Tag Archive: novel


For those of you using Amazon Prime’s new lending library, I am now on Kindle Direct, which means you get to read my Trolley as part of your benefits!  Amazon pays me as part of their monthly fund, so I’ll be fine.  My book is also still available for purchase; both in hardcover and Kindle formats.

My upcoming book, “Space Bitch,” is being edited as we speak, and the first beta version should be ready by July 14th. Depending on the speed of the beta editors, we may have a finished version sooner than expected.  I targeted for Christmas, which was to be released Nov 14th, but I may have it way before that.  It depends on what is happening with Soylent Publishing at that time. 

Someone at Balticon asked me if I was worried about the word “Bitch” in my title, and while originally I was going to change it, I kept it because I found it was an attention grabber. Looking on amazon.com, I see there are 4,286 books currently with the word “Bitch” in the title, so I am not sure I have to worry.

 

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So, things didn’t happen the way I expected them to today, and I got a lot more time to edit my alpha pass than I planned for. But this is a good thing, as alpha 2 is done.

There was a lot more weeding than I expected, mostly due to story flow, and a few minor inconsistencies. I deleted several pages of “booooor-ring!” side stories and saved them for the sequel, which is already being fleshed out. But I also had to add more stuff to balance some scenes out, and add some helpful dialog. So the final word count is a hair under 141k. But the action is pretty good. This book will be full of action.

Now it’s being reviewed by my first editor so the beta copies are not as rough as last time. That means, beta editions are coming soon! I know some of you have sent me requests, and most of you will get them.

Well, it came and went.  I had a good time.

I am sorry, folks, I am swamped with work fuckery.  I am balls-deep in Russian software, broken Windows 7 logins, and the Windows 2012 release candidate came out with its new Play-Skool interface.  This weekend, I am on a rescue mission I can’t go into online, and I’ll be busy with that.

Short summary of Balticon: I had fun.  I met new friends, reconnected with old friends, and had no assistant so I starved to death with no one to remind me to eat.  One of those statements is false.

I am still editing Alpha Draft 2, and 53% of the way through.  Almost ready for beta.  

Balticon hosts its 46th convention at the Marriott Hunt Valley Inn this Memorial Day weekend, and as usual, I will be there! My publisher (Soylent Publications) will be sharing a table with Cold Moon Press, so you can see me there or at one of many panels:

Friday 6:00 pm (Pimlico) – Me reading for 17 minutes with other 17 minute increments from J. Sherlock Brown, III and Lyle Blake Smythers. The programming book states, “Please note that the authors are listed in alphabetical order. They’ll determine reading order amongst themselves.” Speed reading.

Friday 11:00 pm (Chesapeake) – Late Night New Media Meet and Greet where I moderate a motley crew of podcasters and the like: Trish Wilson (Elizabeth Black), Doc Coleman, and Paul Elard Cooley

Saturday, 1:00 pm (Parlor 1041) – Anime 101 where I moderate an introduction to Anime to old people. Includes a history of Anime, art, voice acting, and Japanese culture. My fellow panelists are Lee Sarfati, Christine Chase, Kat Sarfati, and Tyler Waldman. A must see for those who have never seen anime, and especially for those who have.

Saturday, 5:00 pm (Maryland Foyer) I am having an autograph session: Sharing my long table by the escalators are Michael S. Bracco and Robert I. Katz

Saturday, 6:00 pm (Chesapeake) Comedy Improv hosted by the great Alex R. White, as I, Norm Sherman, Stephen Granade, and Laura Nicole Spencer try to create mayhem. This is a must-see. You will divide your life as a before and after this event.

Sunday, 11:00 am (Parlor 1041) Anime for Parents: a continuation of what we have been doing at Katsucon, I moderate this with Yoji Kondo/Eric Kotani, Sharvonique Renee Fortune, and Stephanie M. Burke.

Sunday, 2:00 pm (Salon A) – Xenoarchaeology Road Show where GoH Jody Lynn Nye moderates a motley crew of science fiction writers to determine what will future archaeologists make of common 20th century household objects? Mark L. Van Name, Christiana M. Ellis, and John Hemry (Jack Campbel) will be my cohorts in speculative thinking.

Sunday, midnight (Salon A) – Eye of Argon – the Play. It what will be described as 90 minutes of pure torture on a Vogon Poetry scale, Michael A. Ventrella will host a literary catastrophe with me, Hildy Silverman, Susan de Guardiola, and Walter H. Hunt.

I haven’t even gotten my own schedule yet, I had to glean this from their pocket program on my own. So the times, places, and people are scheduled to change.

First alpha pass of Space Bitch done. One more alpha pass until the first beta goes out to editors!

This stage marks the end of individual text files in gedit to one big piece in Abiword/LibreOffice. All major edits and revisions are done, so now it’s cross-checking facts, names, and motivations. At about 135k words currently which won’t change very much unless I do some major last-minute root-pulling.

