Tag Archive: science fiction novel


the-next-big-thing1Thanks to the kindly C.B. McCullough (still not sure if a distant relation!) Pan Spectrum Analyzer has been nominated for a blog-hop: The Next Big Thing.  I’m a bit too humble for my own good, so writing something like this feels rather weird to me, but here we go.

What is the title of your book?

And we’re off to the hard questions already.  It actually doesn’t have a name yet, so I’ve been forced to resort to “Pan Spectrum Analyzer” or just PSA to tag it.  Its not even really finished, but it is kinda. I have no idea what it might finally be called.

What is the genre of your book?

Considering the specification of what science fiction is, I’ll have to say Sci-Fi, as the novel itself isn’t based on a scientific notion. It is slathered with science-fiction tropes though, with nods of space opera through and through.

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My short e-book “The Unorthodox Eater” is now available on Smashwords and its affiliates for the incredibly low price of zero, zilch, zip, nada to celebrate its six month riding the interwebs.  Not sure how long it will stay at this price, could be over in a week, could be permanent, but if you’d like to get it for the most painless price, I’d grab it while you can.

What is it? Basically, three short stories about a guy – Phileas McNeil – who wants to eat one of everything, but may have met his match – the Ullyean Shrimp. Semi-humourous, semi-philosophical, its really what happens when a writer needs to write something to change the pace of his life.

Reviews? Well, no one has said anything bad about it. You could be the first! 🙂 Reviews welcome.

TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 7TH - 2011 - For story on 'Picky Eaters'.

Phileas McNeil started his quest young…

Image: Andrew Tolson for Macleans magazine article, “Picky Eaters”

Karyss_Prologue

Karyss aboard the Hegemony ship, Respondent.

I’ve posted a lot about my science fiction novel in progress. I’ve talked about the illustrations I’ve done for it and plastered them across this site. I’ve blabbed about the processes I’ve used to get my head in its reality. I’ve mentioned the spacecraft and its denizens, and blah blah blah…  but I’ve never actually shown anything from its pages.  I guess its about time, eh?

Like all things, there are reasons for that.  Creative types can be insecure about their work, especially their “favourite child.” But a protective father needs to let their sweetheart out of the house to live her own life, so here we go.


Pan Spectrum Analyzer (working title)

“We all aspire to take upon ourselves a Great Journey, but only a few of us ever do.”

Prologue

Mbali Sector, deep space, T + 65 days (Starship Sequential/Chronological Time)

“Collision imminent!”

Karyss was only dimly aware of the vacc-suit’s alarm klaxons insistently sounding off, somewhere deep under layers of her ragged, forced breathing. The shrieking rush of blood in her ears was far clearer than the proximity warnings and victimized screams leaping from the comms. Too much was happening, too fast to follow. Overwhelming. Soul crushing. She needed to focus and figure out what was important.

“Collision imminent!”

Deep breath, girl, deep breath. She clawed air into her lungs, bringing brief clarity. She shrugged around in the stiff vacc-suit, glancing around as much as she could, snatching glimpses that brought her situation into an even starker reality.

Incandescence surrounded her – the dying breaths of a hundred spacecraft exhaled as violent flowers of burning vapour miraculously blooming from their hulks: volatile gas spilled from shattered starships shocked to ignition by radiant, prismatic showers of sparks. They rapidly boiled away into the void, eerily silent, their passage illuminating skeletal wrecks, scattered bodies of crew, faint zig-zag plumes of lifeboat burn motors; the embers of a once proud navy.

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Coming back to my Science Fiction novel “PSA” after a solid two months away from it resulted in what I can only term as “culture shock”, something I have to admit I’ve never really experienced within my own work. I’m as much as a SF, Fantasy and horror child as you can get: I’ve been steeped in these genres nearly all my life, marinating in their ideas, methods, styles and terminology for aeyonks.  I’m comfortable flitting from one genre to another, spinning ideas into yarns at the drop of a hat. Many times during my tenure as a video-game writer/content-developer saw me writing proposals, short stories and other material for wildly different styles of games within the same day, shifting gears in type of game, genre and concept, without batting an eyelid. But these were mere dalliances, passing from one concept to another as if they were hors d’oeuvres to be sampled without getting the full flavour. However, coming from a deep writing experience at the novel level in the Fantasy genre and shifting to a similar experience in Science Fiction made me balk at jumping straight back in. I was, quite frankly, out of my depth – at least at first blush.

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Content-Immersion psychosis is a growing problem amongst authors.
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