May 2008 Review

Website News

The first ever Monthly Review on this website was dated May 2000, which means that I am now entering my tenth year on the internet. When I started it was all pretty new, with Yahoo leading the way among the search engines. Everyone wanted to have a website and 'surfing the net' became the in thing. There have been many changes since then, with many dot-coms falling by the wayside in their attempts to cash in on what everyone thought would be easy money. Surfers were not that easy to attract, however, as I also know well, and mail order is still mail order no matter how you order it. Many of the new ventures got it wrong, but there were a few that hit the nail right on its virtual head. Over the years Amazon has grown to be an internet monster, and I now find myself linked with this giant with my publishing exercise. It all seems a very far cry from my earliest beginnings with ASP pages, domain names, search engine rankings and website hosting. Now 'website,' 'the net' and 'surfing' have more or less passed into oblivion to be replaced by whats new. Now it is wireless connections and the real monster of the 21st century, the mobile phone that dominates, and all anyone can talk about is youtube and myface.

Nine years and counting. I wonder if I will make the magic ten?

Writing News

Still formatting, still slowly and still somewhat spasmodically, but I am moving forward, honest. “The Return of the Sixpack” will definately be over the 600 page mark. In fact it has already passed page 621. I think this is really a bit too big, and it will probably be a bit bigger yet. But I just can't think of how to split it. I also don't really want to split it if I can help it. It always feels mean to split a single story into more than one book, and I have done it already with “The Friendly Ambassador.” But when it really is too big, as that story was, you just don't have the choice. It's just that the split sometimes doesn't help a book unless it has been deliberately written that way. There are too many untied strings to pass over and I often wonder if this would irritate a potential reader. And a big book usually means a big price. Another thing is that I have already done the cover for “The Return of the Sixpack,” and I don't really want to have to change it again. But if I have to, I have to. We will see.

I still get the odd one or two infrequent emails from readers. Yes, I do have readers, don't laugh! And so hello to Mel and I am pleased to hear that you enjoyed reading my stories.

Most people who have read my stories and bother to email me have usually enjoyed them. I think because they were cheap, and now free, to access helped. They are also a good sized yarn and relatively well written even if I do say so myself. The only criticism was for one of my most popular stories, “An Affair of the Heart.” This was for the book version which I admit is a bit pricy compared to mainstream publications. The story is not very long, and maybe I could have gone into more details in places. So the criticism that the story was a bit short for the price was probably a fair one. I think it should have been part of an anthology or omnibus rather than a stand alone book. I did think about doing this, publishing “An Affair of the Heart” with “The Dreamer,” but never did. Never mind. I might reconsider the idea in the future. One of the reasons why my romantic stories tend to be short is that I am mainly a Science Fiction writer who happens to like writing about women. This means that I have strayed into romantic stories like “An Affair of the Heart” and “The Look of Love.” Oh, and “A Fine Woman,” which I particularly enjoyed even if it is not quite perfect. “The Dreamer” is in the middle. It's a sort of romance, but it is mainly Science Fiction. Of all of them only “The Look of Love” is of a similar size to my Science Fiction stories, and this may be a reflection of where I am most comfortable in my writing. But it still comes down to how much I like writing about the women involved. And in this case I really liked Chrissy...

“The Twelve Great Ships” is going to be in two halves. And I don't know if that means it will actually be two books if it gets published. The first part will involve relationships between the Androktones and humans in a captive breeding population, while the second part will move on to the main war with the Navak. When I will get the time to write it is the problem. The other story in my head is “The Sullenfeld Oracle,” which is Bey-Jai's story after “The Tale of the Comet.” No, she's not dead! I've told you that already in another review!

Don't mention my thesis!

See you next month.

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