Posts concerning science-fiction

Ringworld Review

14:03 20 Mar 2009. Updated: 12:54 12 Oct 2009

Larry Niven’s Ringworld, written in 1970, is considered a classic work of science fiction and is the first book to have won the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards (and was also the first recipient of the Locus). I read it as part of my plan to read all of the eleven “triple crown” winners this year.

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Science Fiction Movies of This Decade

18:45 24 Jun 2008. Updated: 09:34 28 Jan 2009

Why have there been so few good ones? I noticed this a while back, and having discussed the matter with some friends, it appears to be the case that the first decade of this millennium is really bad for cinematic science fiction.

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Alternate History Versus Science Fiction

06:36 30 May 2008

I finished Michael Chabon’s The Yiddish Policemen’s Union today. I liked it, although I think it overdid it perhaps a little with its sheer Jewishness—it takes place in an entirely Jewish state, one whose inhabitants are all highly aware of their Jewishness in ways I’ve never encountered in real life. It’s not quite caricature, and it’s definitely a loving portrait in many ways, but it felt like Chabon figured out how to convey “a Jewish atmosphere”, and conveys it, and then hires a trucking company to keep on conveying it from his mind to yours, while you’re trying to follow the plot. I suddenly wonder if At Swim-Two-Birds strikes the non-Irish in a similar way, given that it’s steeped (very steeped) in Irishness. In any case, Chabon’s novel is a good one, and a good read, but my question is: is it science fiction?

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Bad Trailers

23:57 11 Mar 2008

When I went to see Michael Mann’s 1981 directorial debut, Thief, this evening, I was struck by the two trailers accompanying it, the original trailers for Robocop and The Terminator. (There will be spoilers for those movies in what follows, so if you somehow haven’t seen those movies yet, you probably shouldn’t read on.)

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Future Shock

23:55 24 Jan 2008. Updated: 02:02 25 Jan 2008

‘Shock’ might be too strong a word, but over the last year or so I’ve really had this “the future has arrived’ feeling. Some trends have been slowly taking shape over years—like the Blade Runner-style huge video billboards. (Of course, all of the technological trends have been taking shape for years, but for some the development has been mostly hidden until they reach a critical point of functionality.)

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Some Notes on Editing the Second Draft

21:46 10 Dec 2007

I finished the second draft nine days behind schedule, which in the overall scheme of things isn’t that bad a slip. It turned out to be extremely difficult to maintain a steady approach to the editing, unlike either the micronovel version or the first 35 episodes of AFBH, two projects of similar duration that I completed successfully (and on time) last year.

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SF Novel Second Draft Done

23:48 09 Dec 2007. Updated: 06:18 10 Dec 2007

Yes, done

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SF Novel Second Draft Update C14 Stalled Once More

23:47 08 Dec 2007

Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow.

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SF Novel Second Draft Update C14 Still Stalled

23:55 07 Dec 2007. Updated: 01:40 08 Dec 2007

I’ll do my best to finish over the next two days.

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SF Novel Second Draft Update C14 Stalled

23:55 06 Dec 2007

No progress. I’m stalled again. It’s unbelievabley frustrating to be stalled so close to the end. Hopefully I’ll get over it soon. One long burst of activity would finish the damn thing.

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SF Novel Second Draft Update C14 In Progress

23:53 05 Dec 2007. Updated: 00:52 07 Dec 2007

Little progress tonight, despite the word count. The chasm between “writing” and “not writing” as states feels like it’s widening, making it harder to go from one ot the other. It was like that at the start, and when I got stalled in the middle. I have to assume that will is what it takes to flip the switch, but an inadequate explanation of the concept of will has always undermined the usefulness of that assumption.
Word count: 72034

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SF Novel Second Draft Update C13

23:51 04 Dec 2007. Updated: 02:00 05 Dec 2007

Paraphrased from an episode of The Wire I watched earlier (when I should have been editing): “Make your number, or die in this room.” For tonight, at least, I made my number.
Word count: 69259

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SF Novel Second Draft Update C13 Not Yet Done

23:58 03 Dec 2007

Thirteen doesn’t appear to be lucky today. Not that much to do, but it’s currently beyond me.

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SF Novel Second Draft Update C12

03:12 03 Dec 2007

I think I can see the finish line.
Word count: 63926

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Second Draft Not Quite There

23:58 02 Dec 2007. Updated: 22:37 23 Jun 2013

Obviously, I didn’t finish the second draft in November. I didn’t manage it by the end of this weekend, either. I’m close. Very close, probably about six thousand words of writing away, which isn’t too bad given the target of eighty thousand.

I’m disappointed that I didn’t finish it today (or Friday, but an extra weekend wasn’t too bad). I’ll try to finish it tomorrow, but it looks unlikely, unless I get some serious inspiration for what those six thousand words should be… the end of the first draft is a little more sparse than I had thought. I need about an extra thousand words for Chapter Thirteen, and an extra two-and-a-half thousand each for Fourteen and Fifteen. Certainly doable, but not tonight.

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SF Novel Second Draft Update C11

18:29 02 Dec 2007

Four to go.
Word count: 58594

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SF Novel Second Draft Update C10

19:59 01 Dec 2007

Done. Five to go.
Word count: 53262

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SF Novel Second Draft Update C10 Delayed Again

23:57 30 Nov 2007. Updated: 04:05 01 Dec 2007

Another long day. So I fail to hit my target of the end of the month, but I’m still going to aim for the end of the weekend. Finishing the second draft only two days behind schedule would still make me rather happy.

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SF Novel Second Draft Update C10 Delayed

23:59 29 Nov 2007. Updated: 01:30 30 Nov 2007

Long, long day at work today. So I didn’t have the chance to edit. I did look over the chapters, and it looks tough to get six done tomorrow… Chapter 10 itself doesn’t look too bad, I think it’ll be easy to cut down. Chapter 11 will probably be harder. Chapter 12 might well be the toughest left, because the current material for it is extremely sparse. I think 13 and 14 will be easier, and then 15, because it’s the end, will probably be hard (although I do not plan any major changes to the ending at this point).

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SF Novel Second Draft Update C9

23:58 28 Nov 2007. Updated: 02:40 29 Nov 2007

That was difficult. And now I have six chapters to do in two days. That looks both very tough and quite achievable.
Word count: 47930

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SF Novel Second Draft Update C9 Halfway There

23:58 27 Nov 2007

The chapters from my first draft are extremely uneven in terms of length (and in other ways, too). Going through them and trying to make them more uniform requires switching between doing a lot of cutting and doing a lot of new writing, more of the latter than I had expected. So I’m still far away, but I haven’t given up hope of getting there before Saturday.
Word count: 45630

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SF Novel Second Draft Update C8

23:56 26 Nov 2007. Updated: 01:11 27 Nov 2007

That took a lot longer than I’d hoped. Finally past the halfway point. With four days left in the month, I have seven chapters to go. I might need some of this weekend to do it.
Word count: 42598

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SF Novel Second Draft Update C8 Still Unfinished

23:29 25 Nov 2007

I cut over 10,000 words today, but the last 3,000 or so in this chapter are proving difficult. Progress this weekend was rather slow.

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