Saturday Waffling (December 12th, 2015)


Exciting things afoot, as ever; recording a commentary for Paradise Towers with Jack tonight, another podcast on Monday, and setting up some more of those for the future. The neoreaction book is at 30k, and looking like it'll be ready to do a thing in early 2016. (Doing a thing being different from "be published," of course.) I have some fun essays lined up for the near future. Last War in Albion Book Two Chapter Four is going to be very, very fun.

And I'm really happy with Guided by the Beauty of Their Weaponswhich gets the finishing touches put on it this week. I think it is my best book, in a sort of raw quality sense. It feels like it hangs together as a book, which is always a risk with a kind of disparate essay collection, and this is a very disparate essay collection. It's very much the "demonstrate what I do" book, anchored by three novella-length pieces: the title essay, Recursive Occlusion, and the V for Vendetta chapter of Last War in Albion, with a series of shorter and more discursive pieces in the middle. A winning move in my ongoing war with 2015.

What's been the highlight of your year? 


Evan Forman 5 years, 1 month ago

It's becoming clearer every day that the novel-length story i've been working on since February is going to overrun into 2016. Which just feels wrong, because these things feel very "locked in" to their time and place. It feels like a 2015 story, and between a job and a college course and preperations for university on the horizon I do worry about how much time i'm actually going to have to write in the near future.

There have been three big delays this year. One was a college project that just absorbed my life for five weeks, then a month-long spate of actual Writer's Block, which was something i'd refused to believe in until it happened, but it turns out is nothing a cheeky sigil can't bust open.

In a year where virtually all of my writing has gone unreleased or has so far failed to find an artist in the venn diagram overlap between "talent" and "time", it did see the debut of Once Upon a Future, a sci-fi series i'm co-creating, and whose first episode I was the editor on. It was a rare instance of the writing process being a lot more fun than not, and I do still quite like it. If you don't have a rule against people promoting their work in this comment section, here is the relevant corner of the internet:

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Jack Graham 5 years, 1 month ago

Phil would be pretty hypocritical if he had something against self-promotion.

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arcbeatle 5 years, 1 month ago

Hey, you're 10,000 Dawns story is still a lock in for next year, so you're not totally off kilter ;P! But the writing you've done so far this year was good. Don't give up! Keep chugging away.

Speaking of shameless:

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arcbeatle 5 years, 1 month ago

But seriously if you're reading this stop and go click on that link for Evan's story, its good stuff.

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Kate 5 years, 1 month ago

Got some stuff into print this year - the Faction Paradox anthology Liberating Earth, which I edited and contributed a story to, and the Blakes 7 novel Mediasphere, which Jon and I wrote together, as well as a story for the charity anthology Seasons of War. Fingers crossed, an original SF story of mine might also see print before the new year.

But even nearer and dearer to my heart are the six shining almost completed chapters of Strange Flesh, the science fiction novel which the gods have placed me on this Earth to complete, which means I will presumably live forever.

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arcbeatle 5 years, 1 month ago

I loved loved loooooved Liberating Earth, and its inspired me to do something similar-ish in the future for the (tiny and unknown) Sci-Fi Universe I'm the editor for.

The anthology was such a joy to read, and there was some truly unique stuff in it. ^_^ Thank you so much for creating it!

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Jack Graham 5 years, 1 month ago

I'm gearing up for tonight's commentaries, of course, and for the special podcast on monday. I'm developing some new ideas for essays, as well as planning the next bit of Tricky Dicky. Rewatching Vic Reeves Big Night Out which is so funny it's actually rupturing my internal organs. Thinking about trying a potentially big, high-profile 'thing' for the new year. High on being followed by Media Lens after they tweeted a link to my 'Not Suitable for Kids' piece. Also high on the idea that Kate Orman has now heard my name. Re-reading my old university essays, as well as poems and short stories and semi-finished novels I wrote back then, and realising that they are all shite. Completely reconceptualising the novel I've now been writing for three years and facing up to the fact that it will have to essentially be re-started. Hoping to see my best friend before Christmas. Taking lots of pills. Tired but hopefui. Still grateful and pleased to be part of this whole Eruditorum thing.

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Bennett 5 years, 1 month ago

It's quite hard to beat coming equal first in a Doctor Who pub quiz. Particularly when the third-placed team consisted of Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss and Peter Capaldi. And particularly getting to mark their answer sheet and actually share a few words with Steven Moffat himself (and, I assume, disgrace myself completely in a haze of fannish glee).

Makes me feel a little better about filling my mind with useless gubbins like the production code of The Savages.

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John 5 years, 1 month ago

Who was running a Doctor Who pub quiz where the third place team was Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss, and Peter Capaldi?

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Max Curtis 5 years, 1 month ago

The Doctor Who Festival in London. It was surprisingly hard, that quiz. "Who was the first person to be exterminated by the Daleks?" Hell if I know.

