I can usually guess the ones I don’t know from the context. I was browsing through a second-hand bookshop in the nearby city of Trieste, which is just up the coats from Venice, and I found a sci-fi book set in my adopted home town.
I’m a writer, but I don’t just write books. I have also written a few role-playing games, many of them connected to the Cthulhu Mythos, for example my game called Present Day Cthulhu, which is available from DriveThruRPG. The Cthulhu Mythos isn’t as obscure as it once was, and most nerds in the know are at least aware of it these days. Most are also aware of the controversy attached to the inventor of Cthulhu and of its themes of cosmic horror.
It’s a long time now since Nick from New Girl managed to finish his long-awaited zombie novel, Z is for Zombie, but it’s been on my mind lately. It is famous for having the word rhythm spelled incorrectly 38 different times. It is also where Julius Pepperwood first appeared, a character and alter ego that Nick made up in Season 2. Julius is a hard-boiled New Orleans zombie detective, racing around on fan-boats, who finds JFK alive.
After yesterday, when I wrote a story for submission to Daily Science Fiction, I thought I might try and repeat that trick today. Unfortunately Daily Science Fiction only accepts one submission at a time, so I went looking for another website to write a story for. I quickly found a site called flashfictiononline who are, unsurprisingly, looking for sci-fi flash fiction. They want very short stories, of 500 to 1000 words, but the story I wrote was 1,300 words.
I am more and more impressed with Pronoun for self-publishing. I’ve been with the platform for only a couple of days and already things are happening. It isn’t reporting to me that I’ve made any money yet, but things are happening. A Kindle edition of Galaxy Dog is listed on Goodreads, and it already has a four star rating on Goodreads. Here it is, Galaxy Dog on the Kindle store. And the cover images that Pronoun generates for its own use on the site are absolutely gorgeous.
I’m always looking for new channels to place my books with, and this brought me to Pronoun. I thought to myself I would use Pronoun to cover any tiny channels that I wasn’t reaching through Draft2Digital or Smashwords. Pronoun say their mission is to build a new model for publishing that puts authors first. They believe that independent authors deserve a better way to publish, so they are creating the tools, technology, and information they need to succeed in today’s digital market.
Sun Chaser is finally finished and has just been distributed to a range of the leading sellers of eBooks across the internet. Work Started on Sun Chaser on 4 Nov, 2016, just after I had published a fantasy novel called City of Dragons. With my epic fantasy trilogy out of the way, I turned my attention to the third book in my science fiction trilogy. Doing the maths, that means it took me five months to write the book.
I’m adding yet another sci-fi short story to the clogged annals of sci-fi lore. Nobody asked me to do it, of course, but I think there’s always a place for more sci-fi short fiction in the world, especially when it’s free, like this one. The story is inspired by that old chestnut: the third of Clarke’s three laws, which is that - Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Not everyone agrees, obviously.
My book is now written, the climax has been reached, and the last words are down on paper. There is still, of course, a lot of rejigging, editing, and proofreading to do, but the book itself is done, and my thoughts are now turning to actually uploading it to Draft2Digital, from where it will be distributed to quality eBook and print on demand outlets across the interwebs. One of the stages of uploading a book for publication is deciding on the section of the bookshop the novel will be shelved in.
It’s all about the sofas. Anyone who has seen 2001 A Space Odyssey will be likely to remember the uncomfortable-looking and futuristic red chairs in the Hilton lobby of Space Station Five, where Dr Floyd stops on his way to the moon. In the visual medium that is movie making these chairs are a powerful background detail that the audience notices without any time being taken away from the film’s action.