The Author and Criticism

One consequence of putting your writing up for sale and public view is that, naturally, people will express opinions about that writing. For most authors, their stories are pretty near and dear to their hearts, and so they always hope that people will say nice things about their writing. This is, of course, not always the case. More generally, this is always not the case for stories in general. There isn't a novel published that doesn't have someone expressing negative opinions about it. Even a book received with great enthusiasm will still [ Continue reading... ]

On My Shelves: A Fire Upon the Deep

On the edge of the Galaxy, an archaeological expedition finds a cache of ancient wonders. But in delving into the secrets of a civilization so advanced they can barely comprehend it, they unleash… something. A Something that bides its time, hidden until it is prepared, and then acts to consume them all, flower into malevolent power. Only a desperate sacrifice by two researchers – themselves also nigh to reaching a superhuman state – allows any of them to escape at all. At the same time, far towards the center of the Galaxy, a race of strange [ Continue reading... ]

On My Shelves: Fallout 4

  As I had rated both of its predecessors – Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas quite highly, one can imagine that Fallout 4 had a high bar to clear in order to rate as well as the preceding installments of the series. Fortunately, it clears the bar with room to spare. Like the rest of the series, Fallout 4 is set in a world where the Retro-Future of the 1940s came true: nuclear-powered cars for everyone, household robots, shining-steel and glowing-tube SUPER SCIENCE inventions brought a true golden age. And it then crosses that with [ Continue reading... ]

On My Shelves: The Dresden Files, by Jim Butcher

When I first published Digital Knight in 2003, there were some people who commented on its being similar in some ways to another relatively recent (2000) entry into the Urban Fantasy genre: Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden series, beginning with Storm Front and continuing up through what is now fifteen books (slightly less than one a year), the most recent being Skin Game. There is something of a surface similarity between the early Dresden novels and Digital Knight/Paradigms Lost, although I think a great deal of the impression of similarity [ Continue reading... ]

Castaway Odyssey: Chapter 23

Well, the Sergeant was back to consciousness if not to action...     Chapter 23.      "Whoa!" Tavana lunged out reflexively, catching Maddox as he was almost dragged headlong into the water. The carbonan fishing pole was bent in a sharp curve, vibrating furiously even while Tavana managed to get the smaller Bird brother back on his feet. "Got something, Tav, we got something!" "Vraiment, that we do! Can you hold it?" Maddox' face was set in lines of determination. "If… you can… keep me from falling on my [ Continue reading... ]

Castaway Odyssey: Chapter 22

Xander said the Sergeant was waking up, so why not see things from his point of view?       Chapter 22.      Campbell blinked his eyes blearily, forced them to focus. What… Oh. I'm inside my suit. For a moment he was confused. Was I on EVA? Fixing something? What happened? When he tried to sit up, he felt the tremendous lethargy and pain of having been still for many hours, even days, and his leg gave a dull throb despite what his nanos reported as "significant pain reduction". That cleared his head, and [ Continue reading... ]

Castaway Odyssey: Chapter 21

Well, Xander seemed to have things under control...     Chapter 21.      The pistol bucked three times in Xander's hand, almost without him willing it. A screech and convulsive writhing showed that he'd hit the sinuous creature just as the targeting app had said he would; the centisnake, as Maddox had named the thing, shuddered to a slow halt; once it was still, Tavana stepped forward and brought the machete down hard, taking the head from the body and causing another powerful but this time harmless sequence of [ Continue reading... ]

Castaway Odyssey: Chapter 20

Sorry about the delay; medical emergencies in the household distracted me yesterday.   Chapter 20.      "You have to eat something, Tav." Tavana jumped slightly at the unexpected voice. He was sitting on the steps of the lander's ladder, looking up at a comet whose slowly-fading tail covered thirty degrees of the now-dark sky. "Not hungry." "Bullcrap," Xander said, and held out a plate. He was about to refuse again when his nose caught the scent. "A Buckley? Merde, Xander, we were supposed to be saving those for special [ Continue reading... ]

Castaway Planet: Chapter 19

The Sergeant was down... -----   Chapter 19.      Xander sensed the information dump hit, stream through him and into his omni, even as he saw the Sergeant slump down and felt as though the bottom was dropping out of his world as it did. No. This can't happen. The other three boys were staring at him and the unconscious Sergeant, eyes wide, tears trickling down Francisco's terrified face. His own terror was clawing at his mind, the thought of facing a world filled with things like that monster without Sergeant Campbell looming [ Continue reading... ]

Castaway Odyssey: Chapter 18

Well, the Sergeant wasn't having a good day all of a sudden...   ------ Chapter 18.      It wasn't a conscious decision, but a reflexive action, almost as instinctive as the not-quite-dead-enough creature's strike. Campbell had seen Tavana move forward, his leg lift, and he knew exactly what Tavana was going to do – and having seen this scenario on half a dozen worlds, knew how it might go wrong. But that was the conscious thought, and it lagged far behind the reaction, which was to shout a warning and lunge, as fast as he [ Continue reading... ]