Archive for February, 2009

The Internet – in 1969

Posted: February 14, 2009 in General
Tags: , , , ,

This is an interesting clip I came across which is apparently from 1969 looking forward to how they saw computers functioning in the future – as well as what was to become the internet.

It didn’t quite turn out the way they foresaw, but it showed remarkable guesswork. All works by futurists naturally will not always turn out exactly the way they imagine, as there will be advanced they could never imagine in their wildest dreams, but they can certainly inspire and often entertain at the same time.

For myself I often ponder how things may turn out in the future. For example, the current global economic mess. What would happen if everything goes pear shaped and ends up in a new Great Depression? How would the world look, how would people survive? It did give me an idea for story to explore that, but that needs to wait until I’ve finished other projects first.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.”

It may come, gentle readers, as somewhat of a surprise to discover that Jane Austen’s classic novel has, until this day, been an abridged version and that the novel in its totality was not released unto the public to spare the timid and those that dwelt in blissful ignorance, nay, in naivety of the true horrors that did stalk the English countryside that fateful day. It is only know that we can reveal what truly took place and thus in all its goresome entirety we present Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

This is not a joke people. Pride and Prejudice is being rewritten – with zombies. This news article explains it a bit more.

And the following excerpt is to whet your appetite.

“Come, Darcy,” said Mr. Bingley, “I hate to see you standing by yourself in this stupid manner. You had much better dance.”

“I certainly shall not. You know how I detest it.”

“I would not be as fastidious as you are for a kingdom! I never met with so many pleasant girls in my life as I have this evening; and several of them are uncommonly pretty.”

Before Mr. Darcy could respond, a chorus of screams filled the assembly hall, immediately joined by the shattering of window panes. Unmentionables scrambled in, their movements clumsy yet swift; their burial clothing in a range of untidiness.

Guests who had the misfortune of standing near the windows were seized and feasted on at once. Elizabeth watched Mrs. Long struggle to free herself as two female dreadfuls bit into her head, cracking her skull like a walnut, and sending a shower of dark blood spouting as high as the chandeliers.

It is currently up on Amazon for those who may be interested.

100K

Posted: February 13, 2009 in writing update
Tags: ,

After doing a little calculation I have realised that since commencing this website I have written some one hundred thousand words. In other words the length of a full novel.

Of course, given how scattered a lot of that writing has been, a full novel has yet to be completed.

Hopefully the next 100K of words are both written faster and more focused so that by the time they are done that novel may at least be finished, or at least the first unpolished draft of it is.

A Great Day

Posted: February 12, 2009 in winter wolves, writing update
Tags: ,

Day is not quite done yet, but so far I have done around seven hours of work and passed 6K words written, a new record for a day for me.

Admittedly I did cheat a little as I was doing a rewrite of the first chapter of Winter Wolves so many of those words had been written before.

Even so, the old first chapter was around 4300 words in length and the new one now stands at almost 6500.

It certainly feels good to get so much done though, even if it was just a rewrite. I may even be able to squeeze in a couple more hours later to start the rewrite of the old chapter two.

I only had chapters one to three fleshed out previously, so in a couple of days when I’ve given them a rewrite it will be back to fleshing out the subsequent chapters from the long synopsis, which will undoubtedly slow matters down.

Still, if I can keep this pace up I may be able to finish the novel ready for polishing sooner than expected.

I have returned to my old familiar stomping grounds and gone back to work on the rewrite of Winter Wolves.  It is the closest of any of my works to being completed, with a 20K synopsis finished and a previous rewrite started.  After planning on rearranging the order of the first rewrite attempt, it got set aside for other projects, and that was hwen I really began to flounder about not getting anywhere.

The first three thousand words of the first chapter have gone through another rewrite, with a new introduction.  I am putting this part up as an excerpt for people to read, and hopefully comment on.  This certainly isn’t the final go over – its been fleshed out from the synopsis, but needs polishing still.

Winter Wolves Excerpt.

Week in Review: Week Six

Posted: February 12, 2009 in writing update
Tags: ,

Another week, another update.

Still slowly improving the output, this week breaking the 8K mark. next week hopefully will be back over 10K for the week.