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Joel Phillips 5 years, 1 month ago

Speaking of Doctor Who quizzes:

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Max Curtis 5 years, 1 month ago

I'm now halfway through my final year as an undergrad. Just found out a few days ago that I got into my dream graduate program. Apart from that, I haven't started the Doctor Who blog I've spent months thinking about, or started writing the novel I've always wanted to finish before I graduate. So most of my victories for 2015 are small, personal ones rather than grand publishing goals, but they're victories just the same.

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William Shaw 5 years, 1 month ago

My highlights were mainly getting my first proper short story accepted (in Fever Dreams magazine, available online for free, look it up if you want), as well as the positive reception for various bits of fanfic and other nonsense. Plus I got to interview Paul Cornell, which was nice.

As ever, the extraordinary output of Eruditorum press provided some of this year's most insightful reading. So well done all round.

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Jane Campbell 5 years, 1 month ago

It's been a busy year for me -- work dealt me one helluva hand: 10 road trips, from Utah to North Carolina, with a lot of Indiana in between. Utah was the best.

Hoping to get the Guided copyediting knocked out this weekend, ahead of schedule. This book is, like, over 550 pages! The way it hangs together is really quite interesting, the magic of structure.

I have another essay to write for Tuesday. Holy cow, these weekly essays, how did Phil ever do this 3 times a week? No time off for good behavior.

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arcbeatle 5 years, 1 month ago

Its been a helluva year for me. A 6-Month book tour for my Doctor Who poetry book going through Toronto, Philadelphia, Des Moines, St. Louis, Indianapolis and tons of other places for one!

But maybe the best bit has been the hard work to bring 10,000 Dawns, a collaborative Science Fiction Universe, to life. I'm really enjoying writing its premiere story, and there are two anthologies in the work as we speak... All of it serialized for free before its printed. So if you want to go read some fun Sci-Fi fiction, here you go!

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Janine 5 years, 1 month ago

It's been a busy year for me, making me wonder how I actually found the time to start commenting here (even though most of you probably don't have a clue who I am). Mostly dominated by work - as the reform in the UK (I'm London) has been hell for those working in education - but in my free time, writing, reading, listening to the Pex Lives podcasts. Working on the 'what if the Doctor met God?' story idea I've had going round in my mind for ages, which of course is destined to culminate in a) "he's not really God", and b) the Doctor calling him a nutter and a self-absorbed tyrant and him more or less going "then what do people call you?", But who knows. It might look good by the end.

The highlight of my year has of course been Doctor Who, which was brilliant. And my best friend, who's the highlight of basically every year.

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Daru 5 years, 1 month ago

Highlights of my year? At times it's been a hard year, as work wise I was losing a good bit of work at the start of the year that wasn't going to be re-funded, so I had to take a step back and fill-in with some stuff I didn't want to do.

But I have managed to find work on a relief basis, helping run arts workshops for people with learning disabilities with an organisation I have wanted to work with for years. Then though I was told that that the hours I was getting were going to be turned into a contracted post and I had to decide if I wanted that - and just last week I found out I got the job!

I'm so happy as I have never found such a place where I felt I REALLY wanted with and people I absolutely wanted to work with, as this is one the most positive places as far as its ethics that I have ever come across.

Pretty happy as this will be a 3 day a week post, so now I will have proper time to get back into the studio and produce some work. Still stunned and relieved.

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thesmilingstallioninn 5 years, 1 month ago

Well, I've been working on an epic fantasy novel, The Tiger Enchantment, for about a year and a half that might be published or self-published next year. I submitted it to Kindle Scout, as I have done for a couple other novels in the past, hoping that it might get some sort of deal, unlikely though it is. Here's the Kindle Scout webpage for it if you're interested in checking out an excerpt, maybe voting.

It's the 5th book in my main series, but still understandable to newcomers checking it out. I'm not entirely certain if it fits the milieu of material social progress, but I hope it has some alchemy in it. Check out the rest of the series as well if you're interested. The main Legends of Arria series is more mature and probably more alchemical inclined, though some of the other books do steer in that direction.

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Camestros Felapton 5 years, 1 month ago

The Puppy Kerfuffle made me start a blog and meet lots of new and interesting people united by a common dislike of attempted right-wing coups of SF/F awards.
Lots of unpleasant aspects to the Puppy antics but the counter-reaction helped demonstrate some of the better qualities of fandom.

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Rich 5 years, 1 month ago

Several highlights this year, listed here in order of significance:

1. Imminent parenthood.
2. Marriage proposal (she said yes).
3. Starting a new job in a library, finally leaving retail behind.
4. Getting my Doctor Who short story accepted for publication.
5. Getting a Robert Aickman essay accepted for publication.

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5tephe 5 years, 1 month ago

Well I must say that coming to an understanding of, and even love for, what Doctor Who has been doing these past several years has been a highlight for me. All down to this site, and its gorgeous and generous contributors and commenters. So thanks, all.

Also, actually completing writing my first novel-length manuscript. A solarpunk piece, with lots of violence and practical Marxism.

Lastly, completing a writing course, and realising how terrible my sentences have been up till now. And thus that I'll have to re-write the novel (which I began doing this week.)

I'll probably try self publishing next year.

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