We are now approaching the time when we like to survey the year. For me, 2013 was an eventful year, for apart from, and despite the June storms (no electricity, no email!) and the July-August earthquakes I self-published four fictional ebooks, and an ebook containing a brief account of my alternative interpretation of quantum mechanics. The fiction, of course, was not written from scratch, and even some of the final editing was done the year before The quantum mechanics ebook was written this year, although the actual content had been written down elsewhere in various places and the writing was mainly to make the various parts flow properly. Some was simply a lift from elsewhere, and tidied up and put into context. For those interested, the difference between this interpretation and others is that there is a real wave, it transmits energy, and it only has meaning when the wave function is real (which, from complex number theory, it is at the crest and trough).
However, readers here will be more interested in the fiction. A Face on Cydonia was conceived in 1996. I was desperately trying to get an agent for Red Gold, having had one, and nearly getting it published, so I thought having a second book might help. NASA was sending Global Surveyor to Mars, and I hoped the hype about the Cydonian face might get me the leverage I needed. Bad luck! NASA sank that face too soon! (I had hoped it could take a long time because they were surveying Mars in very thin strips, and it would take years to do the lot properly; I hoped Cydonia would be to the end, but no, it was near the beginning.) Anyway, I kept writing, and I failed to get an agent interested in that. There was a lot of ignorance on my part. What I did not know was that publishers would only consider works of 100,000 words or so from a first-time author. My book was about 350,000 words.
For much of the 2000s I gave up that, and eventually tried to get an agent for Puppeteer, but a New Zealand author with not much of a platform was not encouraging. Then I heard of kindle, and thought of self-publishing. Tough luck – Amazon would not deal with New Zealand authors (then). You had to have an American bank account and an IRS number, neither of which were easily obtained. So, eventually, when New Zealand was admitted in to the rest of the world, still not having an agent, I self-published. However, by now I decided that the original version of the Face was far too long, so at first I decided to split it into two, then I decided into three, largely because each third is rather different from the rest. The new version of A Face on Cydonia establishes the major characters as they are assembled for an expedition to settle form once and for all whether there is something inside this rock. Each of the expedition has hopes for what it will contain, and everybody finds exactly what they did not want to find. The second book, Dreams Defiled explores how each deals with their new situation, and it explores the descent of Jonathon Munro into a life approaching pure evil. The third book, Jonathon Munros, explores artificial intelligence, when the machine is pure evil, and, of course, the race by society to stop the Jonathon Munros.
Of course, I can’t leave the year on that note. My latest ebook, Athene’s Prophecy is set in the first century, and a young Roman soldier has to dodge the erratic imperium of the other Gaius Julius Caesar (Caligulae – note he had two feet!) and prove that the earth goes around the sun. Which raises an interesting question – how many of the present day population could do that? Remember, your only sources of data are what you can see with the naked eye. So, there is something to think about over the Christmas-New Year period, while some of you are trying to keep warm, and I am trying to do the opposite. This shall be my last post for this year, but I shall return mid January.
May you have a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.