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  1. #1
    Neal Asher nealasher's Avatar
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    The Voyage of the Sable Keech

    Here's the first review to turn up: http://greenmanreview.com/book/book_...ablekeech.html

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  3. #3
    Neal Asher nealasher's Avatar
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    Sable Keech Game

    Well, here's a bit of fun, you can play the Sable Keech game and also win copies of my books here: http://www.panmacmillan.com/sablekeech/

  4. #4
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    Just a quick 'heads-up'.

    My interview with Neal is HERE.

    As you might have guessed, Neal's not shy to say what he thinks!

    Hobbit
    Mark

  5. #5
    Neal Asher nealasher's Avatar
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    Nice one -- thanks for that.

  6. #6
    GemQuest Moderator Gary Wassner's Avatar
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    That was an interesting interview Neal. Thanks.

    I was struck by the fact that you too don't outline, post notes all over your desk or plan too much ahead. I write the same way. I love the spontaneity of it when things just happen. I would imagine though that it's harder when you write sci/fi than fantasy to just go with the flow. You need so much technological credibility.

    I was going home the other day and I had to laugh. I was getting off the train and I saw this man get off before I did. You know how sometimes things can look perfectly normal and then you turn around and look again and an entirely new perspective takes over, and the scene is totally altered? Well, this guy had a bluetooth phone sticking in his ear, a tiny receiver totally wireless, and it was flashing this intense blue on and off constantly. He moved as if it was a part of his body, and suddenly I had this vision of how far we have come and just how much technology we now take for granted that would have astounded us not too long ago. It must be hard to write sci/fi today when so much happens so fast, and when so much of what we only imagined years ago is not everywhere.

  7. #7
    Neal Asher nealasher's Avatar
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    Gary, I read an excellent book recently called Writing a Blockbuster Novel -- Albert Zuckerman. Loads of interesting and useful advice, except all the stuff about planning a novel. Yeah, maybe with more planning we could produce something a bit more solid, maybe we wouldn't have to do so much editing to make it work, but would it be fun? Would it buggery.

    Science fiction goes out of date faster than any other written form. Just think how many books the invention of the pc consigned to the bin. It's one I always go on about, but do you remember reading those old SF books in which the astrogator used a slide-rule? I imagine that my 'augs' will either go out-of-date in the next fifty years, or people will actually be using tech like that.

  8. #8
    GemQuest Moderator Gary Wassner's Avatar
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    I'm honestly not so interested in writing a blockbuster novel. It sounds so formulaic, and it most certainly would be buggery. I wouldn't mind, of course, if coincidentally one of my books became a blockbuster , but I have no real interest in sitting down with the intention of writing one. I love the process and I live for it. My love of it eclipsed my concern for the product years ago. Now I write freely and edit thoroughly. Before, I wrote freely and edited only when I had to.

  9. #9
    Neal Asher nealasher's Avatar
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    Gary, the book I mentioned is one of those that really has a crappy title, but for a writer a lot of the content is very interesting whether your purpose is writing a blockbuster or just writing.

    Here’s a couple of new reviews, one in the Guardian and one in SFX: http://books.guardian.co.uk/reviews/...717359,00.html
    http://www.sfx.co.uk/book_reviews/th...he_sable_keech

  10. #10
    GemQuest Moderator Gary Wassner's Avatar
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    I bet. And I just reread my post and it sounds idiotic to me now. What I meant to say is that I love to write, not that I have no interest in writing a blockbuster. That's like saying I don't want to win the lottery. The only difference is you can't win if you don't buy a ticket, and I'm not sure that I have the right kind of funds to buy that kind of ticket.

  11. #11
    Neal Asher nealasher's Avatar
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    I know what you meant and to it I'll reply, "Me too!" In the end if blockbusterdom and ridiculously bulging bank accounts were our aim, we would be writing aga-sagas or thrillers. Of course, that is not to say that we'd sneer at blockbusterdom and ridiculously bulging bank accounts, just that we're not prepared to write crap to achieve them.

  12. #12
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    Writers with standards? Whatever next?

    Anyway, with apologies for the slight delay, my review of Neal's Voyage of the Sable Keech is HERE.

    Enjoyed this one:

    (from the review) ....even though I enjoyed The Skinner, I am pleased to write that I enjoyed this more. It is a complicated book, yet one which gives Neal a chance to expand his writing strengths: his extensive use of new, bizarre and yet plausible wildlife, his gleeful use of technology (particularly weaponry) and (rather unusually for an SF writer, I think), his humour.

    Hobbit
    Mark

  13. #13
    Neal Asher nealasher's Avatar
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    Thanks for that, Mark. You've basically hit the nail on the head: I'm writing first and foremost to entertain. There's plenty of serious stuff in the book (Maybe the existential angst of immortals and a split-personality hive mind!), but if the reader doesn't find an escape for a little while and put it down afterwards thinking, "I enjoyed that!" then I'm not doing my job. Your comment about humour is also well-taken. I always feel that too many SF writers take themselves dreadfully seriously, failing to understand that the serious stuff they produce requires humour as a contrast. Cheers!

  14. #14
    BookWyrm Archren's Avatar
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    Neal, I see that Emerald City has also posted a review here.. I guess it's not as positive as one might ideally hope, but it gave me a good feel that I'll be wanting to pick it up and read it. I want to know what happens to Windcheater!

  15. #15
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    I guess that shows you how tastes can vary, Archren; reviews are, after all, just a person's opinion.

    And thanks, Neal. I had better mention that for what it's worth, I totally agree that there are complex themes in there - we talked about at least one of them in the interview, and the hive mind is always brain-bending for me! - which was why I said the plot was complex. Perhaps I should've given those examples too.

    Mark / Hobbit
    Mark

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