Patrick G Cox

SciFi; A Challenging Genre

Writers of science fiction face a number of challenges in the genre, not least because our scientific knowledge is expanding so rapidly. However, I think there are a number of other things a ScIFi author has to face as well. First is the possibly most basic aspect of the story; what sort of world is it set within? Here you have a wide range of possibles, from a completely alien world, through a fantasy one, into a 'future Earth', an 'Alternate Earth' and even a 'Past Earth' are all possibles. So are massive space station 'worlds' and even 'Space Ship Arks'. Having selected the type of world, one then faces the choice of what sort of society one is looking to build. A popular 'default' it seems is a sort of dystopia following a war, collapse of society due to a natural event or a pandemic. My choice is usually an extension (I'm an optimist!) of current political and cultural 'norms', often with an undercurrent of dissent and subversive activity.

An important aspect of creating a 'future' is 

Inspiration!

Inspiration is not always straightforward. Sometimes you get a really great idea, and .... it leads nowhere once you start developing it. At others, the idea simply takes on a life of its own and grows into a great story. There really is no way that I have been able to discover, which produces a winner each time. I'm not sure everyone has that problem, perhaps they do, and perhaps, they simply plough ahead and keep hammering at the idea until it does work.

Widening Distribution

I recently uploaded all my current titles to Publish Drive, a new e-book publisher and distributor. This means that all the books are now available through a much wider range of outlets than just Amazon and Kindle. All things being equal, they should now be popping up on Barnes and Noble, through Google Play and Google Plus, with iBooks and a range of others. All the titles are available in paperback and e-book formats, with paper versions being printed by Lightning Source and distribution through Ingram.

Juggling ...

This year seems to be racing for me. It is one of those years, when a lot of things have come together and need attention, so the things I enjoy doing, like sitting at my keyboard and writing, have suffered. This blog is one victim! Current tasks in hand include going over the edits for Harry Heron: Savage Fugitive, Book 4 in the Harry Heron series, which is now on track for publication end of June, early July. Thankfully it has not been a victim of the small disaster (I think every author's nightmare ...) of a laptop that refused to complete it's boot process for the last week.

The Challenges of writing SciFi ...

Writing SciFi presents a number of challenges these days, not least the speed of technological advance! When I first started writing seriously in this genre (now almost eighteen years ago), personal computers, were only just established as everyone's indispensable aid, mobile phones were just that, a phone using wireless technology, and "palm pilots" were a novelty. Tablets were still in the future, and pocket sized CD Players were still the way to carry music about. Within a very short time of my starting to write about ships managed and run by AI computer systems, almost all of that had changed.

Harry Heron; Savage Fugitive

Work on the final draft manuscript of Harry Heron; Savage Fugitive is taking shape. The story is now complete, and the manuscript is currently being overhauled to cut out the 'fat' and shake out any inconsistencies. My publisher plans to start work on the publisher's editing and internal design in March. All being well, we hope to see the book published in August or September.

Published at last!

Harry Heron: No Quarter is published at last! It has been a marathon haul, but I think the end product justifies the effort. What a job it has proved to be, and who would have thought a couple of hurricanes could have their own impact, but then the natural world has it's impact on everything. So, here we are, available at last, and just in time for Christmas, in paperback and on Kindle, Harry, Ferghal and their friends embark on a new set of adventures and sow not a little mayhem in their wakes.

The next Harry Heron

The next book in the Harry Heron series is now being given the editing, checking and correcting treatment. Harry Heron; No Quarter is scheduled for publication in July 2017 and I, as author, am looking forward to seeing it "out there" and on sale. There is a lot still to do, and no doubt some rewrites and changes will emerge from the editing process, but, as a taster, here is the cover ready for the Ingram catalogue ...

Reviews and Reviewers

Sometimes you run across a reviewer who really hates the story you've woven around a character. Fine, that is their prerogative, but when they then attack you personally, and go one step further and post their review on a number of websites to make sure they complete the trashing of your work, it does get under the skin. This is what has happened with my lates book, Magnus Patricius: The remarkable life of Saint Patrick, the manIt is particularly frustrating as, in creating this story, I went to considerable lengths to research the background and St Patrick himself.  It is writing as a fictional biography, in which I have used in the first person with the saint himself telling the story. One of the early Beta Readers was a Bishop, himself Irish and an expert on Patrick, and he loved the story. So, to be attacked by someone living in Texas, for daring to challenge her received 'expert' knowledge came as a surprise. So, perhaps, it is worth setting out how the book came into being.

Published - Magnus Patricius

Today is the day. Magnus Patricius - The remarkable life of St Patrick, the man, has been uploaded to Lightning Source by my publisher, IndieGo Publishing LLC. It should appear on Amazon's site within the next few days, and when it does I will put links to it here. This has been a long, long haul. I began to write this book in 2006. Since then it has had two 'developmental' assessments, and three complete rewrites. I wanted this book to be as good as I could make it, and now it is through the final edits. It has been typeset, the files converted to the print and eBook formats, and it is ready to go.

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