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Rocheworld Review

Rather than lamenting the decline of science fiction, we should probably spend time talking about how wonderful Rocheworld is, and why you should absolutely go find a copy as soon as possible. Granted, that may be a little difficult, because it's no longer in print. However, I was able to find a lightly used copy without much difficulty, so I imagine you can, too. Just be sure you look for the complete Rocheworld, and not one of the earlier versions, sometimes titled Flight of the Dragonfly. The book is from back in the days when many science fiction novels were published in short, serialized form in magazines, so Flight of the Dragonfly is about a hundred thousand words shorter than the complete Rocheworld.

Choosing Words

I’ve said it many times on the site: I have something of a love affair with the English language.  Where some people moan over homonyms and homophones, or grumble about synonyms and antonyms, or the fact that tenses are so erratic, to me they are features, not flaws.

Minor Treatises Reviews

I finally finished reading the collected works of Xenophon! It's true I don't use very many exclamation points, but considering that the first time I picked this up was more than five years ago, and finally sitting down and reading it took me almost a whole month, I think I'm allowed to make an exception to my own rule. Since I've already subjected you to a month and a half worth of Xenophon book reviews, I'm not going to include another overall review; that content will be included in this post, along with my reviews for the various minor treatises included in the Complete Works.

No More Ads

've gone through multiple thought iterations with regards to running advertisements on the site. Initially, I intended to set up a system where you could pay to download copies of my stories from the site. Then, I had the thought of setting it up so that advertisements interspersed in the stories could act like commercial breaks. I had all kinds of philosophical arguments against such an approach, since I would rather sell stories than personal data, but there were practical reasons that made that the course I chose for more than a year now.

Staging: Making Rockets and Stories More Effective

Other than indulging my penchant for expounding on space-related topics, and perhaps providing you with some insight into rocketry, I bring this discussion up because it informs a way I have been slowly coming to approach writing. I, probably like a lot of new writers, was approaching the writing of my stories like a single-stage-to-orbit. When I sat down to write, I had an expectation in my head that I would sit down and craft all of the components of a story in a single pass, and that revisions were mostly just for changing around wording and cleaning up typos. Which, it turns out, is really challenging to do, because stories are complicated.

Blood Magic S2:E7: Contaminant, Part Two Release

how much I struggled with the writing, and why that was.  I won’t rehash those difficulties here, but the result was that I was put far behind on my writing for this episode, barely even starting it before the month began.  Plus, part two proved to have its own difficulties, some related to the troubles with the first part, and some entirely original, which led me to even write August’s episode out of order (which you will read about when episode twenty goes live next month).  The short version of this post: Contaminant would really benefit from my new staging revisions methodology.

Memorabilia Review

We wrapped up the last of Xenophon's historical works last week; this week we get to move into his Socratic works, the first of which is Memorabilia. Xenophon wrote this piece as a posthumous defense of his mentor and friend, to exculpate him of the crimes of which he was accused, and to generally exhibit his good character. While Plato's Dialogues get the most attention, Socrates had many other students and inspired many others, including Xenophon, to record vignettes and other writings pertaining to him, and I actually find Xenophon's Socratic writings preferable to the more famous Plato's.

Trail to Keyboard

This is my main solution when I'm struggling with a story and not sure where it's going to go next or what to write for a new scene. Usually, by the time that I return from a ten mile run, I've not only determined how I will solve whatever problem I was originally struggling with; I've also determined what will fill the several chapters or sequences, and it's often better than what I would have come up with just by sitting down at the keyboard and stewing over the text. Nor is this necessarily restricted to stories and writing, as I've used the same technique to help me develop solutions to all kinds of problems and stresses and challenges in my life: intellectual, personal, and practical. But that's beyond the scope of this post.