Archive for November, 2012

I’ve been away from this blog for nigh on three months owing to huge building work upheaval. I’m tired of working at the top of the stairs, I said, let’s convert the attic, I said. I’ll do a good chunk o f the work myself, I said. It should take, oh, two to four weeks, I said.

Optimistic chump, I’m saying now.

Ten weeks later, it’s finished. I’ve spent every goddamn waking minute for two months hammering bits of wood together and plasterboarding (okay, I did some work work, had two very short holidays, and have been ill, but apart from that: Hammers. Nails. Swearing. All the way baby, I’m like a foul-mouthed Bob the Builder). And I added terracotta roof tiling to my repertoire of earthy man skills (I’ve done some roofing before, but with corrugated iron sheets, so this was a bit more involved). The result is that I am sitting in a new room, which is kind of weird, like one of those dreams where one discovers one’s house has whole, undiscovered wings crammed with sinister secrets. Or is that just me? I call this haven from the world below THE GOBLINARIUM. Because it’s full of Goblins, alright? Not for any other reason. Sheesh.

I have no stairs, just a ladder. I can’t afford stairs until next year, but other than that, it’s tickety-boo.

Anyway, I’m well behind on my work, and wasn’t going to post for a while longer, but then Richard Ford and Cavan Scott both tagged me in this Next Big Thing meme/blog/pass-the-parcel game, so it’d be rude not to respond. Not that I give much of a fig about being rude sometimes, but now is a more civilised phase in my lunar-linked egocentric psychosis path.  I’ll be back later this week with the covers to my next two books, The Crash and The Death of Integrity. Until then, answers to the meme’s ten questions below. Thanks for the nod, Cav and Fordy.

1. What is the working title of your next book?

It ain’t no working title, guv’nor, it’s called The Crash, and it’s out next June, so I better finish it. Technically, mind, it’s not my next book – I have Baneblade and Skarsnik out from the Black Library first, and then there’s The Death of Integrity out after The Crash, which is currently in the hands of the editors. But The Crash is what I am currently writing. And I am behind on it, so let’s keep this brief.

2. Where did the idea come from for the book.

I like books about planetary colonisation efforts that go horribly wrong. This book is about a planetary colonisation effort that goes horribly wrong.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

Science fiction, planetary colonisation efforts that go horribly wrong sub-genre.

4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

I don’t know yet, as I am still getting to know them.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

A planetary colonisation effort goes horribly wrong.

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

It’s out from Solaris, God bless ’em.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

I am still writing it. I usually give myself three months to write a book’s first draft, but I redraft a lot as I’m writing, so what I end up with at the end of that is closer to a second or third draft than a first. Then I plead for more time, about a fortnight, to polish it up.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Hmmm. Non-Stop by Brian Aldiss, the Colsec books by Douglas Hill. There’s a fair bit of social commentary in there too, I suppose, but not so much as you might get in something by Charles Stross or Ian Macleod. But they are both more intelligent and well-read than I, so I’m sticking with alien space monsters.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Tricky one that. Lifelong immersion in SF that is neither Star Trek nor Doctor Who, I s’pose.

10. What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

Alien monsters, how the continued entrenchment of plutocratic elements in our society might play out, a cool planet, and a frickin’ big twist in the tail. There’ll be fights, and some weirdness, and hopefully sequels. Hell, you might as well read the back blurb, mightn’t you?

The Market rules all, plotting the rise and fall of fortunes without human intervention. Mankind, trapped by a rigid hierarchy of wealth, bends to its every whim. To function, the Market must expand without end. The Earth is finite, and cannot hold it, and so a bold venture to the stars is begun, offering a rare chance at freedom to a select few people. But when the colony fleet is sabotaged, a small group finds itself marooned upon the tidally locked world of Nychthemeron, a world where one hemisphere is bathed in perpetual daylight, the other hidden by eternal night. Isolated and beset, the stricken colony members must fight for survival on the hostile planet, while secrets about both the nature of their shipwreck and Nychthemeron itself threaten to tear their fragile society apart.

It’s on US Amazon already, although how they know it will be 384 pages when even I don’t know how long it will be is a little freaky…

And now I need to tag some more people. I choose: Nick Kyme, Andy Smillie, and Matt Keefe.


Here I am talking about optimistic futures in SF Signal’s latest Mind Meld, along with some much brighter people,  David Brin, Charles Stross, Neal Asher and Jetse De Vries among them.

MIND MELD: Optimistic Scenarios for Our Future World – SF Signal – SF Signal.

Another Live4 article I wrote relatively recently. Is this a legitimate way of making up for not blogging for ages? Probably not, but I have been busy, man, so busy.

Is txtspk the death of language? – Live4.

My latest blog for Live4.

Robots and the morality of a push-button war – Live4.