Patrick G Cox

Future Food

Ever wonder what we could do to replace our present rather cruel provision for supplying meat for our ever growing populations? In order to produce 'cheap' meat for the supermarkets, we currently use industrial style farming in which pigs, chickens and other animals are born in pens, grow up in pens, and are taken from those pens to the slaughterhouse. Given what we now know about animal intelligence, how they experience pain, emotions - all the things we experience - there is a growing awareness that we have to find ways to do this more humanely.

Creating Aliens ...

I expect it is a challenge every Science Fiction author faces. Let's face it, if you are writing about interstellar travel, you are, at some point, going to have to meet alien life forms. It is extremely unlikely they/it will look anything like we do. Why? Put simply, because "life" tends to adapt to a range of things such as the environment it inhabits, the available food sources, the kind of atmosphere it lives in (and water is an atmosphere ...), the gravitational field of the planet, and even the radiation it must live with emitted by the local sun. If you think about it, you rapidly realise that this raises a number of challenges when you expect humans to interact with it.

Exploring Audio

Very excited to be exploring creating Audio Book versions of the Harry Heron series. This is a project I have wanted to explore for some time now, and think I have finally got something that will make it possible. I am very pleased with this sample clip from Harry Heron: Into the Unknown is produced by Abbey Sound in the UK, and voiced by Lee Beddow, the owner and producer. I am looking forward now to getting this project started and working with Lee and my Publisher, IndieGo Publishing to get it done.

Fiction Driving Innovation?

I read some time ago an article which suggested that science fiction was an essential driver in moving science forward in practical ways. The writer of that pointed to the "communicators" envisioned in Star Trek as a prime example, suggesting that the original concept provided the kernel of the idea that grew into mobile phones. I suspect that can be argued several ways, but it is certainly true that as one looks back at some of the classic scifi, there is a lot to suggest there is something in the idea. I can think of several references in the writing of Heinlein or Asimov that have real examples in everyday use today. Some, of course, like Heilein's "Thorsen Tubes" - programmable "tubes" which provided the memory for his automated machines - have their equivalent in today's solid state hard drives and USB Sticks. Artificial Intelligence, a dream twnety years ago, still very basic in application ten years ago, is now used in quite a large number of applications, though it still isn't quite up to the level of HAL 9000 in the classic scifi movie 2001: A Space Odessey.

Very Encouraging

A very nice response to the release of Harry Heron: Savage Fugitive!

Sales in the week since it was released have been very good, and best of all, I am starting to see revived sales in the earlier books thanks to readers who have enjoyed this one and gone looking for the others. As an author it is a really good feeling to know that people are reading and enjoying your books. For those that haven't encountered the Harry Heron series, they are:

Harry Heron: Savage Fugitive Released!

Book 4 of the Harry Heron Adventure series is now on sale. Harry Heron: Savage Fugitive is available from Kindle and as a paperback through most bookstores via the Ingram/Bowker networks. As the author it is naturally exciting to see sales gathering pace and I think my readers will not be disappointed. Getting a book published is a complex, sometimes trying, project. As the author I produce what I hope is a good story and a reasonable manuscript, which then goes to the Publisher. In my case, INDIEGO PUBLISHING LLC, and the editor, Janet Angelo.

Good Feedback

Authors need good feedback if they are to sharpen their storytelling skills. You can't do it if all you hear is your own voice, or that of someone close who will tell you what you want to hear. My latest book has proved this to me several times. As you would expect, when an author sends the finished manuscript of a book to the publisher, he/she thinks it is just about perfect. The story makes sense to you, you think you've covered all the plot holes, you think you've picked up and tied off all the loose threads. Then your editor gets hold of it ...

Dystopian Stories - Self-fulfilling Prophecies?

Reading an article on one of the several 'feeds' I follow for interesting news, ideas and so on, I came across one that certainly got me thinking. Entitled "What Teen Dystopian Novels Can Tell Us about the Future" it discusses how the genre projects a very bleak image of any future society. It hit a number of points I regularly consider, and reminded me that in my early 'teens and twenties I was also an avid reader of some of the authors and novels she mentions. The scary thing is that, like Orwell's famous "1984" they project futures which are all too plausible. Worse, the ideas within them have slowly entered our lives and our societies.

Step by Step ...

I think that many readers have the impression that an author "writes" the book, the editor checks the grammar, typos and so on, and the publisher does the layouts, conversions (for eBooks) and so on, an artist perhaps creates the cover, and that's it, the book goes to the printing and ... I'm afraid it doesn't quite work like that. 

Beta Readers and their feedback

I have just received the feedback from some of my Beta Readers on Harry Heron; Savage Fugitive and I must say I am pleased with their responses. As you would expect there is some criticism, but there is a lot more that is positive, so now the book can move forward. I have to make a few small adjustments to the story to take on board the criticisms, but in the main, the consensus is they enjoyed it, and loved the characters. As an author you really can't ask for much more!

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