Of that around 5K was on an untitled short story which is around two thirds complete. Should have the rough draft done by the end of the next week, but who knows when it will get a rewrite.

It is time however that I absolutely must get back to working on, and completing, a novel. All this time and all these words and little to show for it. So I am now going to get back to working exclusively on my first novel, bar a day or two a week for short stories and Cara’s Choice.

Week five has turned out to the second best week this year in terms of output, with a little over 7000 words written, so at least I hit the minimum desired mark of 1K words a day.

Still, for all that, it was only half the output of the first week of the year.  The next couple of days seem to be clear currently and I hope to get some serious writing done during them.

The week saw the completion of the first draft of The Bronze Man, after many weeks of meaning to get it done.  I also started work on two other short stories which I hope to have completed during the next week.

MMOs Illegal in Australia

Posted: February 5, 2009 in General
Tags: , ,

It is currently illegal to sell MMOs in Australia.

No, it is not April first. Nor is this some kind of surrealistic joke.

Read this article for further details.

It was not done deliberately, I wouldn’t think, more a loophole in the classification laws that had gone unnoticed. Online games, such as World of Warcraft, Warhammer Online, Age of Conan, Everquest etc don’t get a classification, and it is illegal to sell games with out a classification.

Will they actually charge someone before the laws get fixed? Unlikely, as ever single shop that sells games in Australia would need to be charged. Mind you, given the massive budget deficit the government is creating to try and spend its way out of the fiscal crisis, they may just need the money.

And does it become illegal to posses one of those games now?

Of course, even when they do fix this loophole, the government is bent on neutering the ‘net anyway with their aims to introduce a mandatory filtering system. The aim is to block undesirable content, which is laudable, but fails on many levels. Largely who decides what is and isn’t allowed and how do you stop the government clamping down on legitimate free speech, plus most specialists are saying it won’t work and will have the added effect of slowing down the speed of ‘net by substantial amounts.

Here come the Clones

Posted: February 4, 2009 in General
Tags: , ,

Stumbled upon this article recently, purporting to tell of the first ever extinct speices being cloned.  Now, before you get all excited about bringing back mammoths and dinosaurs and what not, it is important to note that the animal in question, a Pyrenean Ibex, only went extinct in 2000 and is a subspeices of the Spanish Ibex, which gives lots of advantage in the process.  Even so, the new born animal had a lung defect and didn’t live long.

For myself, if we could bring back one animal, it would be the Diprotodon, a member of the extinct Australian Megafauna.  The megafauna were a fascinating collection of extra large animals that died out around 40-50,000 years ago, the exact cause still a matter of debate.  Some believe they were hunted to extinction by Australian Aborigines, others that they died out due to climate change, either natural or as a result of the use of fire by the Aborigines to manage the environment.

Some of the animals in question were scary big, and dangerous.  These include Procoptodon goliah (Giant Short-Faced Kangaroo), a kangaroo up to 3 metres (10 feet) tall and weighing 232 KG (507 pounds), Zaglossus hacketti, an echidna the size of a sheep, Dromornis stirtoni (Stirton’s Thunder Bird), a 3 metre, 500 KG flightless bird that was likely carnivorous and the slightly smaller Bullockornis paleni, also known as the Demon Duck of Doom.

My favourite is Diprotodon optatum, the largest marsupial ever known to live.  Three metres long, two metres heigh and weighing in at over two thousand seven hundred kilos, it was a wombat the size of a hippopotamus.  We are talking big here, very big.

diprotodon

One of the things I am planning on doing is using some of these animals in my writing, mainly in the primal tales setting.  It fits in well, having these big, dangerous looking animals running around the place, giant carnivorous birds trying to eat people, massive wombats waddling around.

After a great deal of time I have finally finished the first draft of The Bronze Man short story.  All up it comes to a bit over 9600 words.  It will need some going over and tidying up, especially the later parts, which should undoubtedly add even more words to the finished story, taking it beyond 10K words and into the range of a novella and not simply a short story.

I will let it sit for a few days before going back over it again.  I have a couple more short stories that also need to have first drafts completed.