faustus: (seventies)
( Mar. 17th, 2012 10:24 pm)
I submitted the manuscript for Solar Flares last July, and sometime around December came requests for rewrites. I've battle with this alongside everything else, and it was due 14 March. Unfortunately, as I was giving a paper at the University of Herefordshire on then, I suggested I get a day's extension. I spent Thursday applying for two study leaves and two exhibitions, so didn't have a chance to fully reread it one last time.

The last week was somewhat stressful - I'd apparently been editing the version from Dropbox, and then Caffe Nerd's flaky wifi failed to save it, and I lost edits on three chapters. Fortunately, I'd edited on paper, so was able to recreate what I'd done. I have to say, it didn't like saving over the last couple of days.

At about 6.30 I finally sent it off, so it's all over bar the copy edit, proof reading and indexing. Special thanks go to jkneale and FJM, who both read chapters, and thanks to everyone who has answered queries over the four or five years I've been writing the damn thing. Hopefully I thank everyone in the book, but inevitably I'll miss someone.

Apparently people are looking forward to reviewing it. Revenge being served cold, perhaps?

Solar Flares

JKneale also tells me the cover is a photo of UCL halls of residence on Oxford Street, since demolished. Selfridges is to the right of the photographer, North Audley Street to the left - see http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&ll=51.513991,-0.153594&spn=0.005121,0.009645&t=k&z=17. If you go into street view on the box junction, looking west, you can see the building behind/above the right hand stormtrooper.


The time off which follows includes:


  • An article
  • A plenary for 2 April
  • A paper for the same conference.
  • The Sekrit Projekt delayed by revisions.
  • In due course, the Sekrit Book After Next (which JKneale had a preview of, but is sworn to secrecy)


So, no pressure.
faustus: (Comedy)
( Mar. 13th, 2012 12:01 am)
I've needed a day out for at least a week, albeit of the take-the-laptop-and-work variety. I thought of London, I thought of Tunbridge Wells, I thought of Tonbridge, I thought of Ashford... I thought of Ramsgate. But the train service was suspended all weekend, and there was a diversion on Sturry Road, so buses looked a problem. Oh, and the bridge from East was closed for maintenance.

I went to Nerd.

Saturday night, after much work, I walked the alleged two miles to ASDA, and two miles back, and was abused by the Imp's drunk, who called across to me as I was locking my front door, that I couldn't get in, because two people had come to change the locks, I was wasting my time, I wouldn't be able to get in. This was my front door. Which I'd just come out of. And then clearly locked.

I thought of going to the Bubble on Sunday, and calling in the library at the campus on the hill, walking home, but fortunately the library books could be renewed on line and Costa hath no wifi. I went to Nerd, then Bux, then (New Nerd being full) back to Old Nerd. I edited three chapters, wrote the lectures I needed for Monday, and ate an out of date packet of crisps. I went home, edited another chapter, then hit the wrong button.

I'd somehow been working on the Dropbox back up of the file, and the flaky wifi meant that the Scrivener file hadn't saved. I'd been editing each chapter in Word, to use the spellchecking function (belts and braces for my own self-copy-edit), but didn't save each chapter. Three chapters gone. Fortunately, I'd edited on paper too, and none of these chapters had the large restructure of some of them, so i was able to redo the work within a couple of hours. No early night, though.

Tonight, I've worked on the remaining chapters and epilogue. I have ten pages which I skipped editing (for reasons which escape me) to do, a couple of hundred words to add and a couple of additional references. Hopefully the manuscript can go off on Thursday.


136600 / 120000 words. 114% done!

New version of Chapter Two - Chapter Three is a maze of black ink.
faustus: (Default)
( Dec. 20th, 2011 10:38 pm)
Six months ish since submission, and the process of rewriting begins. Meanwhile, the next book and the next book proposal lurk in the wings. Deadline March 14. Let's start with Chapter One...



139900 / 120000 words. 117% done!
faustus: (seventies)
( Jul. 1st, 2011 06:51 pm)
Il est soumis




139,000 / 120,000 words. NaN% done!
faustus: (seventies)
( Jun. 29th, 2011 01:41 am)
So close... I reckon I have 200 word to add to end the project and I was going to keep going; but my bulb has gone ping, and I need to read some Ballard stories before I write those 200 words. I could adjurn to a room with a light bulb but I think that's my cue to get the fuck to bed. It being gone 1.40. I am unlikely to have time tomorrow (today) as it is a day off, and the day after tomorrow (tomorrow) I anticipate a hangover. Maybe the 30th will be the day.
faustus: (Angry)
( May. 25th, 2011 11:55 am)
I just note that only one story by a woman is in any of the three Andromeda anthologies edited in the 1977/1978.


