Thursday, April 18, 2013

Blogging about worldbuilding

I'm talking worldbuilding at Ivy Book Bindings today. While I do get flashes of character and plot in the early stages of storywriting, it's the worldbuilding that I love designing the most, along with the impact it has on human relationships.

This is part of a Book Crush series so I've also listed three of my favourite books - a classic, a recent fantasy (yes, I occasionally read one), and this year's standout (ahem) from my other half.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Computers as movie directors?

Here's a nice reference to Song of Scarabaeus on the Mac Observer. Think about it: what if computers were powerful enough to make a digital movie from a book with no human input necessary?

The computing power of the biocyph in SoS is fast enough to terraform entire ecosystems. I think biocyph could probably handle animating a novel. Whether an Apple Mac could ever do it is up for debate. I'd love to see how a computer handled the musical analogy I used for Edie jacking into the datastream. It's not visual concept, and movies need to be pretty to look at.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Talk about Song

If you're on Goodreads, Song of Scarabaeus has been picked as one of the two reads this month at the Vaginal Fantasy Hangout, which is a segment on the Geek & Sundry YouTube channel from Felicia Day (et al). The YouTube discussion comes in a few weeks but meanwhile you can talk about the book on Goodreads here.

In last month's YouTube episode, Felicia introduced the two books at the end (the other is Ghost Planet by Sharon Lynn Fisher) and not only said both my names correctly but succeeded with her second attempt in pronouncing Scarabaeus (check out 1:07:44 so that you, too, can achieve this rare feat). In my experience that's about three attempts fewer than most people, and I don't blame them. It's a silly word. (Don't even ask what it means.)

I don't actually know how it's pronounced, by the way. It's just how I say it.

As for spelling it... good luck with that. Even my own publisher misspelled it in a promotional flyer (fortunately I caught it in the draft).



Saturday, March 2, 2013

MCP interview

I know all I'm blogging about these days is MCP's new book, but that's because I don't have a whole lot to talk about in my writing life these days. Progress is slow, but always exciting.

This month MCP is interviewed in Clarkesworld Magazine, and has some interesting things to say about The Kassa Gambit, shoes, Jack Vance, and dogs:


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Release day! The Kassa Gambit

Pretty much the first thing MCP and I did when we met was exchange manuscripts - mine was an early version of Song of Scarabaeus, his was the first novel in a fantasy trilogy. While I fell in love with his writing, I admit that fantasy is not really my thing. (At least it wasn't until Game of Thrones (the TV show), which really isn't that fantastical anyway.)

Evidently this discrepancy didn't hinder our relationship, especially as MCP is also a huge sci-fi fan. So he wrote me an adventure sci-fi book "where everything blows up on the first page", as he put it. The book was called Prudence Falling, which is the protagonist's name and I think a lovely evocative title, but Tor disagreed and it became The Kassa Gambit.

It's out today! - hardcover and ebook formats. MCP also has some blog interviews and posts coming up around the traps (includes updates I've made a few days later):



Links to buy the book are here on MC Planck's website.

Congratulations to my amazing man! xxx

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Kassa Gambit

I remember the excitement of seeing my book starting to appear in online bookstores before it came out. Now it's my other half's turn, and I'm excited all over again! (He is a bit, too.) His book Prudence Falling, which became Firaxe, which became The Kassa Gambit, is listed at Amazon - not much info yet, but the cover is there. And the cover is here, too:


The book comes out from Tor in hardback on 8 January 2013. The blurb:

Centuries after the ecological collapse of Earth, humanity has spread among the stars. Under the governance of the League, our endless need for resources has driven us to colonize hundreds of planets, all of them devoid of other sentient life. Humanity is apparently alone in the universe. 

Then comes the sudden, brutal decimation of Kassa, a small farming planet, by a mysterious attacker. The few survivors send out a desperate plea for aid, which is answered by two unlikely rescuers. Prudence Falling is the young captain of a tramp freighter. She and her ragtag crew have been on the run and living job to job for years, eking out a living by making cargo runs that aren't always entirely legal. Lt. Kyle Daspar is a police officer from the wealthy planet of Altair Prime, working undercover as a double agent against the League. He's been undercover so long he can't be trusted by anyone--even himself. 

While flying rescue missions to extract survivors from the surface of devastated Kassa, they discover what could be the most important artifact in the history of man: an alien spaceship, crashed and abandoned during the attack. But something tells them there is more to the story. Together, they discover the cruel truth about the destruction of Kassa, and that an imminent alien invasion is the least of humanity's concerns.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Hit & miss: 2 movie reviews

Attack the Block

This is a story that could not be told in America. In America the kids in the projects would have guns and the movie would be over in 3 minutes. These kids in the south London "block" (council estate) have kitchen knives and super soakers. Okay, one of them has a samurai sword.

Not much more to say other than this movie is heaps of fun. It's all about the characters, not the ray guns and army tanks (which there are none of either) and has a sort of Pitch Black redemptive flavour to it.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

This is a movie about chimps with anger issues, and misplaced anger at that. I recall the cinematic trailer being quite intense, but the movie has none of the epic feel of the classic series (to which it's a prequel - not of the stupid recent version set on another planet, but of the original). The plot is pure Disney. It's Project X on speed and Free Willy with machine guns. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

2012 Snapshot of Australian SF

I've been interviewed as part of the 2012 Snapshot of Australian SF, where various bloggers publish various Aussie SF interviews over the course of several days. Here's my interview on Ian Mond's blog.

There are loads of great interviews to check out in this series - see the link round-up here: Snapshot 2012

Monday, May 14, 2012

Aurealis Awards - and the winner is...

Unfortunately we didn't make it to the Aurealis Awards in Sydney this year - but I did watch the tweets from the ceremony, so thanks to those who let their fingers do the talking.

Children of Scarabaeus didn't win, but a very interesting-sounding book did. (I say interesting-sounding because I haven't read - or at least completed - a novel in ages, so any time a recent SF novel is mentioned, you can count on me not having read it even if I've heard of it and want to read it.) Best SF Novel went to The Courier's New Bicycle by Kim Westwood - it's set in Melbourne, which is yet another reason to read it, and from the blurb sounds like a cross between the Dark Angel TV show and Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash, with some love, mystery and religion thrown in.

Congratulations, Kim!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Interview about SF and SFR

Aussie author Kylie Griffin has interviewed me on her blog, where I talk about some sci-fi influences and the slooooow (but hopefully ongoing) rise of SFR's popularity.

Check out Kylie's new book release Vengeance Born!