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Thread: Short Stories

  1. #16
    Neal Asher nealasher's Avatar
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    Asimov's Science Fiction.



    Here's some of the blurb from the Asimov's Science Fiction site for the June issue of the magazine. I've yet to see the cover with it's picture of a gabbleduck, but certainly I'll post it here the moment it appears!

    Popular and prolific British writer Neal Asher gives us a ringside seat for a fast-paced, suspenseful, and violent game of intrigue, double-cross, and double-double-cross, as a hunt for a stolen alien artifact of immense value forces a former agent out of retirement and into a tense chase across interstellar space into hostile landscapes where wiser humans would never dare to venture, with life or death hanging in the balance at every turn, for some hard lessons in “Alien Archeology.” This one is a full-blown, flat-out, unabashed Space Opera, and a thriller of the first water, so don’t miss it!

    http://www.asimovs.com/_issue_0704/nextissue.shtml

  2. #17
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    There is now an extended excerpt of the story at the Asimov's Web site:

    http://www.asimovs.com/_issue_0706/Alien.shtml

    The story itself is very good, does not have essentially new things for people who read all the Polity novels to date, but is a fast paced adventure and a good introduction to both the Polity and Neal Asher's writing style.

    All the essential Polity/Prador/Atheter/Jain backstory to enjoy the novella is supplied very concisely and cleverly, so I would recommend this one both as a starting point to discover Mr. Asher's wonderful books and a great side story in the Polity saga for the veteran Polity readers.

    Read the excerpt and if you like it, get Asimov's for the conclusion (for people outside US you can get it cheaply and instantaneously electronically at Fictionwise.com), and of course get the Polity novels if you have not read them yet.

  3. #18
    James Baron Gedin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nealasher View Post
    Here's some of the blurb from the Asimov's Science Fiction site for the June issue of the magazine. I've yet to see the cover with it's picture of a gabbleduck, but certainly I'll post it here the moment it appears!
    Hi Neal,

    I just finished reading the Alien Archaeology story this morning while riding the bus. I have read all three Gabbleduck short stories in Asimov’s (I have had a subscription for several years).

    I was wondering if Rho Var Olssen has appeared in any other of your short stories or novels. I enjoyed reading from his POV and it sounds like he has quite the history as a Polity hatchet man.

    As for Gabbleducks, which of your novels would you recommend I read first in order to get another Gabble fix?

    Thanks,
    Gedin

  4. #19
    Neal Asher nealasher's Avatar
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    Hello Gedin,

    No, Rho hasn't appeared in any other stories.

    Gabbleducks first put in an appearance in The Line of Polity, and then make brief appearances in the books that follow it. Of course, if you want to read LOP you might want to get the book before it in the Cormac series: Gridlinked.

    Some day I'll do a whole book about gabbleducks...

  5. #20
    James Baron Gedin's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by nealasher View Post
    Some day I'll do a whole book about gabbleducks...
    You should. I think you have created a fascinating, mysterious species in the gabbleducks. You also left a lot of loose, tantalizing threads at the end of the Alien Archaeology story. Like what the **** was that glowing, ripply mountain peak-like thingy that appeared in the bubble!?!?

    You could even have the book include Rho and his resurrected (or is it?) gabbleduck companion. That might be a good starting point for the story. Just a thought...

  6. #21
    Neal Asher nealasher's Avatar
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    Funny, because I finished the first draft of Line War tonight, I was thinking about what to do next and a gabbleduck book was on my mind. I think if I do that my POV character will probably be Fethan from The Line of Polity.

  7. #22
    James Baron Gedin's Avatar
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    Lightbulb

    Quote Originally Posted by nealasher View Post
    Funny, because I finished the first draft of Line War tonight, I was thinking about what to do next and a gabbleduck book was on my mind. I think if I do that my POV character will probably be Fethan from The Line of Polity.
    I think there is nothing quite like the sense of accomplishment and joy of finishing the first draft of a story or novel. It’s right up there with making your final car payment.

    I guess the question is what kind of feedback have you received for the gabbleduck stories? Obviously it must be positive enough for Asimov’s to buy three stories on the subject. The challenge I would think is how dramatically you would affect your universe with a novel length story on them.

