EU Referendum

[This is a trimmed version of a diatribe that got even more long-winded. I dropped the detailed discussion because it was fractured and ill-informed. Which isn’t to say that this won’t be.]

 

Here in the UK we’re currently debating whether or not to leave the EU (I won’t use the term Brexit). I say we, but most of the debate comes from politicians, with much of the public bemused as to the facts. Bemused because as soon as one side presents a fact, the other side dismiss it as optimistic, or simply a fabrication.

The campaign has been particularly toxic – or amusing, depending on your point of view. Most of the facts are so flimsy because the truth is that no one knows what the results of leaving will be – despite the conviction on display when they tell you what will happen.

Many of the arguments focus on currently hot topics – immigration playing a large part. They seem to overlook that this is a long term decision, and framing it in terms of immediate problems only makes it look opportunist, focussing on people’s fears to achieve unclear ends.

 

Sovereignty

One issue that could be considered long-term, and the reason the referendum was probably called (mainly because of factions in the Conservative party which have always wanted out of Europe), is sovereignty. Decisions on British law being made by unelected representatives in Brussels.

As a Welshman, I’m used to decisions for my country being taken in another nation (mainly by Saxon immigrants), so this isn’t so much of an issue. It’s not as though any of the candidates to replace politicians are noticeably different from them, so I don’t see being able to vote individuals out as that big a deal.

 

In or Out

Ultimately I’ve heard nothing to persuade me from my inclination to stay in the EU. It may not be perfect, but we’re unlikely to change it from the outside. And in an increasingly internationalised world, where corporate entities seem to be taking power from countries, I don’t see isolating ourselves as being productive.

Building barriers between neighbours only helps reinforce the idea of the other that leads to so much conflict. We need to be engaged with our neighbours, so we can try and deal with our shared problems together, rather than enduring them alone.

Glyphmaster

Glyphmaster, third book in the Glyphpunk series, is now available.

Glyphmaster

Glyphmaster cover smallWar has been averted, the Society’s power diminished, but peace has yet to reach the shores of the Scarred Sea. As unrest spreads, there remain a few finishing touches to making the world as Thjorn wishes it to be. But the hallucination of his dead friend won’t let him work, and others have their own ideas about how things should be.

The final plays are being made, as pawns and players alike are moved into place.

 

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Smashwords

 

Glyphpunk

With the third book out, I’ve made Glyphpunk free on Smashwords. The updated price will propagate to the associated retailers soon, but while I’ve reported the lower price on Amazon I can’t know whether they’ll bother taking notice. I’m not sure yet whether I’m making it permanently free, but it’ll stick at this price for a while.

Progress Report

Remember the plans I outlined in my last post. Not so much with the getting them done. I tinkered with the cover, and had some rough ideas for Dwimmerfall. But another story intruded on my thoughts.

It follows on from ideas I’ve had percolating for a while, and from some elements in Monstrum ex Machina. Since it’s finally started to coalesce, I’m at least making notes.

Soul Food (Working title)

It’s stuttering a bit at the moment, as I start to lay out the rough outline of events and realise the fantastical element doesn’t really come in till about a third of the way through. Prior to that it’s pretty much a detective story, the fantastical elements fairly vague, which could be a bit jarring to a reader who paid little attention to the genre (not sure whether it’ll be urban fantasy or horror).

The brute force solution would be to start with the encounter then flash back to the earlier story. But I dislike flashbacks. Alternatively, the story could be written in the past tense, presaging the fantastical elements in the narration, which is currently planed to be first person. That’d be preferable to a flashback, but I’m not yet convinced it’ll work.

Monstrum ex Machina

In the meantime I’ve done the first revision cycle of Monstrum ex Machina, and found… actually very little. Which is worrying. There’s usually at least a few things that need changing in the story. But so far I’ve just been tinkering with the text. Maybe I need to leave it another month and come back to it. That certainly seems more likely than that I got it pretty much right on the first draft. I might do another cycle and see if anything reveals itself.

Progress Report

I’ve finished the first draft of Monstrum ex Machina, the third novella in the Grey Revolutions series. So that’ll go aside for a few weeks. Probably a bit of work to do on it. I was experimenting with not doing quite as detailed an outline (mainly because I was getting the urge to write it before I did the final cycle of breaking it down), but it doesn’t feel quite as comfortable, and I’m sure it’s going to require more revision time than it would have taken outline time. I think I’m closing in on my preferred working method.

