Friday, November 28, 2008

Helix - Avoided

I just bought Helix by Eric Brown, today based on the description on the back of the book.

This was going to be about travel through space, and a way to survive a ship malfunction in the middle of nowhere, near a strange spiral formation of planets, with some alien encounters along the way.

Or so it led me to believe.

On the book it talks about how "great" Eric Brown is, and I went against my feelings that that was a bad sign. Also, I didn't recognize the names of the authors who blurbed the book, which I should have taken as another warning but didn't.

In the first few pages I start running across writer cliches, but I still read on since even good writers fall into the trap now and then. Then I find that he has no sense of letting a reader figure things out for themselves, which is really annoying, and smacks of an amateur who never learned to show and not tell. And then I encountered his dialogue that is so contrived, it makes George Lucas look like Shakespeare.

And now 90 pages into the book the only thing about the story I was interested in, has been effectively dashed. And apparently we are going to be subjected to some aliens who act and think and have a society exactly like a parody of the middle ages mixed with the 1930's, except that they are furry and blue, and if I keep saying they are furry and blue, that's all you need to make an alien, right?

I feel cheated and betrayed.

This leads me to ask myself why I would spend the next 500 pages or so reading an author who needs to learn writing basics, when there are a lot better writers out there? And the answer is, I would rather be bored than have to slog my way through this awkward and clumsy book by a writer who I can't believe is actually published.

So, this is the first, and (thanks to all that is good) the last book I will ever read, or partially read, by Eric Brown.

I just hope the book store will take it back and refund my money. I would destroy the book to rid the world of an abomination, but that would mean Mr. Brown would get a royalty for my purchase, and I don't want to encourage him to keep on writing.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Anansi Boys

I read this like 2 weeks ago, maybe finished it about the 3rd or 4th. Anyway it's a really good book. Go read it.

Sunday, November 02, 2008


This year I've decided to do NaNoWriMo. You might ask what that is, and technically it stands for National Novel Writing Month, but the real definition is How To Drive Yourself Crazy For 30 Days.

The goal is to write 50,000 words in one month. That breaks down to about 1600 words a day. So far this is day two and I've barely written over a thousand.

Yes, I'm behind.

No, I'm not going to just write crap to fill a quota.

So why did I sign up to do something that I might not even finish?

I've been rewriting my other novel for about a year now and am almost to the end. I have about 75 pages to go. But I'm also burning out on it, and need a break.

I need to get my brain thinking new ideas and images. With a rewrite, you don't change much of what actually happens in a book, just make it clearer, and sound better to read.

And, I want to see if I can write 50,000 meaningful coherent words in one month.

And I'm crazy.

If you want to be crazy too, feel free to join!

Now playing: Tom Waits - Make It Rain
via FoxyTunes