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  1. #631
    Riyria Revelations Author sullivan_riyria's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pragmatist View Post
    Mr Sullivan: Apologies, I thought Sullivan was your first name and riyria was your surname. I looked you up, you can tell I don't do much reading. I didn't comment on your good advice with regard Goodreads. Thank you for that.
    Michael Sullivan is a VERY common name and I usually can't get it as a moniker. In fact there are five authors I know that go by that and two when you add the Michael J. Sullivan (people always confuse us, and in fact I can tell from the "cross-sales" feature of Amazon that "the other" Michael J. Sullivan has received a lot of sales of his book, Necessary Heartbreak, which has nothing to do with me.

    The fact that you don't know who I am, is more of an indication that I'm still just a lowly newbie trying to make my way...not some indication that you are not well read. I'm glad the goodreads advice was helpful.

    As for getting a rating and not a review -- that is very common on goodreads. The reviews will come...and sometimes it's worth asking the person if they would please write a few words since they seemed to like your book. Personally, I have 4,440 ratings and only 868 reviews, and that has taken me several years to obtain...it will come - just don't get discouraged and keep at it.

  2. #632
    pragmatist
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    [QUOTE=sullivan_riyria;675766]Michael Sullivan is a VERY common name and I usually can't get it as a moniker.

    Well, at least I wouldn't have that problem, I think I'm the only Steve Fellick on the face of the planet. I think there are only two Fellicks in Australia. There aren't many more in the UK.

    I didn't use my name on here as I didn't think it was the done thing to do, and I wasn't sure it was a good idea. However, as it's on Goodreads and Amazon it doesn't really matter. I put it on the new promotions section of this site earlier today.

    I did Blog on Goodreads about the rating, I didn't ask for some feedback, I just said it was disappointing there wasn't any, or words to that effect. I thought if he felt like making any comments he probably would if he saw it.

    It's good to know that ratings without comments is common on Goodreads. It looks like you're doing great for a "Lowly Newby". 4,440 ratings, wow. I'm absolutely subterranean with my 1.

    Sad to say, especially on a site like this one, I am truly very poorly read with regard fiction, and science fiction in particular. I've read 'War of the Worlds' and 'Rendezvous With Rama' and that's about it. And that was 35 years ago. I think I can hear the boos and hisses from here. I've heard of H.G. Wells, Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov, but that's about it. If I pick up a paperback to read on a beach it's usually crime fiction, although I couldn't name a crime author. Next time I take some time off I'll have a look at the sci-fi section.

    I hadn't thought about it but It's interesting, I wonder if it's common to enjoy writing but not reading?

    I have read quite a lot of supposed factual stuff about UFOs, alien visitation and abduction. I could name a few of those guys.

    Thanks for the encouragement.

  3. #633
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    Hobbit: I'm surprised at this change of heart, I hope all this extra thinking you've been doing isn't my fault. Although I suspect it might be.
    Thanks Steve. No, not really, is the honest answer. BUT we have discussed it at length for a while now, repeatedly and always in mind of what the site members want.

    We're going to try it: hopefully it'll work to the benefit of members and the site, which is all we really want.

    Mark
    Mark

  4. #634
    pragmatist
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    Thanks Mark, I'm glad I'm not solely responsible for the extra effort of all involved in the change of policy.

    I think it should work out well. If I look at it from the sci-fi readers side of the fence I would be very happy to see new authors or new titles from existing authors appear in a promotional section. I could miss a lot of good stuff just by being un-aware it's around.

    I'm guessing here, but I would think the veracious sci-fi reader would always be looking for new stuff to devour, and having a seperate promotional section on a site like this would be just what the doctor ordered.

    I think this is great for reader and author alike, and it helps with your tie up with Amazon.

    If people like what they find on there Amazon will be the next stop won't it.

    If they're not interested in looking at promotions it's easily avoided. And of course, buying anything they see in the promotional section isn't compulsory.

    All I have to do now is figure out how to transfer my cover image and link to Amazon from my memory stick to my promotion thread, I have been un-successful so far.

  5. #635
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    All I have to do now is figure out how to transfer my cover image and link to Amazon from my memory stick to my promotion thread, I have been un-successful so far.
    You need to upload your image through a website link: something like Image Shack (which is what I always use) should do. Upload your image there and then copy the link to your post.

    To add a link in the post, click on the globe/paper clip link that appears at the top of your edited post and then add the URL to the pop-up that appears.

    Should do the trick.

    Mark
    Mark

  6. #636
    Riyria Revelations Author sullivan_riyria's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pragmatist View Post
    It's good to know that ratings without comments is common on Goodreads. It looks like you're doing great for a "Lowly Newby". 4,440 ratings, wow. I'm absolutely subterranean with my 1.
    It takes time...and 4,000+ really isn't all that much when compared to others - Brent Weeks for instnace as 34,000+, Brandon Sanderson 106,000+.

    Quote Originally Posted by pragmatist View Post
    I hadn't thought about it but It's interesting, I wonder if it's common to enjoy writing but not reading?
    If you want to be a writer, you really do (imho) have to read. It is by reading other people's works that I discover what I like, and don't. I've spent a lot of time deconstructing author's works and for me at least it really helps my writing.

  7. #637
    pragmatist
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    You need to upload your image through a website link: something like Image Shack (which is what I always use) should do. Upload your image there and then copy the link to your post.

    To add a link in the post, click on the globe/paper clip link that appears at the top of your edited post and then add the URL to the pop-up that appears.
    I haven't figured out how to get quotes to appear in my response so I just copied it across.

    I looked at image shack but their terms and conditions prohibit posting any commercial material. I think a book cover would come under that so I left that one alone.