Next up I’ll have a look over the first two parts of Dwimmerfall as I try and plan out the rest of the story. It’s been close to a year since I last worked on it. I’m going to rewrite the first chapter, since it isn’t quite working and I’ve had an idea of a better opening.

I might have a look at redoing the cover of Allegiances, on the assumption I’ll ever get around to the other stories in the series. Maybe.

Glyphmaster Pre-Order

Since I’ve received the proof copy, I’m making Glyphmaster, third in the Glyphpunk series, available for pre-order. It’ll be out June 1st. I should be able to get it prepared by then.

It’s currently only available on Smashwords and associated sites, because Amazon require some form of text provided, and I can’t be bothered formatting a version of it just for that. I should get it done by the end of the month anyway, so it’ll still be available for pres-order for a month or so. Not that I expect many actual orders.

It’ll be $2.99 until publication day, at which point I’ll put it up to the regular price point of $3.99.

It might not be out in print initially, since I’m not happy with how the cover came out. It’s a different cover to the eBook version anyway, since that wasn’t going to work for print. Not sure what to do instead, and I’m reluctant to order another proof just to check the cover. Unless sales pick up (or start) on print copies of the earlier books, I doubt it’ll matter.

 

Other Stuff

Proofing it and preparing the final version will put on hold the current project, the third in the Grey Revolutions series, currently with the working title Monstrum ex Machina. The story is pretty much broken down, with only another pass or two of outlining before I’m going to have to start writing.

And after that maybe I can finally get back to work on finishing Dwimmerfall. Although that’s looking like it may be more than just a third part of the story that needs doing. One of the features of pantsing the writing.

Progress Report

I’ve done a revision of Allegiances, for a couple of reasons. First, I have a sequel planned (vaguely), though it’s unlikely to be soon, so I wanted to refresh myself on it. Secondly, Glyphmaster was being proofed, and I needed space from the next one I’m breaking down, so it keeps me in practice. It’s a few years old anyway, and the text felt atrocious. It might get a new cover at some point, since I have an idea for a design for the series. Not just now though.

Glyphmaster is now ready for print formatting, so that’s the next job. Then it’ll be a matter of waiting for the print proof copy, which usually takes at least a month to arrive, and checking that. So I might list it for pre-order soon.

There’s one element I’m not entirely happy with in it, but it’s so fundamental that the alternative is scrapping the book. In retrospect it could maybe have done with a bit more foreshadowing in the previous book than it got. Mainly because I can’t remember how developed the idea was by that point. I’m worried it’ll come a bit out of left field for some, and raise more questions than will be answered. Ultimately I’ll just have to try and foreshadow it enough in this book. It’s what the story wants to be, so there’s only so much I can do about it.

I just hope it doesn’t demand another book to justify it. I’ve got enough lined up as it is.

Deadpool

The Deadpool film is probably the most accurate transition of a character from comic to screen that I’ve seen, and hugely enjoyable and funny.

The only problem I had with it was purely a personal issue with flashbacks. Most of the story is told in flashbacks, which because of the way my mind works makes the actual forward moving story seem slight. But this is just a personal thing, and won’t stop me watching it again when it’s out on DVD.

It also feels right at the rating level it is, and the calls to have a children’s version don’t really make any sense to me. Deadpool’s never really been a children’s character, and a younger skewing version would either be ten minutes long or have to be redone from scratch. You’d have to have the action be far more cartoonish, changing the entire tone of the film, and it wouldn’t be how I see the character.

Early on in his comic history Deadpool evolved into basically a cartoon character transposed into the slightly more realistic comic world. Surrounded by violence that was harmless in a cartoon, from which he’d always heal, it left more of an effect on the world around him.

The film takes this one step further, making the violence that much more real, and visceral, while maintaining Deadpool himself as a cartoon character. Reducing the violence, and other adult content, to a more child-friendly level, feels like it’d rob the film of its character.

Remember, Wolverine: Origins was only PG-13, and look at what happened to Deadpool there (shudder).

Warning: I don’t mean actually go and look at Wolverine: Origins, because I don’t necessarily hate you that much. Just recall it. And if you haven’t seen it, I in no way want to be responsible for inflicting that on you. Go see Deadpool instead. Provided you’re old enough.