As a science fiction writer one of things I have to be careful about is making my future worlds believable to my readers. This is particularly true when writing about the near future, as with the Faded Skies series, though even galaxy-spanning tales of the far future need to have a certain ring of truth about them in order to maintain an appropriate degree of suspension of disbelief. This doesn’t just mean getting the technology and science right, but also relies on making believably accurate claims about changes to the political and social landscape of the story’s setting.
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 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.
You may be forgiven for thinking that this site, as with so many of my previous sites, has been forgotten and abandoned. Well, I’m pleased to tell you that it hasn’t. So why the long period of silence and nothingness, I hear you ask. Simply put, I just didn’t feel I had much of anything to say. However, as I’ve been getting comments and e-mails asking for an update, here it is…
It’s been a mixed bag of ups and downs over the last couple of weeks, and not just where my writing is concerned. So, here’s a round-up of news and whatnot since my last post.