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12 Books in 12 Months

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williamgibson

Foreshadows: Changing the way we read

Every so often, someone comes along and tries to change the way we do things.

This is particularly relevant in the world of the written word.  When some genius decided to go from cave paintings to papyrus scrolls* there was uproar in the publishing industry.  Nobody had done it before and so nobody could envision doing it differently, but now we wouldn’t read our ancient Egyptian texts any other way.  Similarly at the time of William Shakespeare, nobody gave a toss about fixed spelling (Bill spelt his name in several different ways) but these days we’re always getting ourselves worked up about kids using text speak instead of proper English.

Obviously we’ve had a lot of chat about the digital revolution on this blog, what with the Great Kindle Challenge and asking almost all interviewees for their thoughts on eBooks and such.  But what is the next evolutionary step in reading experience?  I’m glad you asked.

Continue reading “Foreshadows: Changing the way we read”

August Thanks

Today is the last day of August and therefore it feels like time for a progress report.

I have just over 15,000 words of book 8 written in a delightful stream of consciousness that makes no sense whatsoever; a situation unlikely to be improved by the fact I have a full day of work ahead of me and guests staying in the flat for a few days who it would be churlish to ignore. 

I’ve been writing in first person from the point of view of several characters, and accidentally switching tenses all over the shop.  This will almost certainly make for a narrative that feels immediate and tense and worthy of all manner of high praise…  That or when I go back to it I’ll be so confused and irritated I’ll consign the whole lot to the recycle bin and try to forget it ever happened.  I considered posting an extract by way of example, but to give you a proper sense of the nonsense it’d need to be 1k +, which seems inappropriately long for a blog post.

I have mostly been writing on my laptop, which has been the case with the bulk of the project, although I did actually scribble quite a few notes by hand this month (how retro) and I also typed out a few sections on my phone in queues at the Book Festival.  To the untrained eye, I was the only loser who was playing on my phone instead of reading a book.  Little did the general public know that in a couple of years they’ll be picking up the very book I was writing on my phone from the festival book shop!  Muahahaha, etc.  Except they really won’t.  I can’t see book eight being my debut – not unless there is some kind of drastic book shortage that necessitates the publication of things that need so much re-writing it makes your eyes water. 

By way of research (it’s scifi this month, by the by) I have read half of The Jennifer Morgue by Charles Stross and the first chapter of Neuromancer by William Gibson.  Oh yes, I am that prolific a reader these days.  It turns out having a vast pile of recommended books did not translate into having time to look at them all – who saw that coming, after my amazing track record?!  The only book I’ve finished this month is The Moth Diaries by Rachel Klein, which is a good story but doesn’t have much bearing on genre fiction.  Not this genre, anyway.

Naturally I am disinclined to take responsibility for my own actions and therefore lay the blame for this appalling lack of reading squarely at the feet of festival season.  To be fair the festival has been very distracting, although it has also been amazing in terms of making blog posts more diverse.  In fact I would like to thank Andrew BlairEmily Dodd, Ruth Dawkins, Harry Giles, Bethany Anderson and Mara from Toto Tales for their excellent guest posts; Amanda Palmer, Rod Jones and Andy Stanton for letting me interview them; and the Edinburgh International Book Festival for having me along to an amazing range of literary events over the past couple of weeks.  All of you have made things a lot more colourful around here, and generally helped to set a blogging precedent I am unlikely to maintain.

Which is nice.

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