Couldn't happen now...
faustus: (seventies)
( May. 2nd, 2011 01:17 am)
The death march continues - fifteen chapters have a penultimate edit, and aside from adding a couple of paragraphs here and there, and an epilogue, and the full bibliography, I'm almost ready to submit.

I am, of course, hoping to awake to discover that the fairies have rewritten Chapter Eleven for me. On the other hand, maybe that's Monday's job.
faustus: (seventies)
( Apr. 12th, 2011 11:58 am)
Term and post term has been horrendously busy, and the book remains unfinished. Where are we?

The book:
Vietnam and homosexuality chapters still need surgery.
Epilogue needs completion.
New Wave chapter needs a sentence on Ballard, Children's stuff on Pete's Dragon
Bibliography!


Meanwhile I've given papers on Survivors (twice) and Bernard Herrmann (outside of comfort zone, much?) and need to work up proposals for respective proceedings volumes.

Need to do some prep to teach a film session. May just wing it at this rate.

Read and examined a PhD.

Meanwhile, there is much in the pipeline still"

"Postmodernism, Postmodernity and the Postmodern: Telling Local Stories at the End of Time" has appeared in Teaching Science Fiction, but no sign of a copy yet.

"Psychoanalysis and the Fantastic" is presumably in press somewhere.

"The Man Who Fell To Earth: The Messiah and the Amphicatastrophe" and "Unimportant Failures: The Fall and Rise of The Man Who Fell to Earth" had final versions.

"If None of this is Real, How Should We Treat Other People?" needs a final revision before publisher intervention for Philip K. Dick and Philosophy.

And I'm editing and writing things on sf adaptation for a project that never seems to die.

No idea why I feel overworked.
faustus: (seventies)
( Jan. 26th, 2011 11:01 am)
For those who do not know, this is Solar Flares: A Cultural History of Science Fiction in the Seventies

Introduction: Pretty well done now.
  1. The Dinosaur's Last Gasp: needs five hundred words on Sturgeon; Volume XIIII of the stories has arrived.
  2. The New Wave: Ballard, Ellison and Harrison to be written; Ballard largely happens elsewhere, so a logical mess.
  3. Beyond Apollo: c.400 words on Space: 1999 to do.
  4. Big Dumb Objects: done
  5. The Rise of Fantasy: done
  6. Race: done, but needs some stuff on music.
  7. Vietnam and the Counterculture: islands done, but not yet coalesced.
  8. Post-Imperial Melancholy: done, only 200 words over.
  9. Environmentalism: done, aside from the comet/meteor disasters adding
  10. Feminism: pretty well done, but needs some pruning and stuff on Khatru and Joan! Vinge!
  11. Homosexuality: a mess, and needs more written. 75% there.
  12. Children's Fiction: still in progress and clearly a can of worms on the defining the genre front; 1200 words on animation, 1500 on books needed, which is not enough and compromises will need to made to avoid listomania. Have a pile of PDFs to read - must sort out the Kindle.
  13. Chariots of the Gods: a couple of hundred words needed, and some rationalisation.
  14. Architecture: done.
  15. Blockbusters: done.
  16. Metafiction and Postmodernism: done.

Epilogue: know what to write, but haven't -- clearer idea, and shorter than anticipated..


And meanwhile, in the next project (but ... two?) along department, I see that I have access to back issues of Futures, albeit only up to 2004. Still, the best part of forty years' worth of periodicals.
faustus: (seventies)
( Jan. 19th, 2011 12:38 am)
For those who do not know, this is Solar Flares: A Cultural History of Science Fiction in the Seventies

Introduction: Needs rationalising, and the autobiographical needs a thinking through.
  1. The Dinosaur's Last Gasp: needs five hundred words on Sturgeon; waiting for Volume XIIII of the stories to arrive.
  2. The New Wave: large chunks to be written, most of the research done.
  3. Beyond Apollo: written, aside from 800 words on Malzberg and 1,300 words on TV space operas
  4. Big Dumb Objects: done
  5. The Rise of Fantasy: done
  6. Race: done, but needs some stuff on music.
  7. Vietnam and the Counterculture: islands done, but not yet coalesced.
  8. Post-Imperial Melancholy: done, only 200 words over.
  9. Environmentalism: done, aside from the comet/meteor disasters adding
  10. Feminism: pretty well done, but needs some pruning and stuff on Khatru and Joan! Vinge!
  11. Homosexuality: a mess, and needs more written. 75% there.
  12. Children's Fiction: still in progress and clearly a can of worms on the defining the genre front; 1200 words on animation, 1500 on books needed, which is not enough and compromises will need to made to avoid listomanis.
  13. Chariots of the Gods: a couple of hundred words needed, and some rationalisation.
  14. Architecture: done.
  15. Blockbusters: done.
  16. Metafiction and Postmodernism: done.

Epilogue: know what to write, but haven't.


