Housekeeping and Updates

Yeah, nothing to see here. Move along. Move along. 🙂

I’ve just been doing some rearranging of the web site. If you’re one of the three people who has ever visited, you may be momentarily confused.

I haven’t been posting much lately, so here are some updates.

As mentioned elsewhere, I have an agent: Ethan Ellenberg. He signed me for my current WIP, We are Legion. There’s a separate section on this site with details. He is currently subbing the novel to the major publishers. Meanwhile, I started on book two of the Legion series. It’s at about 52K words, and moving along. The series will be a trilogy.

The sequel to Outland is at about 25k words, and stalled, because of Legion. However, once I get Legion 2 wrapped up, I’ll get back to Outland 2. There’s a bit of a complication, though. Outland is self-published, but Outland 2 will be repped by my agent, at least in theory. I wonder how that works? I’ll probably want to do a partial re-work on Outland anyway, given that I’ve had a lot more practice with writing.

Anyway, Outland will probably be an open-ended series, as there’s no specific ‘ending’ to it. Think 1632. More stuff just keeps happening.

Meanwhile, my ideas file keeps growing. I’ll probably be writing for the rest of my life, and never catch up. Oh, well.

 

Progress Update

My agent and I have gone through several iterations of editing. I’m just finishing what I think is probably the final revision. I’ll be emailing it to him by the end of the weekend, then it’s fingers-crossed time.

I was feeling a little bummed about this process, but after reading some other peoples’ experiences on absolutewrite, I got over it. A couple of months is no big thing.

Anyway, Legion is now at 87K words or so. I’ve trimmed down some of the excess Bobs, spent more time giving original Bob a backstory, and beefed up the main subplots. Good to go, I think.

Progress Report

Things have been moving along, albeit not as quickly or in quite the direction that I’d have liked.

On the Legion front, my agent got back some constructive criticisms from an editor. Good points, and to be honest, not really surprises. I spent a good portion of the last couple of weeks editing and revising Legion to suit. The book is now in more chronological order, even if that makes some of the sub-plots a little clumpy. In addition, the Sol System war sub-plot now ends in book one with colonists settling in Omicron(2) Eridani. For the trek-nerds among us, that’s the home system of the Vulcans. One benefit of the extra work is that the book now tops out at 84K words, which is a little more reasonable than the former 75K.

So Ethan will resubmit, I guess, and we’ll see what happens. Funny, as hard as it is to get an agent, it seems that’s actually the easy part. Getting the publishers to pay attention is the toughie.

Meanwhile, I’ve started back up on my sequel to Outland. It was originally about 1/3 written. I’ve just been going through all my files, making sure everything is synchronized and that I’m working with the latest versions of everything. I don’t think I’ll have it done by the end of the summer, unless you count summer as lasting until Sept 22nd 🙂 .

I’m not sure if I’ll be doing any more work on my Blender space ship, at least for a while. Since I’m no longer in charge of producing my cover, it seems like a bit of a time hole. My focus will have to be getting the Outland sequel out, then getting the Legion sequel going.

Legion will be a trilogy, at least for the immediate story lines. The universe that I’ve created for it is good for many more standalone novels.

Well, back to work…

Continuing to work on my spaceship

I’m still hacking away at the render for the Heaven vessels. Here’s my latest:

 

HeavenRender

 

HeavenRender

 

I now haz agent

Yeah, little bit of a curve ball in the ol’ long-term plans. I still haven’t figured out how I managed it, but I now have an agent for We are Legion. Of course, this means the schedule’s gone all bust, but c’est la vie.

I am now signed with The Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency.

 

S’cuze me, I feel the need to dance some more. (You don’t want to see this)

 

New video clip of Bob’s travels

I’ve created a new video clip from my Stellarium app, of the various Bobs’ travels through near space. This is for We are Legion. I changed Mario’s destination from GL 41, which was too far, to Beta Hydri. This works a little better with the overall timing of the novel.

I’ve also reworked the app significantly, and it’s a lot easier to work with now. I’ll be releasing the app on Codeproject as part of the promotional marketing for Legion.

 

 

Done and almost done

I’ve finished writing Legion. Which is not to say, I’ll be publishing tomorrow. It means I’ve finished adding plot. Now I have to go through a couple of edit passes. I tend to use certain words too much: just, fairly, appear.. minimizing words. I see it as dry understatement, readers see it as wimpy. Sigh. Readers win.

I also need to scan for LY adverbs. Another problem of mine.

Anyway, should take a day or two, then I’ll be posting requests for beta readers. And while waiting for them to eviscerate my book, I need to finish the cover design. I found a really talented cover artist on kboards, but his prices are a little on the hefty side. I’ll have to see how my homegrown effort pans out. Maybe if worst comes to worst, I can give it to him as a model to work from.

But I’m on track for the end of the month, barring disasters or delays.

 

Work continues

Update on my spaceship WIP. I’ve changed the texture and cross-section, and I think it looks a little less toy-like now. The little flying things are ship-busters. The one in the foreground is just a primitive that I didn’t delete.

 

Heaven-1

 

The novel itself is over 60k, and has gone out to a couple of alpha readers. I just have to finish the alien encounter segment and it’ll be ready for polishing. End of June at the latest, I think.

 

Starting Alpha Readers

I’ve now gotten myself a couple of alpha readers for Legion. The story is at 60K words, and I want to see if there are parts that I’ve skimped on. Ideally I’d like to have it at 80K for release, but in the end it’ll be the size that it needs to be.

Postings have been going up on Critique Circle for a couple of weeks now, and the reception is pretty good. I’ve gotten comments that the blurb is too detailed– something I agree with. Tried to stick to much information in, in response to the absolutewrite thread comments, and that never ends well.

The big milestone for me, though, was figuring out how to introduce the Others. For some reason, I blocked on that for a while. But all good, now.

On a slightly different subject, I’m redoing my spaceship from scratch. Same general layout, but elliptical instead of octagonal. It looked too toy-like before, IMO.

 

 

Blurb for “We are Legion”

Here’s the blurb for We are Legion (We are Bob), final or close to it.

Bob Johansson has hit the jackpot. He’s just sold his software company and is looking forward to a life of leisure. There are places to go, books to read, and movies to watch. So it’s a little unfair when he gets himself killed crossing the street while attending a science-fiction convention.

Bob wakes up a century later to find that corpsicles have been declared deceased and without rights, and he is now the property of the State. He has been uploaded into computer hardware and is slated to be the controlling A.I. in an interstellar probe looking for habitable planets suitable for colonization. If he declines the honor, he’ll be switched off and they’ll try again with someone else. If he accepts, he is as good as painting a bulls-eye on his own computer case. The stakes are high, no less than first claim to entire worlds. There are at least three other countries trying to get their own probes launched first, and they play dirty.

The safest place for Bob is in space, heading away from Earth at top speed. The way to get there is to do what the State wants. But to get to that point he will have to survive everything from foreign saboteurs to guerilla raids. If he manages to live through launch day, there’s still a good chance the other probes will be armed and focused on eliminating competition the old-fashioned way.

And the universe contains entities even more unfriendly than the competing probes. It’s almost too much for a poor A.I. to handle.

Tell me what you think. Any part confusing? What questions immediately come up? Remember that this is a back-cover blurb, not a synopsis, so I have limited room. The rule-of-thumb is about 250 words, which I’ve gone a little over.