Trying to find my voice while face(book)less

No, I don’t have a facebook account. At first I didn’t really see the point, then it became almost a matter of principle. Simply put, I am fond of my privacy, and I find their policies terribly intrusive, but my main gripe has to do with the way in which having a facebook account has become almost a requirement.

In a world in which facebook likes have become a sort of digital currency there are sites in which you can’t even access the content unless you ‘like’ them  first (i.e. sight unseen), and that’s without taking into account the fact that your facebook login has become a sort of universal id, to the point that trying to interact with the rest of the web without one becomes something of a nightmare.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I know the thing has its advantages, but I miss the days when a friend was some one you knew and cared for, when liking something meant more than clicking on a button, and  I certainly don’t appreciate the way in which facebook has become the gatekeeper to our digital lives, or the fact that trying to do without it turns you into a sort of outcast. Believe me, as a struggling author trying to attract an audience I am reminded on a daily basis of the price I have to pay to maintain that particular bit of independence (in fact I’m not even sure how much longer that policy will remain viable, and I’m already trying to formulate a contingency plan for the day it effectively stops being an option), but the price I would have to pay to join that ‘free’ service is so much steeper.

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When reality and fantasy collide

For some fourteen years I’ve been working on a fantasy series, and in the past few years I even managed to publish the first three volumes of the thing. In fact I was beginning to work on book four when the whole thing was basically poisoned in my mind. In a nutshell, I had entrusted the covers to one of my closest friends, and that was a mistake that wound up causing the friendship to implode as we were trying to agree on a design for book three. The end result was that for a while there I couldn’t even look at those books without a lot of pain… and then I reread them.

I don’t know how tainted my perspective was by that recent debacle, but I wound up cringing quite a bit. That led me to push book four to the back burner. Now I am back to contemplating what to do with the whole thing, and I’m leaning towards a full revision of the first three books, to be released simultaneously with book four (and hopefully a new set of covers that doesn’t cause my stomach to get twisted in a knot whenever I see them). Yes, I realize that it is a bit extreme, but one of the downsides about publishing a series is that you are bound by what’s already published, even though at times it might be described as cheating, this will enable me to  go back and make some changes… and it is that freedom to make changes that brings me to the main question I wanted to address with this post: how am I supposed to tackle the subject of technology?

That’s one I hadn’t expected to become such a major issue, but the truth is that given that the first draft was written back in 2001, there are a number of aspects that seem a bit anachronistic. I realize that there are plenty of books out there that gleefully disregard that particular aspect, that literature has a permanence that is part of its charm in an age of planned obsolescence, and I don’t even know how feasible is it going to be for me to work that into the story without totally disrupting the plot (not to mention that, even if I were to succeed, in five years the books will probably be back to feeling as dated as they feel now), but at least for the time being, I am tempted to give it a shot.

BTW, the series in question is Citlalli, but if you want to give one of my books a shot I would probably suggest that you give those a wide berth, and consider Horsesh*t (history/humor), Homo Ex Machina (SF), or The Eyes of the Dead instead.

So we are going with whatever floats your boat

A little over a week ago I posted a poll asking whether I should try to keep this blog focused exclusively on my writing, or if I should expand the focus in order to keep the updates coming. Seeing how the blog is fairly new, and I’m not too good at promoting it, the response was understandably muted… okay, let’s be honest, it was almost non-existent. I fact there was only one reply, and that one was for the ‘whatever floats your boat’ option, so while I’ll try to keep from going too fat overboard, I will be expanding the focus of this thing.

The ‘i’s are back!

I don’t know what happened earlier today, but when I logged into my wordpress account I came across one of the funniest bugs I have ever encountered: for whatever reason the ‘i’s were missing throughout the interface. Yes, it’s a silly thing, and it didn’t really extend to the posts themselves, so its impact was fairly limited, but it still left me scratching my head. The good news is that the ‘i’s are back, because the one th ng that became  nstantly apparent when   was deal ng w th that bug was that  t  s k nd of d ff cult to do w thout them!

Hard SF is hard

I’m currently working on a story I’m not sure will ever see the light. The world in which its set… well, that one’s pretty much set. It is the plot that’s currently giving me a hard time, as I’m still struggling to find one that actually works. That means that the world in question runs the risk of finding itself consigned to the ‘half-forgotten worlds’ drawer (or folder), and I hate the idea of doing that. What can I say, building that one from scratch hasn’t been easy. From the get-go I set out to create a hard SF alien world that was as unlike out own as I could possibly make it. The problem? I seem to have succeeded a little better than I hoped, and I’m having a hard time creating characters that can a) function in that world, and b) come across as remotely relatable.

Still, even though writing hard SF has its challenges, I have to say that it is a lot of fun.