I make that something like 17,000 words by the end of the 2010... asap. My to do list is getting longer...
faustus: (seventies)
( Jan. 17th, 2011 01:02 am)
Today has been a day of epiphanies and revelations, as well as failures to change light bulbs, get up at a reasonable time and to get to bed before midnight. I have had thoughts about the cosy catastrophe, which I will pass on in due course, but I have also partly solved a mystery of what my gallery-going is building up to. My wider sense of (especially British) surrealist and modernist art 1900-1940ish remains puzzling - although I can trace the trajectory - but the Dulwich Picture Gallery exhibition of Paul Nash clearly needs to be thrown at Keith Roberts (and Eric Ravilious is presumably not far behind*), with the paradoxical sense that modern and romantic ought to seem more antithetical.


* Not far behind? )

I don't have time or words for this in the current project - whose Post-Imperial Melancholy chapter needs sections on Compton and Kilworth to complete - but one more for the to-do list...


(in any case I need to think of the linkage between Nash and Nicholson's odd welding of landscape-still-life-abstract, and then the connection to Mondrian which will be explored by a Courtauld Institute exhibition next year.)
faustus: (Heaven)
( Jan. 12th, 2011 08:59 pm)
For those who do not know, this is Solar Flares: A Cultural History of Science Fiction in the Seventies

Introduction: Needs rationalising, and the autobiographical needs a thinking through.
  1. The Dinosaur's Last Gasp: need about seven hundred words on Heinlein, and maybe five hundred on Sturgeon, but I've done 400 on Bester which I'd forgotten about.
  2. The New Wave: large chunks to be written, most of the research done.
  3. Beyond Apollo: written, aside from 800 words on Malzberg and 1,3000 words on TV space operas
  4. Big Dumb Objects: done
  5. The Rise of Fantasy: done
  6. Race: done, but needs some stuff on music.
  7. Vietnam and the Counterculture: islands done, but not yet coalesced.
  8. Post-Imperial Melancholy: mostly done, but will need trimming.
  9. Environmentalism: restructured and needs the comet/meteor disasters adding
  10. Feminism: pretty well done, but needs some pruning and stuff on Khatru and Joan! Vinge!
  11. Homosexuality: a mess, and needs more written. 75% there.
  12. Children's Fiction: needs more research, 1200 words on animation, 1500 on books.
  13. Chariots of the Gods: a couple of hundred words needed, and some rationalisation.
  14. Architecture: new chapter, solving the environmental, er, overflow. And done. Can add some more words though.
  15. Blockbusters: done.
  16. Metafiction and Postmodernism: done.

Epilogue: know what to write, but haven't.
faustus: (Culture)
( Dec. 19th, 2010 10:51 pm)
I've been spending the need thinking of how metanarratives and metafictions interrelate; it has only just struck me how close the words are.
faustus: (seventies)
( Nov. 3rd, 2010 12:47 pm)
Just completed chapter thirteen, so that's four chapters drafted. It's at 7,500 words and more on It's Alive needs to go in (I thought I'd done that, but maybe I'm thinking of taking the notes...). I need some bits about Doctor Who, and to sprinkle the word "metanarrative" through the chapter a little more frequently. What's odd is the way the chapter has veered into supernatural sf, but I can't see how to stop it leaving sf behind.

I'm hoping to get chapter 15 into shape tomorrow, as I've seen the light on this (a while back, but it needed a fortnight of staring at a keyboard and taking the same book too and from work every trip). I need to track down William Gass's Fiction and the Figures of Life, I suspect chapter one, but no joy thus far.

Chapter 11 ought to be easily whipped into shape - but I need to read a porn trilogy, and that can't easily be done in coffee shops. Well, maybe it can. Spook the tourists.

If all goes to plan I should write 30,000 words this month - a sorta NaNonFicWriMon, especially as there will be 20,00 words of bibliography to wrestle into shape.
I note that there are two or three books I've read which I've yet to list - and I can't remember if I've read one or two Chelsea Quinn Yarbros. Did I read False Dawn? H'mm... What it that memorable?

CXLV: Gregory Benford, In the Ocean of Night (1977) )

CXLVI: Gregory Benford, Timescape (1980) )

CXLVII: Gregory Benford and William Rotsler, Shiva Descending (1980) )

CXKVIII: Wilson Tucker, The Year of the Quiet Sun )
I forgot to crosspost this

CXXXII: Kate Wilhelm, The Clewiston Test (1976) )

CXXXIII: Richard Brautigan, The Abortion: An Historical Romance 1966 (1971) )

CXXXIV: Richard Brautigan, Dreaming of Babylon: A Private Eye Novel 1942 (1977) )

CXXXV: Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities (1972) )

CXXXVI: Barry Malzberg, The Day of the Burning (1974) )

CXXXVII: David Gerrold, Space Skimmer (1972) )

CXXXVIII: Doris Piserchia, Earthchild (1977) )

