Latest design of the ElysianWell, I didn’t finish my planning before the beginning of November, but that’s okay – I’ll plough on into writing it anyway. I’ll just have to fill in the holes in my planning as I go along. It’s hard to predict how long the book will be but the original was 125,500 words but I expect this one to be a little shorter, maybe more like 90-100,000 words. The challenge will be hitting that during November! I’ll need to average over 3300 words per day, every day, without fail. That’s going to be tough!

I must also come up with a new cover to match the new Elysian design. I’ve built a 3D model of the new ship but with nowhere near enough detail to render up for a book cover. My 3D design skills are not good enough for that job, so I need to come up with an alternative plan for that. There won’t be a cover reveal until I’ve sort that one.

The new ship design is a coup for me. The original Elysian in the first edition of “The Beginning” was more akin to a miniature Battlestar Galactica than anything realistic. The new version (shown in the illustration here) is very nearly within our construction capabilities now. It’s over 20 years since I wrote the original novel and I expected our space technology to have moved on somewhat further than it has by now. Clearly, the original Elysian will not be possible in 2037 but this new design should be creatable within the next 18 years. Sadly, I see no intention by any country to populate other star systems. Everyone seems set to just continue in worsening pollution and poverty until we are strangled by our own uncontrolled overpopulation.

On a lighter note, there’s a new title for the book too. I’m keeping that secret for now as it might yet change. With the extra workload, I’m not going to be posting or tweeting much this month, but don’t worry, I haven’t given up. I’ll try to post occasional updates on my progress to compensate. If you’d like to support me on Patreon while I achieve this project, please click here for more information.

New look for the Astronomicon website

View of the new website layoutI’m pleased to be in a position to announce that I’ve completed major revamp of the whole Astronomicon website. Almost everything beyond the logo has changed/moved/improved. The whole look is more contemporary, dynamic and now works properly across almost all browsing devices.

Ideally, I would have done it back in November but my failed attempt at NaNoWriMo this year took up all my spare time (and some sleep time too!). Now it’s complete, I can get back to writing my next science fiction novel. 

From now onwards, I aim to post regular updates on my writing progress. Anyone interested in reading the next Astronomicon series will get a better idea of the path to publication but, more importantly for me, it will help keep me working and on track to get it finished in as short a time as possible.

NaNoWriMo update

Astronomicon: Icarus front cover designWe are past the halfway mark now and things aren’t going too badly on the NaNoWriMo front. I’m having to work around the restriction of not having enough spare time to write every day, but I’m only slightly behind my target. Next weekend I plan to catch up and, hopefully, get a little ahead. Even with such a tight deadline, I fully expect to achieve the target 50,000 words by the end of this month.


See my progress here: Paul’s NaNoWriMo Stats.


Any writers reading this and wondering if they should give it a go next year? GO FOR IT!! I recommend it to everyone. You might not achieve the 50,000 word target, but it’s excellent experience and for many people it’s the impetus they need to make proper headway in writing a book. Many writers cite it as the key thing that gave them that push to finish their first novel, and once you know you can finish one, writing more becomes SO much easier. The only way to fail is not to try.

NaNoWriMo challenge going well!

It’s such a relief that, after five days into the 50,000 word challenge, I have managed to keep my head above water and keep up with the daily target. Better still I have built up a little leeway which should buy some breathing space if I have some difficult days later on.


I have to say that NaNoWriMo has been excellent fun so far. There’s an excellent atmosphere in the community, the forums etc. there – lots of support and advice and a competitive spirit which help most of us keep going.


On top of all of that, Astronomicon: Icarus is shaping up nicely. Now I’ve been able to fill out a lot of details and dialogue, I like the way it is developing. There’s a lot of action, a couple of minor disasters (so far) and I believe (and hope!) that a lot of my characters are rather interesting.