The Beginning


Astronomicon #1 now available in Paperback

Astronomicon: The Beginning cover 3DFans of books in traditional paperback form will be pleased with this announcement:

After an extensive edit and repolish, Astronomicon: The Beginning is now available in paperback form. I know that e-books are not to everyone’s taste and many people prefer reading novels in a traditional, more tangible form. 

At 330 pages, The Beginning is a substantial piece of science fiction. Although it appears to be shorter than the e-book edition (385 pages) this is purely due to variations in formatting between the two media. The content of both versions is identical.

I’m aiming to get at least one more Astronomicon novel out in paperback form before the end of 2018. Ultimately, all my novels will be available in both formats but that’s going to take a lot of work.

 

The paperback version is available from Amazon US ($9.99), Amazon UK (£7.95) and all other Amazon sites. Visit your local Amazon for full details and order your copy now.


What to do when your technology guesses are disproved?

Technology in Astronomicon: The BeginningTechnology is always a pain for writers of hard science fiction. We need it, a lot of it and often it is key to the storyline. Like most hard sci-fi writers I put a lot of time and effort into researching science and technology to make as accurate a guess at the future as I can. Sometimes we get it right but, often, we get it wrong.

Time is our enemy. The more time passes the more science and technology advance, leaving our best, educated guesses in danger of being proved wrong.

I wrote Astronomicon: The Beginning something like 20 years ago and much of the technology I included has held up well. Some things, however, have not. Now, this isn’t usually much of a problem because the vast majority of readers take the age of the book into account. The same goes for movies; who stops watching Blade Runner because it completely missed mobile phones or in 2017 (Blade Runner is set just two years from now) we simply don’t have flying cars?

My situation is a little different and becoming increasingly awkward. I’m in the process (and it’s a LONG process) of rewriting the first novel in the Astronomicon series in a serious attempt to bring it up to my current level of writing an correct the flaws in my technology predictions. Being the first in the series, I can’t just get rid of it or write it off as not worth the effort. It’s how many readers get into my universe and simply must be representative of the other novels.

The Elysian, the main spacecraft in the story, will undergo a complete design change to bring it into sync with the much improved and more realistic version currently used in Behemoth. That will have a significant impact on the book, mostly in terms of descriptions and character navigation. Nothing fatal there. Some of the minor characters will change a little and gain some depth. Again, nothing fatal. Things get awkward with the technology used to communicate with Earth. When I planned the novel over two decades ago, I went for Quantum Entanglement as the medium but now we know that just would not work.

The problem is, there just isn’t any viable way to communicate between stars without being limited by that pesky speed of light restriction. That makes a big chunk of the plot completely impossible. So, when I rewrite the book, do I keep in a chain of events which cannot be justified, maybe by making up some fantasy technology (which is hardly hard sci-fi) or do I rip out the relevant chunks of the story and then attempt to come up with some other idea as a reason for the characters wanting to do what they do? As I write this, neither option seems like a good solution.


Astronomicon: The Beginning #FREE #SciFi on #Wattpad

Astronomicon 1: The Beginning FREE on WattpadWith well over 50 million people around the world using the Wattpad phone app and even more using the hugely popular website, the sheer amount of fiction read every day  on Wattpad is truly staggering.

It’s a vibrant community and, over the past year, I’ve gathered more followers there than I ever thought possible, let alone likely.

I’m sure that this has been helped, at least in part, by so many people reading Astronomicon 1: The Beginning there. It has been available for free on Wattpad for some months now.

More recently I added Astronomicon 2: Distant Relatives there too. You can read it here for free.

In my experience, Wattpad is just about the best site on the internet for putting readers and writers together. The community there is active and enormous. The atmosphere is friendly and very helpful. There is a wealth of helpful information and advice and  if you’re an author it’s simply the best place to get feedback on your writing. If you need to improve, have plot holes, grammar mistakes or any other flaws in your work,  people will most certainly let you know but there is hardly any anger or malice there at all.

There’s much more there than just fiction. If you’re a writer, there is a vibrant community in the many clubs and forums, and there are many writing competitions open for you to join too. If you need help with any aspect of writing, editing, planning, character design, dialogue, marketing, cover art etc., there’s always someone willing to help or advise.

Get involved and become much better known in the world of fiction.

If you like to read or write fiction, and you haven’t already been to Wattpad, give it a try. It’s a great place to be, completely free and growing all the time.