I’ve been slack this week in doing a blog post but I’ve been enjoying the Christmas holidays and taking a little break. I also got into the early beta and then early release of Star Wars: The Old Republic and have spent way too much time playing it. It is absolutely what Star War Galaxies should have been. The writing is fantastic, the voice acting is great and every quest has at least one cutscene. The graphics are beautiful and the gameplay seems mostly balanced but the jury is still out on that one. Overall I think Bioware hit a homerun with it. The best part is my family is playing and we are doing battles together! Five out of six of us are playing.
I sent out copies of the manuscript to 4 alpha readers and have got one back with mostly good reviews. I still need to work on Chapter One of all chapters. I’ve worked and reworked that thing like an old upholstered chair. I keep putting new material on the chair but somehow it doesn’t work. I’ve read in a few places to avoid a prologue but I think this story really needs one. I’ve got critiques from multiple sources that the first chapter just doesn’t provide enough background to understand what’s going on at the beginning and without a lot of exposition I think a prologue will be the right answer. I’ve plotted it out and I’m going to be working on it for the next couple of days. I’ll send it out and then make a few more hopefully minor revisions and it will be ready for Beta Readers!
Christmas eve is tomorrow and I still need to get a few more little items for my wife, but everything else is ready to go. We are going to do a turkey this year. That will be a first for us, we normally do ham or Norwegian meatballs. We also have company at the house and it really makes the holiday special. I hope you all have a Merry Christmas or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or whatever holiday you prefer.
Charlie Stross pointed out an article and commentary that peaked my interest, dealing with SETI and the Fermi Paradox. The article was The Fermi Paradox, Self-Replicating Probes, and the Interstellar Transportation Bandwidth by Keith Wiley. Wiley’s article was to do with the likelihood of Intelligent Aliens or lack thereof.
If you aren’t familiar with the Fermi Paradox, it basically states that the likelihood of intelligent life in the galaxy is high, given the huge number of stars and therefore planets in our galaxy, that intelligent extraterrestrial life should have been to visit us by now or at least left their evidence and yet we haven’t found clue one. There are lots of theories as to why and these essays delve into those arguments.
The commentary was The Deepening Paradox by Karl Schroeder, a Futurist and SciFi Novelist. Great stuff! Karl just finished his Master’s program in Strategic Foresight — Futurism by another name. If I had known such a program existed when I was a kid I would have been all over that! I was probably 13 or 14 when I did my first timeline, trying to extrapolate technology advancement. I still love it! His job is to forecast trends so that companies might adapt their technology. This also feeds his writing and I am adding all his books to my reading list, they look fascinating on first glance. He has seven books out with a few other odds and ends. His focus is Post Singularity, Post-humanism, fantasy and hard science all mixed together. I can’t wait to read them.
One of his cover artists also caught my eye. Stephan Martiniere is his name and he has an amazing array of artwork spanning several different styles and genres. He has a lot of stuff for sale and If I could afford him I would want him doing my covers. His style is breathtaking and intricate and really stokes my imagination. His style is way out of my reach with the meager skill set I have. I would love to see how he does his paintings, they are so detailed and imaginative and his use of light is right on the money. I absolutely love his artwork!
All this has got me thinking about Post Singularity ideas for stories and I have an idea or two brewing already. I’ll jot down a few ideas and let them percolate for a bit while I’m finishing the revision for Clear Ether. I am sending my first chapters out to my alphas hopefully this week, (are you listening Stacy?)