I hope to be done with the second alpha pass by next weekend!

Boy, I sure can spell creatively… yeesh… but I progressed really nicely for one weekend.  I won’t be able to do much next weekend, as I have Roller Derby bout recaps to do and then mother’s day.  I don’t have a mother, but my wife is one, so we’re taking her out.  The next weekend I will I hope to have the first alpha pass done by the first week of June.

Okay, I don’t want to be all arrogant and stuff, but I am really proud of some of what I wrote.  Right now, it’s not the best book; it needs some work, but man… there are some parts I laughed out loud at.  Some I cried a little.  And some will never see the light of day like a hair clog in a shower drain.

“I wrote what…?  Yee…”

I have managed to get a little under halfway of the actual first alpha before I do another pass of the second alpha.  Once that’s fixed, onto Beta 1 and my editors, who will attack it with rock and scissors.  I hope to have all those done by the end of the summer.  Then negotiations with my publisher, and then a Christmas 2013 release I hope by Thanksgiving.

I *should* have some readings for Balticon.  I don’t have a schedule yet, but I’ll post one when it becomes finalized.

I still don’t have a better title.  This one may stick, although it may limit my market.

I am at 127k words.  The first pass is usually when by the end of the book, the characters have been fleshed out a little more, so you make the first part match the second part.  Notably foreshadowing and moments where, “Sarah wouldn’t say that…!” 

Speaking of Sarah, she’s been a difficult character as far as motivations are concerned.  I understand her well, but making the reader see what I see has been difficult.  Otherwise, I think readers might go, “Come on…!  She just stands there and TAKES that?”  Her captain is severely abusive, and one of her shipmates is also very complicated. The perspective switches several times from Sarah to Jen, and making that work has been a little bit of a balancing act.  

Also, in many cases where I had writers block, I leave whole sections as skeletons.  Like:

“I am not sure if being dead to your family is really the same as not knowing who they were in the first place,” Jen said.  “But I suppose that’s not my place to judge.  But what I do know is that… you and I… have one common bond. The desire for love.  And right now… there’s only the two of us against some pretty slim odds of survival.”

Sarah swallowed.  Her constant fear of discovery had prevented her from attending to her needs; she knew that much.  But could she take on any sort of relationship now?  Or would she always wait until it was too late?  And was she even attracted to women?  But as the distance between her and Jen closed, she felt her self-analysis drift apart.  She just wanted reassurance once in her life that someone genuinely cared for her that didn’t need her for just her professional skills.

“You smell like cloves…” was the only thing she could utter in reply as their lips met.

[INSERT TASTEFUL LOVE SCENE HERE, FOLLOWED BY INTERRUPTION BY ELIZA]

“You guys make me sick,” Eliza said. “If there’s one drawback to having a human crew, it’s their disgusting habits to mate.  And Jen’s not even the opposite sex.  You can’t even fucking get THAT right, Sarah.”

This is going to take several passes.

“Space Bitch” is currently 125,932 words. Of course, now I have to edit it. So… lots of fun ahead.

I’ll be in my bunk…

Working title “Space Bitch” is at 150k words, and I am not even done. I am mostly done, cutting down to the final confrontation. I have a list of programs I’m going to do at Balticon, awaiting times and scheduling.

I still need a better title.

When all was said and done, I did 66,262 words, for a total of 96,262 words for “Space Bitch.” I beat Sean, who dropped out at the 4k mark. He avoided me for most of AnimeUSA when I threatened to teabag him. I wanted to finish with a round 100k total, but I got sick the last two days. Plus Katsucon is looming around the corner, and I have to work on that.

Right now, we’re looking at about 105-110k words on “Space Bitch,” which is a working title and probably not the finished one. To give you a glimpse of where we are, the plot is as follows:

You have a shipping company called SUNGOD, which is a corrupt bureaucratic shipping contractor for the Vidmar Royal Galactic Enclave that covers thousands of planets and stations in hundreds of star systems. Several people are hired to handle the shipping needs of an outer territory system known as “The Verdes Mujeres,” named after the two large green stars and a dying remnants of a supernova that glow brightly in the local planetary systems’ skies. Like a frontier territory being taken over by new corporate politics, the ship’s crew consists of a strange variety of miscreants.

There’s the ship’s captain, Eliza Mortales, who is a psychotic lone wolf with little to no regard for anyone’s well being. Her first officer and chief interstellar navigator is Sarah Phulajanma, a political refugee from her father’s financial empire where she escaped slavery through arranged marriages. With them is Jennifer “Jen” Koipack, a member of a cult of perky goths who has a secret past. Along the way, Eliza kills off some crew members and random people, picks up a band of orphans, meets some old friends, and tries to wheel and deal her way through making a profit smuggling under her corporate overlords.

It’s kind of a dark comedy with political intrigue, back stabbing, secret politcal alliances, and a lot of plot twists and turns. I am having a shit ton of fun writing it.