Tag Archives: sf

Official cover for Catalyst

The end–or the beginning– is in sight! This is the official cover of my new SF Thriller, Catalyst.

The year is 2046.

Mutations and MIDS ravage the planet, and the need for body parts and organ transplants escalate. Corbin has created GenOrg, a farm that speed-grows in coffin-like pods thousands of human clones from stolen DNA. One problem: the clones are sentient—their genetic memory has even given them the ability to communicate between themselves.

Ashar, a self-named clone, escapes GenOrg, promising to return to free the others. Running for his life, he is joined by Sara Logan, a geneticist with a guilty secret, and Pietr Ludov, a reporter seeking the ultimate story. They hatch out a plan to bring down Corbin, but it’s not enough for Ashar: he wants the clones free. Struggling with his own genetic identity, Ashar devises his own plan, which will unleash a series of events that will have repercussions for decades.

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Proofreading Catalyst

A rough sample of the Catalyst Cover

The final edits are done. The picture cover has been designed by Bob Hobbs. All that’s left to do is the cover setup (the font will hopefully change), the formatting of the book itself, and the final proofreading.

The proofreading is tough. Even though I’m pleased with the story and believe it’s well crafted, by now I’ve read the darn thing at least five times in the space of a few months and, frankly, I’m a bit sick of it.

Soon I’ll have to read it again, and this time it’s a different way of reading. This type of reading is at the same time mindless and extremely focused.

It’s mindless because you can’t afford to read the story. Reading for the story is a different mode of reading. If you’re a moderately fast reader, like I am, you read ahead and anticipate the words. Even though you read the words, your brain doesn’t “see” them; it sees the story, the characters, the action, the setting. The words –if the story is well written– weave a picture, a mental movie of what’s going on. Even in a literary work, this vision building is the goal of writing.

With proofreading, you must focus on every word. Forget the computer’s spell checker. You are the spell checker. You must look at every word and make sure each is spelled and used correctly. It becomes a witch hunt for any spelling mistakes and false friends like “it’s” and “its”, “they’re” and “their” and “there”, “who’s” and “whose”, etc. Every word is scrutinized. If you fall into the trap of beginning to read the story, you have to back up and start over.

Granted, at this point there shouldn’t be too many spelling mistakes, which makes it even more arduous because, let’s face it, reading words for the sake of words is tedious.

And as a writer, when I get to that point, I must fight the compulsion to fiddle with the words one last time before it’s too late. This is a bad idea for two reasons: first, because major changes at that point can greatly delay the publication of the book and second, because there are chances that I’ll make things worse. The story is completed. Let it be.

And very soon, I’ll be holding a copy in my hands. Can’t wait.

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Fiction Friday >> Don’t breathe

[Fiction] Friday

“When Gregor Samsa woke up one morning from unsettling dreams, he found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous vermin.” What has your character turned into?

I woke up, moving from sleeping to wide awake in a fraction of a second. I didn’t, however, open my eyes. I admit it, I was afraid. Afraid? No, scared shitless. Every day of my life has been like that, as long as I can remember. Even as a child, every time I awoke, it was to full consciousness in a blink, then that terror would swamp over me and keep my eyes tightly shut for as long as I could.

But it was never very long. With terror would come curiosity, a curiosity so overwhelming I had, simply had to open my eyes. And see who I had become while I was sleeping.

Today was no exception. Sweat poured over my body but I had to open my eyes. So I did. I was prepared. After all this time, I’ve been prepared for every eventuality. I’ve transformed into any type of animal I could think of, and each of them has a different need. Try to become an elephant in a two-bedroom apartment. I now live on the ground floor.

I opened my eyes and stared in horror as I started to choke. There was one eventuality I hadn’t expected, hadn’t planned for. As I watched sunlight dance on my scales, air entered my gills, and I began to die.

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Hugo Nominations

From the Anticipation Website. Congratulations to everyone, but especially to our own Cory Doctorow.

Nominations

A total of 799 nomination ballots were cast and the nominees are:

Best Novel
(639 Ballots / Bulletins)

Best Novella
(337 Ballots / Bulletins)

  • “The Erdmann Nexus” by Nancy Kress (Asimov’s Oct/Nov 2008)
  • “The Political Prisoner” by Charles Coleman Finlay (F&SF Aug 2008) – Read Online
  • “The Tear” by Ian McDonald (Galactic Empires)
  • “True Names” by Benjamin Rosenbaum & Cory Doctorow (Fast Forward 2) — Free download
  • “Truth” by Robert Reed (Asimov’s Oct/Nov 2008)

Best Novelette
(373 Ballots / Bulletins)