    Considering what you have set up at the end of your most recent short story, I can think of a two possible outcomes off the top of my head:

    1) The gabbleducks (the Atheter)—all one million strong—achieve sentience and thus have a tremendous impact on the political/economic/technological/social structure of your universe. Plunging your universe into a new intergalactic war as one example.

    (Would the Polity and the Prador unite to fight a common threat?)

    2) Only one or a couple of Atheter achieve sentience but somehow are thwarted by the protagonist from resurrecting the rest of their brethren, thus keeping your universe "stable" for future stories.

  8. #23
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    I'm still waiting for more short stories about The Owner.

    As an aside, Neal, how much does that cover picture from Asimov's (congrats, btw!) reflect your personal image of a gabbleduck?

    Hobbit
    Mark

  9. #24
    Neal Asher nealasher's Avatar
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    Gedin, I'll start throwing ideas about when I come to writing the book. I'll detail everything that's appeared in other books and short stories and probably aim for the kind of weirdness found in Piers Anthony's Of Man and Manta.

    Hobbit, no, my personal image, as I've said before, is something like a cross between Buddha and an evil Daffy Duck with an array of spider eyes. Larger bill, more of a domed head, bearish body and shorter back legs more like those of a bear or some such.

  10. #25
    James Baron Gedin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nealasher View Post
    Gedin, I'll start throwing ideas about when I come to writing the book. I'll detail everything that's appeared in other books and short stories and probably aim for the kind of weirdness found in Piers Anthony's Of Man and Manta.
    You mean detailing it for yourself? Like creating a codex in order not to violate the integrity/continuity of your universe? Good idea. With every new book and story, you are adding another layer of complexity to your universe. I know I have challenges just trying to keep my world consistent in a single book!

  11. #26
    Neal Asher nealasher's Avatar
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    Believe me, when you're on book nine and over a million words in, it gets worse.

  12. #27
    James Baron Gedin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nealasher View Post
    Believe me, when you're on book nine and over a million words in, it gets worse.
    Hmmm...I'm only planning five. A quadrilogy plus a book of short stories that take place in the same "universe" after the events the first four novels.

    So how long on average does it take you to write a novel, from outline to finished product?

  13. #28
    James Baron Gedin's Avatar
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    Ha. I was just reading one of your interviews and there was the answer:

    SFC: Roughly how long does it take for you to write a novel?


    NA: That's a difficult one to answer. I aim for 10,000 words a week. Some weeks I manage that. Others I don't. I'd guess at about six months to the first draft, then I spend a month editing (at one point, I actually read it backwards a paragraph at a time -- you don't get involved in the story that way and pick up mistakes easier).

    Then I get people to read it, correct the mistakes they pick up, make additions, subtractions... Maybe eight or nine months. Roughly. Very roughly. ‘Cowl’ was 125,000 words and ‘The Line Of Polity’ 175,000, so you can see there's some variation.

  14. #29
    James Baron Gedin's Avatar
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    Reading Gridlinked

    :: Gedin picks up a copy of Gridlinked and begins reading ::

    "The car shot up into the sky like a dustbin lid off a stick of dynamite."

    Hmmm….I might have to try that sometime.

    I’m 40 pages into it and it’s a good, fast-clipped read so far. You are making the villains sympathetic (non-one dimensional), at least in the case of John Stanton. Really good, loyal, intelligent henchmen are so hard to find these days…

    I’m looking forward to reading the rest.

  15. #30
    Neal Asher nealasher's Avatar
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    Escape Pod.

    Hey, check out Escape Pod and listen to Steve Ely reading my short story The Veteran.

    http://escapepod.org/2007/08/09/ep118-the-veteran/

    Seated on a bollard, the man contemplatively removed his pipe, as if to tamp it down or relight it. Instead, he placed it stem down in the top pocket of his shirt, then reached up and pressed his fingers against his cheekbone and forehead. His face came away from his hairline, round behind his ears, down to a point just above his Adam’s apple. The inside of his mouth and much of his sinus were also part of the prosthesis, so only bare eyeballs in the upper jut of his skull remained – the rest being the black spikes and plates of bio-interfaces.

    Very enjoyable -- they were suderdiles not superdiles, but I've no problem with that!

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