As a result of real life intruding on my spare time, this month has been pretty quiet on the reading front. Even so, I’ve still managed to work my way through four books of the Dune saga, amongst others. And so without further ado, here’s the round-up of books read in August.
On Friday it was announced that Ben Affleck has been cast in the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman for the forthcoming sequel to this year’s Man of Steel, and my first reaction to this news was something along the lines of, “WTF?”
One of the arguments I regularly hear from the literati is that science fiction doesn’t count as ‘serious’ literature, usually backed up by the claims that sci-fi is nothing more than a pot-boiling thriller set in space, or that sci-fi doesn’t carry some deep and meaningful message like serious literature does. I’ve even heard all science fiction referred to as “cheap trash with absolutely no literary merit whatsoever”, and when I’m exposed to such uninformed assertions I can’t help but be incensed. Now, given that I’m a sci-fi writer myself you could be forgiven for thinking this is just a knee-jerk reaction, but I truly believe that science fiction (or any other genre fiction, for that matter) can have a place alongside serious literature.
As I’ve mentioned a few times already, one of my biggest flaws as a writer is an inability to stay focused on one project for long enough to finish it. Over the years this has led to a realisation that I get my best results by allowing for distractions and by working those distractions into my workflow. This in turn has developed into a tendency to have a primary project on the go, backed up by one or two secondary projects that I can switch to when my passion for the primary starts to wane. That said, this year almost all of my writerly time has been spent working on the rewrite of A Pocketful of Secrets, with mixed results so far. And so following on from my earlier discussion about the various projects I currently have gathering digital dust on my hard drive I’ve been having a think about which of those I want to take on as a secondary project alongside the work I’m doing on the reboot of Faded Skies.
I’m one of those people who tends to worry about anything and everything at the drop of a hat. Most of the time I can rationalise the worry and push it to the back of my mind but since last night I’ve been in a very real panic about one thing in particular, so much so that I’ve not been able to think about anything else.
I was sifting through the writing folders on my computer last night and I was a little shocked by just how many projects I’ve started over the years. Quite a few of those projects never made it past the just-an-idea phase, but there’s still a decent number that I’ve taken the time to flesh out and develop enough to consider viable for further work. A couple even have full-length first drafts attached to them, though given that in some cases these were written almost a decade ago I suspect they may need some serious work before I can safely say they’re ready for public consumption. For those who might be interested, here’s a list of those projects I’m most interested in developing further over the next few years.