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Posts from the ‘DAVE FREER’ Category

The never-ending novel. 

I’m finally through the worst of the massive and insurmountable hurdles with our home. Most of them, being me, I went around.  Some of them I just went through.  And a few proved just massive and not insurmountable.  Still it was, in retrospect, a crazy, huge project to undertake, taking an old house, moving it and… um rebuilding the part that the contractors moved and broke (who did the second third – I and friends did the first, and I and friends did the last third. Especially the last third was a vast amount of prep – dig a hole. Roll the house over the hole (filling with water… and drive the truck into the hole, drop the house a little onto the truck, and then drive and pull the truck out.  That, in the end left me with 1/3 either end of a home –up on semi-trailers (where it will remain), a floor in the  middle, that my friend helped me reconstruct, and the frames – some of which were very much the worse for wear. Read more

Cassandra again

The trouble with writing plausible fiction is that people jump to the odd conclusion that every book is a wish-fulfilment Mary Sue.  I suppose there ARE writers whose every character is either themselves or cardboard caricature cutout of ‘people they don’t like’. Read more

A Bonfire of Vanities

As we seem to be caught up in a bonfire of vanities (in Savonarola sense rather than the Tom Wolfe novel) where anything that might lead people to ‘sin’ (in the eyes of the modern fanatic, of the new ‘religion’) must be destroyed, I’m wondering how long before they come for books, and the authors. The authors who are part of the Woke cult are already much under its sway, but that’s because the esteem of their co-religionists is so important to them, and to be ostracized from the cult is worst of possible of possible punishments. This is why ‘Requires Hate’ and her little coterie of nasty camp-followers and disciples – an irrelevant group with no influence outside their little circle of fellow believers, were able to wreck careers and lives… inside their circle. They tried on those outside… and found their accusations and demands laughed at by people who placed no value on their or their cult’s regard. So they used their power where they were powerful. Read more

Keep Haulin’

Keep haulin’, keep haulin,  

Whatever your storm or your rocks may be,

Keep haulin’ boys.  Keep hauling Fishermen’s Friends

I see some of the staff at Hachette have demanded that JK Rowlings’s fairy story, THE ICHABOG, be cancelled. Not because anything is wrong with the story, but that Rowlings dared express an insufficiently woke opinion about ‘trans-people’ in an entirely separate context. They have threatened to quit otherwise. They’re plainly so woke their privilege checks them. Well, I give them the same advice I give to myself and other writers: keep hauling. If it’s what you truly believe in, give it your best and stick to it. Read more

Uncharted territory. Here be dragons

I suppose part of the appeal of sf and fantasy are that the stories go off into uncharted territory. That of course appeals to those who are open to such exploration.  We want to find the dragons. You know, our species would be long extinct in some obscure corner of Africa if this was not part of our genetic make-up (yes, pretty certain our lineage traces back to Africa. Africa is your ancestral land, if you’re human. Lizard-people of course come from elsewhere. At the moment the jury is out as to whether they come from Betelgeuse or Hollywood. I favor Hollywood, as the logic employed there is so alien and inimical to human life.) Read more

Don’t take the bait

I’m just a big wolf. Stupid, brutish and vicious,” said Rolf. “There’s nothing to understand.”

“I thought you were,” admitted Liss. “But I’ve changed my mind.”

“Women do that all the time,” said Rolf dismissively.

“And it’s no use baiting me. I’ve got that figured too now. You do it every time I ask questions you don’t want to answer.”

Rolf grinned. “Yes, but most people don’t notice. They’re too busy taking the bait.” (HOW MUCH FOR JUST THE CRAZY UNCLE – current WIP) Read more

What other answer could there be?

A fool can ask questions that a wise man cannot answer. But if you take the question which seemingly has an obvious answer: and needs must you work out how that answer does not have to be right, but that alternatives may exist… and then work out how those alternatives could exist, and what effect that might have and… Then, dear reader, odds are you are infected with that terrible malady, being a writer. The bad news is that there is no cure. The traditional publishing industry was a vaccine, at least likely to make it a mild and short-lived illness, with few side effects but for despair. But the disease has mutated, and now all that’s left is the descent into madness, where you see stories, stories everywhere. Read more

Tock tick

Ve know your trope makes ze genre tick, ja. But ve vill interrogate it until its resistance is exhausted and is it villing to TOCK!”

I happened to read yet another critic saying that a book in a competition lacked what its competitors had – They defied classic genre conventions, interrogated tired tropes, and celebrated inclusivity, and it merely reflected the sort of sf that was popular in the 80’s. Read more

Write redux. or ‘Oh no, not again.’

A friend came up with a sort writer’s tragedy: he dictates, was dealing with a difficult section… finished it, and discovered it failed to record. So he did it again, and was better pleased with the second time… only to find a similar disaster had occurred.

One has to wonder if the third iteration was better or different? Sometimes I have this feeling I’m caught in a loop of time, repeating the events, the same writing challenges… and making the same mistakes. Sort of like an infinity of parallel universes… always coming out the same. Being stuck on the set of Monday, for the thousands re-run of the same day. Yes, I did write a story about the two antagonists who kept being re-incarnated to fight each other in the same doomed futile battle, just in changing sets of uniforms appropriate to the time, but I did nothing like as good a job as Douglas Adams did, with the bowl of petunias. Read more

Mercenary’s creed

‘The doer and the thinker, no allowance for the other, As the failing light illuminates the mercenary’s creed.Jethro Tull, Thick as a brick

It’s tough bein’ yer workin’ thinker these days (to misquote the Hitchhiker’s guide) because interest in paying you for it has suddenly become tepid.  But frankly yer working thinker has always had to be a mercenary bloke. It’s that or very hungry.  Read more