Now Zero – July, 2022

Deconstruction

I think the sirens in The Odyssey sang The Odyssey,
for there is nothing more seductive, more terrible,
than the story of our own life, the one we do not
want to hear and will do anything to listen to.

– Mary Ruefle

The Writing

I got my first bit of feedback on SYTI this past month, and it was very encouraging. This friend isn’t necessarily a reader of sci-fi books, but will read my work because she’s a great friend and super reliable (I think she’s maybe consistently been the first person to get back to me with feedback on every big project I send out). She was, however, a big fan of Anne Rice’s books when she was younger, and she seemed genuinely excited about my SF vampire novella, which is great, and helped me feel a little more excited again as I gear up for the next draft. Just waiting on further feedback from one or two more people – that way I can see if they have the same issues, or entirely different ones.

She wasn’t sure about the opening couple of chapters, and neither was I to be honest. Overhauling those could be a big job, but it’ll be worth it.

I mentioned Peter Watts’ Freeze-Frame Revolution last month and one thing Watts does is write additional stories in the universe of his novels and publish them on his website (sometimes directly, sometimes after they’ve been published in a magazine). I’d already planned to write a direct prequel story to SYTI, but this month I scratched out some notes on some other potential stories I could write in the world. There are always multiple projects I want to be working on, but I’m considering planning out the rest of the series SYTI belongs to…

Another thing I did this month was spend a few days collating all of my loose story and writing notes into Obsidian. There are countless notes programs out there, but I went with Obsidian mainly because it’s not cloud-based, subscription-based, or proprietary – it just sits on a bunch of text files that are formatted in Markdown and ties everything together neatly for you.

I’ve got a few projects where I have so many notes that I didn’t think it was worthwhile moving them into Obsidian – they’ll go into their own Word/Scrivener docs when I’m ready to start work.

Generally my way of making notes in the first place is to email them to myself – which is handy because you can do it from any device you’ve currently got your hands on, and if you’re trying to do it in bed, you can turn your phone brightness way down, instead of needing to turn on a light so you can write in a notepad. Having a folder in your email client for a project is a pretty good way to keep track of everything, but when it comes to loose ideas and random snippets, I needed something a bit more organised.

Nothing Here Newsletter

And all the rest

I found out the other day that a friend is taking over Interzone Magazine – Good luck, Gareth! I’m keen to see the magazine continue to grow and evolve, and I’m certain it’s in good hands because Gareth is a super knowledgeable, hard-working, and passionate sort. The interviews with SF authors he conducted for Intermultiversal were some of the best I’d read (and experienced, as I was one of his early test subjects), and the only downside I can see to Gareth running Interzone is that he won’t have time for the podcast too.

Alright, it’s been a big week, and I’m tired, so I’ll leave it here. Look after yourself, look out for those closest to you, and be prepared to throw bricks at cops for the sake of civil rights, human rights, and queer rights. Don’t let the bastards grind you down.