Progress, and a few reviews


So, 74k words into Harbinger, with the longest chapter yet. The small incoherences (which I keep noting at the end of the book in order to fix them) are running to more than a page now. But on the plus side, the end is nigh. I can feel it–we’re entering the climax at the end of this chapter, and boy is it going to be huge fun.

Meanwhile, Blue Tyson reviews Servant of the Underworld over at Not Free SF, and mostly likes it:

Generally speaking in a fantasy novel you will find that the priests of the Death Cult are not very nice people. Or, at least the antagonist or people to be removed as obstacles. See Graham Masterton’s Pariah for example of the exact same god our protagonist here is the Servant of.

Not so here. Of course, your average fantasy novel is rather more likely to not be set in an Aztec city redolent with quetzal birds and jaguar spirits as opposed to ponies and pointy-hatted prestidigitators.

So, points for giving something different a shot.

Read the rest.

A very nice review of my Asimov’s story “The Wind-Blown Man” here on Tangent Online by Carl Slaughter, as well as some discussion over on the Asimov’s forums (some good, some bad). The upshot is mainly that it reads like a fantasy, which doesn’t surprise me: it’s actually SF, but it’s hard to prove it when the science developed along an alternate timeline which has nothing to do with our own, with biology and genetics developing far more efficiently than mechanics and mathematics[1]. It’s kind of interesting how everything ends up sounding like magic when you don’t have familiar technological landmarks. Mm. There’s got to be something I can take out of this…

That’s all for today. I’m off to watch Red Cliff 2 (I have to say the long version makes a lot more sense than the awful truncated version they showed in the French cinemas)

[1]Yup, I know maths are integral to science as we know it now. But if you choose to view science as a system to explain the world, it’s conceivable that another civilisation might come up with a completely different system that would also explain the world and allow us to predict some of the things that would happen. Then it would do exactly the same thing science does today. Our science was mostly shaped by Western/Greek/Indian thought, which gives a place of honour to mathematics–but the Chinese have always been more interested in biology and how the human body was a microcosm of the world, so I went ahead and used that as a basis for developing the new science. Feel free to argue with me; I’m well aware this isn’t the standard belief by any means…


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