What's Going On

That's one of the longest whiles since I've blogged. I spent a good few weeks there on the final, pre-proofreading edits of The Thousand Emperors, which turned out to be a fairly substantial draft in and of itself. Things were moved around; large chunks of text were chucked, others introduced, background details (hopefully) more clearly aligned in relation to each other. I had someone say he thought it was the best thing I had ever written, which is cheering.

After that, I needed a break. I've been taking a couple of weeks out from writing, excepting this blog entry here, a few occasional notes when they spring to mind, and some more proofreading. this time on a chapter I contributed to Keith Brooke's latest project, a book of sf criticism called 'Strange Divisions and Alien Territories: The Sub-Genres of Science Fiction'. I've seen a PDF of the complete thing - other contributors include Justina Robson, Alistair Reynolds. Paul Di Filippo, Adam Roberts and, frankly, a whole crapload of talented writers. In a fit of potentially suicidal editing, Keith has seen fit to make my chapter the first in the whole book, barring the introduction. My piece is called 'From slide–rules to techno–mystics:
hard sf’s battle for the imagination' (try saying that after sucking on some helium).

Sometime this weekend, I'll start trying to get back in the frame of mind for writing the next book, which I strongly suspect is now called River of Light. I had thought of A River Across the Sky, which is nice, and kind of borrowed/ripped-off from a Jonathan Carroll book, but River of Light, on the other hand, feels more entirely my own thing. Also, since it's set in the Shoal universe, it's a title that fits in nicely with all the other books in the series, excepting Nova War, the name of which was an editorial decision outside of my power. But then again, I was never really able to come up with a halfway decent title for it myself.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to paint damp seal all over a stripped bathroom wall. Some things apart from writing still need to be done. 
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