Showing posts from May, 2021

Writing a "Fix-Up" Novel

     My upcoming project, The Gallowrat is going to be what is called “a fix-up” novel. This was a technique pioneered by Canadian expatriate science fiction writer A. E. Van Vogt in the 1950s – with his book “The Weapon Shops of Isher.”      Considered one of the stalwarts of the Golden Age of Science Fiction, Van Vogt’s was hugely influential in the field. His story, “Black Destroyer” is considered progenitor of Alien and any of a number of SF movies featuring an interstellar monster that treats the human spaceship it's riding in as its personal hunting grounds.      As a close friend and intellectual sparring partner of fellow writer, L. Ron Hubbard, Van Vogt was pulled into the emerging world of dianetics, before it became scientology. Managing a dianetics centre in the 50s took up so much of his time and energy that his own writing production dwindled.      But being a very smart guy, he recognized the strength of his approach to writing. Van Vogt had an unusual kinetic sty

The Avenging Glory Name Game

  I’ve been talking a lot lately about the influence of popular culture (especially music) on the Avenging Glory diptych. For two thirds of the diptych, the title character, Glory,   is only able to speak in song (and advertising slogans). This is explained here. I wanted to use popular songs as the source for her dialogue, but the need to avoid copyright infringement resulted in my having to rewrite all the lyrics. I did my best to make sure those lyrics were reminiscent enough about the songs that inspired them that readers would be able to identify them. In a few cases, it should be easy. But mostly, it will be hard, but FUN – at least for anybody with a musical trivia bent who is tired of Sudoku and Crossword puzzles. Sort of musical acrostics – but without the strict conventions and the hidden quote at the end. To give you an idea of what I’m talking about, I came up with a promo idea…a sort of singing review of my book. It’s a rave review (of course!) The first person to te

The Hazards of Homage

On Saturday, May 15th I will be a guest on Ahkil Chawli’s Majestic Mutt podcast in which successful individuals with atypical backgrounds show why everyone is a Majestic Mutt. Recent guests have included Canadian Astronaut Dr. Dave Williams, accountant and comedian Neha Kohli, and physician/Wellness Coach Dr. Mashall Khan, I was thinking about talking points for the show and realised that there is a HUGE aspect of my work in progress – which is the second half of the diptych that began with my novel, The Human Template – that I have yet to publicly broach. On the surface, it very much goes against the grain of public opinion. Writers, more so than most in the art world, have long been obsessed with plagiarism and the laws that protect us from the spectre of having our work stolen: copyright laws. Certainly, computers and the changing way we read – or enjoy any kind of entertainment – has shifted dramatically over the past 25 years. It is easier than ever for unscrupulous people