  • “Alastair Baffle’s Emporium of Wonders” by Mike Resnick (Asimov’s Jan 2008) — Read Online
  • “The Gambler” by Paolo Bacigalupi (Fast Forward 2) — Read Online
  • “Pride and Prometheus” by John Kessel (F&SF Jan 2008)
  • “The Ray-Gun: A Love Story” by James Alan Gardner (Asimov’s Feb 2008) — Read Online
  • “Shoggoths in Bloom” by Elizabeth Bear (Asimov’s Mar 2008) — Read Online

Best Short Story
(448 Ballots / Bulletins)

  • “26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss” by Kij Johnson (Asimov’s Jul 2008) — Read Online
  • “Article of Faith” by Mike Resnick (Baen’s Universe Oct 2008)
  • “Evil Robot Monkey” by Mary Robinette Kowal (The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction, Volume Two)
  • “Exhalation” by Ted Chiang (Eclipse Two)
  • “From Babel’s Fall’n Glory We Fled” by Michael Swanwick (Asimov’s Feb 2008)

Best Related Book
(263 Ballots / Bulletins)

Best Graphic Story
(212 Ballots / Bulletins)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form
(436 Ballots / Bulletins)

  • The Dark Knight Christopher Nolan & David S. Goyer, story; Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan, screenplay; based on characters created by Bob Kane; Christopher Nolan, director (Warner Brothers)
  • Hellboy II: The Golden Army Guillermo del Toro & Mike Mignola, story; Guillermo del Toro, screenplay; based on the comic by Mike Mignola; Guillermo del Toro, director (Dark Horse, Universal)
  • Iron Man Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby and Art Marcum & Matt Holloway, screenplay; based on characters created by Stan Lee & Don Heck & Larry Lieber & Jack Kirby; Jon Favreau, director (Paramount, Marvel Studios)
  • METAtropolis by John Scalzi, ed. Written by: Elizabeth Bear, Jay Lake, Tobias Buckell and Karl Schroeder (Audible Inc)
  • WALL-E Andrew Stanton & Pete Docter, story; Andrew Stanton & Jim Reardon, screenplay; Andrew Stanton, director (Pixar/Walt Disney)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form
(336 Ballots / Bulletins)

  • “The Constant” (Lost) Carlton Cuse & Damon Lindelof, writers; Jack Bender, director (Bad Robot, ABC studios)
  • Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog Joss Whedon, & Zack Whedon, & Jed Whedon & Maurissa Tancharoen , writers; Joss Whedon, director (Mutant Enemy)
  • “Revelations” (Battlestar Galactica) Bradley Thompson & David Weddle, writers; Michael Rymer, director (NBC Universal)
  • “Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead” (Doctor Who) Steven Moffat, writer; Euros Lyn, director (BBC Wales)
  • “Turn Left” (Doctor Who) Russell T. Davies, writer; Graeme Harper, director (BBC Wales)

Best Editor, Short Form
(377 Ballots / Bulletins)

  • Ellen Datlow
  • Stanley Schmidt
  • Jonathan Strahan
  • Gordon Van Gelder
  • Sheila Williams

Best Editor, Long Form
(273 Ballots / Bulletins)

  • Lou Anders
  • Ginjer Buchanan
  • David G. Hartwell
  • Beth Meacham
  • Patrick Nielsen Hayden

Best Professional Artist
(334 Ballots / Bulletins)

  • Daniel Dos Santos
  • Bob Eggleton
  • Donato Giancola
  • John Picacio
  • Shaun Tan

Best Semiprozine
(283 Ballots / Bulletins)

  • Clarkesworld Magazine edited by Neil Clarke, Nick Mamatas & Sean Wallace
  • Interzone edited by Andy Cox
  • Locus edited by Charles N. Brown, Kirsten Gong-Wong, & Liza Groen Trombi
  • The New York Review of Science Fiction edited by Kathryn Cramer, Kris Dikeman, David G. Hartwell, & Kevin J. Maroney
  • Weird Tales edited by Ann VanderMeer & Stephen H. Segal

Best Fanzine
(257 Ballots / Bulletins)

  • Argentus edited by Steven H Silver
  • Banana Wings edited by Claire Brialey and Mark Plummer
  • Challenger edited by Guy H. Lillian III
  • The Drink Tank edited by Chris Garcia
  • Electric Velocipede edited by John Klima
  • File 770 edited by Mike Glyer

Best Fan Writer
(291 Ballots / Bulletins)

  • Chris Garcia
  • John Hertz
  • Dave Langford
  • Cheryl Morgan
  • Steven H Silver

Best Fan Artist
(187 Ballots / Bulletins)

  • Alan F. Beck
  • Brad W. Foster
  • Sue Mason
  • Taral Wayne
  • Frank Wu

The John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer
(288 Ballots / Bulletins)

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