CXXXIX: Ernest Callenbach, Ecotopia (1975) )

CXL: Robert Silverberg, The Book of Skulls (1972) )

CXLI: Charles Platt, The City Dwellers (1970) )

CXLII: Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, The Mote in God's Eye (1974) )

CXLIII: Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, Lucifer's Hammer (1977) )

Okay, so there seem to be a whole number of 1970s sf narratives about asteroids/comets/meteors hitting or nearly hitting the Earth (Rama, Lucifer's Hammer, In the Ocean of the Night, The Hermes Whatsit, Meteor, among others). Why then? The dinosaurs wiped out by asteroid theory (Alverez et al) appears to be 1980, and there's already tracking agencies by the mid-1960s. But what triggered all these stories (albeit not the first, but a rash of them)? Was it a meteor visible above the US in August 1972? Tunguska publicity?

CXLIV: Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow (1973) )
I appear to have forgotten to do this for July. Ooops.


Ah well.

That To Read List )


I'm cheating on Gravity's Rainbow - I have 80 pages to go, and coffee to drink this am. Is it just me, or does this look doable? The madness sets in.

Drum roll:



91200 / 120000 words. 76% done!

I've done a little bit of trimming, as the chapters are still coming in long even after losing a whole chapter, so I have written more than that would suggest. There's a fluidity created by the bibliography, so I'm not doing deep trimming yet. But there are some stark choices when I realise that I only have 900 words for Doctor Who, 700 for Blake's Seven and I still have to deal with Anderson (I've squeezed in an obscure series, if only because it has a character named Blake... I am still convinced there is a link from William to Roj, but I haven't spotted it yet.) Darling of the Month: "The UNIT narratives provided Britain with a role in world affairs without anyone having to go overseas (although occasionally they did get to leave the planet)."

Meanwhile I will have to write up the Leuven paper for the collection, discover whether I'm still doing another chapter for a new companion and need to sort out some comedy research.

Into deeper time: there is a potential book contract for next year if I sit down and do a proposal (next week?) and I appear to have had the idea for the next book, something which has been hovering around my head since about 2003, and which is not on comedy. If I'm smart I'll work out how to do articles which would be the building blocks of it, although I can see how the so-what may well come into play for sections. I definitely need to sit down and down a comedy article. Meanwhile I spy three areas that would repay articles from the seventies materials unused. No rest for the idle.
faustus: (seventies)
( Aug. 19th, 2010 01:07 am)
Or, getting real.



87300 / 120000 words. 73% done!

I seem to have written 2,500 words today, mostly on Vietnam.

Edging towards a darling: "Why Are We in Vietnam? asks Norman Mailer. Because we were always already there."

Unused citation of the day: “Trees are trees in their own right."


What were they thinking quotation of the day: "[the novel] might have been put together by a committee composed of Ursula Le Guin, Anne McCaffrey and Joanna Russ, with a little help from Ms Delany.” I think I count three knives there, but I may misunderestimate.


I've also been dividing the remaining chapters into chunks with word counts to try and keep chapter word counts to six thousand. (What I really need to hope is that I've overestimated the bibliography word count, because stuff can go in.) It's scary how little will fit in, especially given how long the reading list still is. The Where Next For the New Wave looks like it will be a male-only ghetto; Pamela Zoline's timing seems likely to be off, Carter would be specially pleading; is this where Emma Tennant ends up? But she needs to be after feminism is dealt with. Le Guin and Russ already have homes elsewhere, so I can't bring them in, although the free pass (but small word count) given to Ellison and Malzberg doesn't limit me to New Worlds. Trawl through the New Writings again. Hey, looks at the Andromeda anthologies for women... The first has a Naomi Mitchison story in. The other two... male only preserves.


Meanwhile, I need to select reading for between 24 August and 9 September - and am pondering a pile of doorsteps I'm unlikely to read unless there's nothing else on hand, with the thought that I could leave them behind. Probably to write a hundred words on each. Maybe this is the time I finally read Gravity's Rainbow. Need to dig out the to-get list:


Arthur Byron, Autumn Angels
Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities
George Alec Effinger, What Entropy Means to Me
Richard A. Lupoff, Sword of Demon
Larry Niven, Ringworld Engineers
Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, Inferno
Robert Silverberg, The Book of Skulls
Robert Silverberg, The Stochastic Man

There's more, of course, Bryant's The Kin of Ata are Waiting for You. Whichever ever one of T'City I don't have, making having the other two pointless (I think I have two Multifaces). More Kate Wilhelm. City of Cain, The Infinity Box, The Clewiston Test, Fault Lines. A Saxon (I think I'm missing Group Feast and The Weltenschuung of Ms Amelia Whatsit. Ah that's a subtitle of Vector for Seven) The Mortonhoe sequel. I thought there was a wikipage for 1970s sf novels (there's one for film).
.

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