Insights on a Launch

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Interviews with Janus Security Corporation personnel

Angel Flores : Executive Officer

“I worked hard to get from a favela to the executive floor of JCorp tower. Huge office, wonderful view, penthouse suite… I had always aimed for the stars. It was just a metaphor, until one day… If I had stuck to my job and my affair with the company owner… But I am not made that way. Satisfaction leads to stagnation. I am just not made that way.

“It started with a few odd coincidences and my curiosity making me dig deeper. Or perhaps it started with my affair turning tedious. Or both. Perhaps it was Zag being there at the right time when I needed someone strong.

“Anyway, one day the real stars came within reach. How could I not grasp that opportunity with both hands?

“Zag? Yes, he was crucial to my plans. How did I feel about him? He was… everything. Did I show him this? Not enough, perhaps. I am just not made that way.”

Zag Bishop : Operations Manager

“I’d been trouble as a kid in the lower city. The military fixed that, or most of it. Then contract work I can’t talk about. Then to JCorp and Angel. Happy times. I loved them both. Did she love me back? I’m not good with emotion. I blame the work I did.

“So this space conspiracy thing came along and turned everything on its head. Would it have been better to quit and get a new job? Who knows? I’m tactics, not strategy. The strategy was Angel’s, from the start. The kidnaps and killings? Just part of the job.

“With Earth falling to pieces, escape to the stars seemed a good idea. Escape with the woman I loved. Sounded good. But which woman?”

Katya Ulyanov : Operative

“I had a secret. A dangerous one. A secret that could get me thrown into the desert. And I’d fallen for a damned cop. How did he feel about me? I knew how I felt about him. One day I hated him, the next… I guess I’d been let down too many times. He said I had a trust issue. No wonder, with my past.

“So I decided to be the best operative Zag had. I did a few crazy things to get his attention. It didn’t help that my PTSD, my other secret, kept getting in the way.

“Then the space thing came along. Changed everything.”

Faces of Janus” : launched November 6, 2016 Available from your local Amazon store

Spooky Times

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Well, that Brexit thing was a blast. Britain will pull out of the EU (European Union). To some, it’s like Hawaii pulling out of the US of A. (It isn’t.) And lots of lies on all sides, it seems.

Gosh! Anti-establishment folk, politicians and urban elites telling lies? Unbelievable! Spooky times!

Continue reading

My, The Force Was Strong

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What a wonderful month May was.

Family

The first big event was my eldest daughter’s engagement party in sunny Romania. It was wonderful to see her take the next step in life, Continue reading

Plot Sketch #4635

So Many Ideas, So Little Time…

(I have too short a lifespan to produce a full story from every idea I get, so will occasionally throw up out a plot sketch so you can see what you are missing…)

Plot Sketch #4635

Earth is the only planet in the galaxy where Continue reading

So Where Have I Been?

Debt Collector in Storm in the Stars

Andy as Debt Collector in A Storm in the Stars

I took a long break between posts this year. I’m sure you noticed.

So where have I been? Continue reading

Mancunicon (Eastercon 2016)

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I’m still recovering from a splendid few days at the annual British Science Fiction Convention, held at Easter and generically named Eastercons. 2016 was the turn of Manchester, England to host 1200 sci-fi and fantasy fans, and a fine job the organising team did. Continue reading

So Many Whys

questionI recently re-watched “Prometheus“, the movie. It was a “non-prequel” to the hit “Alien” movie franchise. Like many, (humourously here with adult language) I was left with more questions than answers. Sadly, some of those questions appear to concern plot-holes, or at least plot-weaknesses. However,  Continue reading

Writing in Groups

 

teachers-23820_1280I kept reading about them in the blogosphere. Everyone recommends them: Writers’ Groups!

So how do you find one? Especially if you live in the small, non-English-speaking country of Luxembourg. So I filed it away as yet more writerly advice I couldn’t take, like nationwide bookshop signings, getting into libraries… Perhaps I could find a critique group online, someday… I really had to get searching… When I had time…

But then I found one. Or rather, it found me. Continue reading

Dysprosium : SciFi Convention

dysprosiumDysprosium was the 66th annual UK SciFi Convention, held at Easter 2015.

(Yes, I’m still playing “catch-up”.)

Overview

Weird and wacky, thoughtful and intelligent, and a Real Ale bar permanently packed-out with hobbits. Well, not real hobbits, but hairy folk wearing homespun and sandals. (For my non-UK readers, Real Ales are traditional beers produced by smaller breweries with love and care and no artificial additives.) The Bar seems to be a popular recurring feature of these conventions.

Differences

This was my first “big” scifi convention. I’d attended Luxcon a week earlier (see post): the difference was remarkable. Most Luxembourg attendees lived locally and needed no hotel accommodation. UK attendees were from a wider catchment area so most needed hotel rooms. As a result, the age profiles were radically different. LuxCon folk were predominantly young adults, with a greater cosplay tendency: the UK folk were generally older, more likely to have spreading waistlines, receding hairlines and greater disposable income (to afford the travel and hotels).

I’d say there was more pop-scifi in Luxembourg, and more fantasy in the UK.

Workshops and Beyond

I submitted different pieces of writing to three writing workshops. Due to the number of attendees, time constraints prevented full analysis of the submissions, but each presenter team provided follow-up:-

  • Elsewhen Press – critique session
    • submitted : a short story, “Homo sapiens inferior
    • follow-up : Elsewhen invited attendees to submit a story after the convention for a full critique
  • Terry Edge and Kim Horwood – improving writing and achieving goals
    • submitted : the first chapter of my far future novel-in-progress, “Succession!
    • follow-up : Terry and Kim sat with me between other sessions for valuable informal chats
  • Donna Scott (editor and chair of the British Science Fiction Association) – critique session
    • submitted : the first page of my noir novel-in-progress, “Private Vices
    • follow-up : Donna edited the entire submission after the convention and sent me her comments

Thank you to them all.

Conclusions

Between the Real Ale and the wonderful attendees I met, the excellent session presenters and the great folk running the workshops, I had a great time and learned so much. Already looking forward to next Easter’s Convention, “Mancunicon” (in Manchester, UK).

Afternote : Only a few people ignored the “No Bare Feet” notices. I do hope they enjoyed their pedal fungal infection transfers.