Happy New Year

I want to take a moment to wish Happy New Year 2019 to all my readers (and future readers) and thank you for your support during 2016. It was an interesting year with some good moments and bad moments (too many bad ones), but I don’t think it’s going to stand out as a breakthrough year in very many ways.

3 Astronomicon Novels

2017 should be a much better one. I have two new novels almost completed and expect to write another during the next few months. Maybe I can get my Patreon campaign off the ground too. Currently, I write purely as a hobby and I’d love to be able to write full time. My novels are all available on Amazon etc. but don’t make anywhere near enough money (yet!) for me to quit my day job. By the end of 2017, I would love to be able to cut my working hours by one day per week, giving me 4-5 more days per month to dedicate to writing. If I could achieve that, I could easily produce three novels per year.

My next big release in 2017 will be “Sceptic”, my first dystopian future novel. I need to get it out as soon as possible because it’s a predicted future that we are heading towards at frightening speed. I don’t want it to lose its impact by reality getting there first!

Anyway, here’s hoping that we all have an excellent 2017!

Let’s make this a good one.

Paul.

 

ps. Buy my books!!

 

 


A Deadline that won’t be missed

Astronomicon Deadline Christmas offerIt’s been over a year since I published Astronomicon: Deadline on Amazon. Unlike all the other Astronomicon novels, it has performed embarrassingly poorly. Astronomicon #3 Those Left Behind has routinely sold more copies per week than Deadline has sold in total in over a year.

I’m not too upset though. I understand that my books are not all the same and that not everything will work. It would be great to just call it a learning experience but I’m not too sure what I’ve learned from it. Does humour not work in the Astronomicon universe (I don’t think that’s the case)? Was the story not up-to-scratch? Or was it just not as funny as I thought it was (probably likely)?

My problem is that I got very little feedback and what I did get was not too helpful. I suspect that it was a catastrophic failure on my part to successfully advertise its existence. Anyway, whatever the problem, Deadline is no more and is no longer available on Amazon. At some point in the future, I will probably rework it, create a new cover and re-release it, but it is not on my todo list.


Hiccup with Behemoth

UBehemoth Book Cover version 1.2nfortunately, due to a rule change at RadishFiction, there’s going to be a sizeable delay in posting future chapters of Behemoth. Under their new system, chapters are locked (cannot be edited/corrected/deleted) just seven days after posting. It usually takes around 2-3 months before every error has been found and I am not prepared to e-mail RadishFiction admin with every error or change.

The alternative is to ignore errors on Radish and let it fall out of sync with versions on Wattpad and Amazon, which will continue to be corrected as usual. This is unacceptable to me and unfair to readers as it degrades their experience and if the different versions no longer match it makes it more difficult for readers to transition from one system to another.

I already have a lot of details to manage, without having to explain every little change in an e-mail to RadishFiction and hope that whoever performs the change for me doesn’t get it wrong. By my current calculation, I would be sending RadishFiction somewhere between two and five e-mails per day. I simply don’t have time for that and I doubt they do either.

From now on my new chapters will have to go through my full two-month long proofreading and editing process (using my trusty team of proofreaders) before I post them on Radish. Wattpad will continue to update as usual for a couple of weeks and will then suffer the same delay. I apologise for this and really wish it could be avoided.


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.