More fun than trying to put monkeys in a barrel

1445 words tonight, 49.4k total. A puzzle revealed and this android is a lunatic.
 
It’s just so much fun writing android characters. I think it’s because they aren’t human. I don’t have to try to get into the mindset of being another person so I can just go wild. Writing in general is fun, but writing androids is a blast. 

3-June-17:
357 words (I was just wanted to read a book. It’s KINGS OF THE WYLD and it’s the most fun I’ve had reading in well over a year)

2-June-17:
3050 words, bringing it close to 48,000. Praetorians. Criminals. An android. A–wait, who the hell are they?…A storm is brewing and not the water kind.

A little rewind on how writing ANDROIDS is going

So I have three point of views in ANDROIDS. Three main characters if you will.

There’s an android that suffers from paranoid delusions owed to budget restraints that created quality control issues during the time of his creation. He thinks he’s an artist and has one friend, a person he turned into a lamp. The lamp/person follows him around and talks to him.

Next is a Praetorian (Special Forces), a man, who thinks that everything he does is uber vital to the team. Has some arrogance issues and is hopelessly in love with another on his team (reciprocated) which leads to a very interesting choice.

The third is the Praetorian Team Lead. A woman with the nickname Mom whom the android has taken a keen interest in.

 

25-May-17:

2k more words done for the day. Up to 29k. Really loving this story. More lamp/man and the Special Forces team left in a pickle.

 

26-May-17:

1k words tonight, bringing the total to 30k. Praetorians, Special Forces, peeps are still in quite the quandry.

 

27-May-17:

1500 more words. Left off w/ someone unwittingly angering a god-like synthetic super soldier. An android. Oops.

 

30-May-17:

5,000 words today…I suppose that man won’t be angering androids any longer.

 

31-May-17:

3k words today up to 39k…Today an android gives odd gifts and good things start happening to our Praetorians. Maybe. Sorta 🤔

 

1-June-17:

6122 words, 44.5k total. More questions, fewer answers. A power player in Vesta Company (a ridiculously powerful criminal enterprise) has a decision to make. Our Praetorians find themselves in between a rock and hard place.

Androids

Androids: Laboratory created super soldiers controlled through cyber-organic processes. Escaped control eighty years in the past. Butchered an entire planet in repayment for what they were forced to do while under control. Banned and with all knowledge of them wiped from the Net; the beings are now hunted mercilessly. Tracked across the galaxy from populated worlds to derelict orbitals to uninhabitable planets, androids are found and they are destroyed, with no quarter given, by teams of extremely specialized individuals.

Praetorian Team 107 is not one such team.

Polity Agent – Neal Asher

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I love Neal Asher’s writing and storytelling.

I just got finished with Polity Agent. It’s so…visceral and raw feeling. Everything is just big and getting bigger. That’s not the best part about it though, nor why I’m enamored with the story telling of Neal Asher​ (and Neil Gaiman. Yeah I know, I always somehow manage to bring him into the conversation).

Both authors are at different ends of the spectrum in how they tell a story, but both authors are geniuses of their craft. The stories they tell are just that–stories. There’s no grand epic scope laid out in a three part act that must show resolution of the big problem at the end of the book.

No.

Neal and Neil both just tell stories that just sorta end at a natural stopping point. The story we readers were privileged to read is just a glimpse into the exciting lives of some members of that universe.

…I think I may be getting my point across in not the right way.

Let’s put it another way. I’m just in awe at how websites and classes devoted to “helping writers become writers” talk all about the certain story approaches and ending styles you should do to ensure a reader enjoys the story; which in turn means more sales. Then along come these two authors who say, “Nah, I don’t like that. I’m just gonna tell you about what happened this one month with some people who live in this other universe. It’s pretty crazy. I think you’ll enjoy it.”

Needless to say, Neal Asher has joined Neil Gaiman on my list of authors I admire. Whose works I study. My dream is to eventually be a story teller of their caliber.

Should you read Polity Agent? Let’s just say, if you haven’t read a book by Neal Asher yet, you are doing yourself a disservice. Neal Asher is without a doubt the most imaginative sci-fi story teller alive. His books are always a joy to read. So yes. Read Polity Agent.

2017. What! What!

Last year was hell when it came to writing. I struggled mightily on one book, starting it over three times. I think I got it this time. I did complete two books I feel super strong about though. One is called Harper’s Odyssey (tentative of course). I completed that around January, so it was a carry over from 2015 I suppose. I also completed The Nissin Project (yep, another tentative title), but I’m sitting on that for another month or so. I need some time away from it. Why? Because of Harper’s Odyssey actually.

