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An Author’s Blog


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Red Hands

After yesterday, when I wrote a story for submission to Daily Science Fiction, I thought I might try and repeat that trick today. Unfortunately Daily Science Fiction only accepts one submission at a time, so I went looking for another website to write a story for. I quickly found a site called flashfictiononline who are, unsurprisingly, looking for sci-fi flash fiction. They want very short stories, of 500 to 1000 words, but the story I wrote was 1,300 words.

I was thinking about sci-fi today, which is nothing unusual, but instead of the usual blockbusters and TV shows that often capture my imagination, I had a hankering for some old-school, short stories, like the ones written by Azimov, back in the day, such as Buy Jupiter. One quick Google search later, I was on Daily Science Fiction. It looked nice and there was a story right there on the front page - Counting Down by Peter M Ball - so I started reading.

Sample chapters are a good way for Readers to discover new authors and books. The idea is that people can download 20% of a book to help them decide if they want to buy it. Smashwords features sample chapters, but I thought I would create a way to get some sample chapters directly from my website, without having to go over to Smashwords. I have decided I will only provide the book in the EPUB format, though more formats can be found over at Smashwords.

Cover for New Book

The new sci-fi book is coming closer to completion. It is the third in the series that started with Galaxy Dog. It is just a few words short of 100,000 words now, almost at completion, and I haven’t done any work on the cover in months. The cover spaceship has been just sitting there on the computer hard drive with no extra details or fiddly bits being added to it. So I brought it out, with the intention of making it more complex, but it was already starting to look pretty busy.

I have decided to record an audio book, for sale on Audible. I’m quite technically minded, so I didn’t have any worries about being able to quickly set up a makeshift recording studio that would do for creating audiobooks. It turns out, the whole thing is a little more complex than I imagined. It turns out that audio technology is far from user friendly, and getting acceptable results means going on a massive learning curve.

I’ve been working on my 3D spaceship again, and there are a few incremental changes you can see if you squint hard at the detail. This current spaceship project is quite different from any spaceship design I’ve ever done before. Usually I create spaceships with a traditional metal look. Most of these spaceships, for example, have the classic metal-panel look. The spaceships I usually do are at home in what many people call the used future.

Like very many of the posts on this site, this one is specifically designed to promote the new book I’m writing. It is called Sun Chaser and is the third book in a trilogy that started with a book called Galaxy Dog. I can’t really start promoting Sun Chaser yet, because I’ve only just started writing it, and I’m still on working on Chapter 3, but I can promote Galaxy Dog.

Every element of the book cover accompanying this post was created in Blender, even the text. It’s not the finished version of the book cover, but any changes will be tweaks and improvements rather than huge reimaginings. The book, when it appears will pretty much look like this, and I have the first chapter done, and I’m pretty happy about it. After a short prologue, the first chapter throws the two main characters - along with their robot friend and super-advanced spaceship - against the bad guys, the evil empire, right from the very first pages.

Here’s a post about just a tiny bit more work on the cover for my third book in the sci-fi trilogy I’m writing. As usual I’m working in Blender, the most amazing 3D suite out there, at least for free. Yay free! I started working on the lighting tonight. My theory of spaceship lighting requires just about all the light to come from light sources sprinkled about the hull of the spaceship itself.

I’ve done a little more work on the cover for my third book in the sci-fi trilogy I’m writing, and I’m working in Blender, as always. My Blend file is up to a megabyte in size, which means I’ve made quite some progress. I’m still watching Dark Matter as I work. Binge watching sci-fi and 3D spaceship design just seem to go together. I got a shock when Wil Wheaton aka Wesley Crusher turned up on the show.

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