Journal – 29/06/2017: On Travel, Newsletters and Disconnecting
So a friend recently asked me why I hadn’t been sending out these newsletters recently. Fair question. I’m in Thailand at the moment, doing literally the most boring thing you can be doing in Thailand – studying.
Yep. Geodata systems, satellite imagery, things of that sort. It’s interesting, but I’m also looking forward to when this course ends and I can take off for the city. I hear there’s a temple shaped like a UFO near hear, apparently 8 times the size of the Vatican. That’s item #1.
Traveling has actually been a very welcome disconnect. I’ve got my Kindle loaded up with books you suggested (a whole lot of Patrick Rothfuss and Joe Abercrombie, plus more recommendations courtesy of my blogger friend Cerno here. I’d like to recommend one in turn:
Deathless is a Russian fairytale
Which means it’s dark, and dreamy, and more than a little bitter, and sometimes it’s a play on all the things that happened to Russia during the Communist Revolution. Catherynne is an incredible writer, and not since reading ‘The Wrath Of The Taiga’ in an old Sputnik magazine have I enjoyed a fairytale this much.
There are two other indie authors I’ve recently added to my watch list
Janita Thiel Lawrence, author of some pretty powerful science fiction that explores life, ethics and crime in the future – she writes the way Neil Blomkapf directs; there’s a distinct SA tang to her imagination.
And Paul Anlee, a molecular biologist who takes his expertise into some very hard Asimov-ish storytelling. Actually, more Vernor Vinge than Asimov, but Golden-Age quality.
Both of them are good. Like makes-me-want-to-rethink-my-standards good. I think the two of them are going to go on to hugely exciting things in science fiction, and you should definitely keep an eye out for them.
As for me: the next book, Numbercaste, will be out soon. I promise. I’m going to get back to those line edits as soon as I return; no sense rushing that. That’s about a week’s worth of work.
I’ve also made a breakthrough on Blue Mountain, a story that was beginning to stall, and there’s now an interesting twist that keeps me wanting to write the rest. Almost all my stories follow this pattern – I write something, it feels good, I get to the point that I imagined in my head – which invariably turns out to be the midpoint of the story rather than the end – and then I sit there thinking now what?
And sometimes the answers come.
That’s all for now. As always, firstname.lastname@example.org is me.