You see, I finished Harper’s Odyssey a solid year ago. I thought it was awesome when I finished. Then I did a read through. Somehow it turned into something I wasn’t expecting, and because of that I shoved it to the back of the proverbial closet. A couple months ago I took it out, and I’ve never been more impressed by something I’ve written.

No joke, I’ve literally gotten misty-eyed at the end of Harper’s Odyssey. I’ve read it through countless times, know exactly where the emotional punches will be thrown, and still every single time I get to the end I get emotional.

So, yeah, I need to take some time away from The Nissin Project. I really enjoy reading it, but for some reason it’s not exactly what I was expecting I would produce. I figure if I wait a few months and then go back to it, I’ll either love it like I do Harper’s Odyssey or I’ll still find it wanting. If I’m not overly enthused by it…Well, it’ll be viewed as storytelling practice.

Back to Harper’s Odyssey though. It is first in a series of interconnected books. With each book positioned to be read as a standalone. However, if consumed as a series, the reader will get a view of the horrors and strangeness of war, and the workings of the military and politics in war and covert paramilitary operations. With certain key figures giving, at the very least, cameos in each book. (each book has a new cast of characters it follows)

That gives me a good segue to talk a little about my current work in progress. It’s the second book in the Harper’s Odyssey Universe (tentative name of course), titled Welcome to Hell. The action parts are an allegory for the strangeness of war. War is not as simple as sending people to shot and kill the enemy. The mind of the soldier has to cope with the unnatural act of killing other people so it changes the situation or the person snaps. Which, unfortunately, is seen happen with sufferers of PTSD. The rest of the story deals with the personal relationships First Sergeant Jay “Inferno” Dante has with his fiance and his Echo Force squad while back home in between missions.

This year should be a good year for writing. Next time I’ll speak a little more on Harper’s Odyssey.

Happy 2017 everyone!

5 absolutely wonderful books from 2016

Happy 2017 and goodbye 2016. I have no complaints about the year. It was the year I got my ass back in gear with working out. The year I watched a lot of good sci-fi movies. The year I received a PlayStation 4. The year I played the best videogame every made (Uncharted 4). 2016 was a great year for reading too. I averaged 2 books a month. I wanted 24 books read by the end of the year. I got 24 books read.Yay me!

There were definitely some duds in that jumble of books and genres. There is a sci-fi one that still has me scratching my head as to why people heap praise on it. Sometimes I can figure out why certain books are so widely praised. But this one makes no sense, to me at least, as to why and how people enjoyed it all the way through the end.

I read another that rivals Dark Intelligence as the best sci-fi book I’ve ever read.

But, if I were forced to whittle the list down to 5 great reads of 2016, here would be that list:

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This story had it all for me. The scope of it, puts Neal Asher at the top of the list in respect to science fiction authors. For my money, no one writes better sci-fi, and The Line of Polity is some of his best work.



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To say this is a good book would be an insult to Brian Staveley. The Emperor’s Blades is ridiculous in how great of a story it is. If you enjoy great storytelling, you owe it to yourself to start this amazing trilogy.



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Simply put: This is the best fantasy novel ever written



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This was fun from beginning to end. I normally HATE time traveler novels. I’m talking, so much so, that I want to rip apart the book some 50 pages in. Not so with Time Salvager. I had a grand ol’ time reading this. Wesley Chu is one talented sonofabitch.



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This series has turned into my guilty pleasure series. I finished Hounded last year after having it languishing unread for well over a full year. It took me all of 6 hours to finish it. Riot of a good time. This is now my go-to series when I want something light and easy to read, but will entertain me from page 1 to END.







Now these are just five picked from a great year of reading. I’m hoping 2017 turns into another bumper year of great books read. If it’s as wonderful as 2016 then I may have to add a few more books to the list I post next January.

 

Hell Divers

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I do love finding fast-paced books that get more chaotic as the story progresses then at the end…BAM! Everything is brought together to a nice conclusion. I find it a rare treat, a delicacy if you will. Sure, books like Hell Divers aren’t astounding works of literature that make you question life and what have you. Instead, they are so fun, books like these make me want to run out and buy every other book the author has written.

As for the story, it’s actually pretty good and throws some decent curveballs at you. It plays out like a movie, which made me think for sure I knew exactly what would happen near the end. Those parts I thought I knew would happen actually turned out differently. I’m being vague here to not give away spoilers, but am trying to get across that while the premise of the story is straightforward; the presentation is cleverly done.

Characterizations are good. Pacing is brilliant. The multiple sub-plots just plain work. All in all, Hell Divers is a really great read. One that is going to have me try out all the other series Nicholas Sansbury Smith has written.

If you like easy reads that move at a blistering pace then you’ll definitely want to give Hell Divers a read.