    Someone suggeted I try photobucket, from what I could see they have no objection to commercial stuff, I loaded it on there but couldn't get the link to work properly. Obviously there is a way of doing it as others have their covers on here but it was giving me a headache so I gave it up as a bad job. The link to Amazon appears at the top of the page on this site so anyone who might be interested won't have to put too much effort into having a look at it.

    If you want to be a writer, you really do (imho) have to read. It is by reading other people's works that I discover what I like, and don't. I've spent a lot of time deconstructing author's works and for me at least it really helps my writing.
    That's interesting, too be honest I hadn't really thought about it, but then I've never really had a burning desire to be a writer. This is just something I thought I would have a go at quite recently. What actually made me decide to pick up the laptop and have a go was:

    I watch quite a lot of movies, and go and see any science fiction that comes out. I have said on quite a few occasions, 'same old, same old,' does hollywood really think that an alien species advanced enough to get here is going to be stupid enough to engineer a single point of failure into its invasion fleet, and conveniently install that single point of failure on the planet they're invading, just so a rag-tag band of gutsy individuals could destroy it and the whole invasion fleet comes crashing down in flames. I could write a better story than that. This of course led to some friends saying "bullshit, you always say that, go on then do it, put your money where your mouth is." So I thought 'what the hell, let's give it a go.'

    When I thought about the plot, I wanted to keep away from the 'same old, same old,' so I thought about it and wrote the story as I think it would really unfold. If aliens came here with hostile intent, we wouldn't be here, simple as that, so what are they doing here?

    I'ts been an interest of mine so I found it pretty easy to write a fictional account of alien visitation and the resulting military interaction. Whether it's any good or not, only time will tell, but I thoroughly enjoyed writing it.

    I think it would have been far harder for me to write the book if I had read lots of sci-fi because I would have been exposed to a lot more stuff I would have had to avoid. I probably would have been thinking 'that's far too much like X in the book X,' and the story would possibly have been modified. So I think just writing it 'blind' was much easier.

    Then there's the writing style, because I don't read, my writing style (for better or worse) is entirely my own, there's no influence in there from anyone else.

    I saw in the review on Amazon UK that Onno thinks my writing style is similar to Scalzi. Now this may well be praise indeed, I had never heard of him. I looked on Amazon at the sample pages of 'Agent to the Stars', and didn't think it was a similar style to be honest, but perhaps a reader sees my book differently to myself.

    How long my new found interest in writing lasts is anyones guess, I could lose interest in it tomorrow, but for now it's hanging in there. I was surprised how easy it seemed to be to write my flash fiction story Lucky Star. It's only 1050 words, but I was watching Top Gear, (this is why my ship's captain is called Hammond, I was just writing the story, needed a name for the captain, looked up and there was Hammond on the screen) I got bored, picked up the laptop and started typing, it was simply good fun, I just wrote it from start to finish during Top Gear, and I think it reads ok. I showed it to a couple of guys at work and they said it looked ok to them, bloody short, but pretty good.

    I got bored and wrote another one in the office, this doesn' involve spacecraft like the other two, but it is science fiction and I really enjoyed writing it, it's called The Experiment. I have absolutely no idea if Lucky Star or The Experiment, or A strange Encounter are like any other stories out there, I think that's probably a good thing.
    Last edited by KatG; February 25th, 2012 at 04:50 PM.

  8. #638
    Ataraxic Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    I think by you're like Scalzi in style, the person probably meant his novel Old Man's War and subsequent books. Agent to the Stars is a satiric, earlier book he did.

    I haven't really seen any science fiction films where the alien invasion only happens in one place. Usually the film focuses on one place, but the invasion is happening at different points around the globe. But still, there's plenty of room for improvement on alien invasion films.

    If you want to quote a whole other person's post, you can press the QUOTE button in their post and it will put their post in a quote box. If you want to cut and paste quotes, you can put them in a quote box by doing the following:

    At the beginning of the text to be quoted, put the word quote in caps: QUOTE and put that word in brackets [ ] with no spaces between the brackets and the word QUOTE. At the end of the text to be quoted, put the word quote all in caps and add a backslash before the word /QUOTE and put that backslash and word in brackets [ ] with no spaces between the brackets and /QUOTE.

    To do a spoiler box, you do the same thing, except instead of the word QUOTE, you use the word SPOILER.

    If you want to attribute a quote to the person who posted it in the quote box, you add their member name to the command at the beginning of the text being quoted with an equal sign: [QUOTE=pragmaticist] and it will put up that it is a quote from pragmaticist:

    Quote Originally Posted by pragmaticist
    I haven't figured out how to get quotes to appear in my response

  9. #639
    pragmatist
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    Thanks KatG, I'll give it a crack.

    (QUOTE) I think by you're like Scalzi in style, the person probably meant his novel Old Man's War and subsequent books. Agent to the Stars is a satiric, earlier book he did. (/QUOTE)

    Onno's review on Amazon UK only mentions 'Agent to the Stars', that's why I had a look at it. I'll take a look at 'Old man's War' when I get a minute.

    You must have done what I did with 'Agent to the Stars' and looked at the section of my book that's free. As a real novel reader, I wonder what you thought of it? I'm not a sensitive wall flower, I can easily handle any kind of negative comments if there are any.

    (QUOTE) I haven't really seen any science fiction films where the alien invasion only happens in one place. Usually the film focuses on one place, but the invasion is happening at different points around the globe. But still, there's plenty of room for improvement on alien invasion films.(/QUOTE)

    What I meant by 'single point of failure' is one single point where destruction of a single item thwarts the whole invasion. In 'Independance Day' the single point of failure was the mother ship. Although the invasion fleet was dispersed over all of the the major cities around the planet, destruction of this one single item allowed the destruction of the entire fleet. Similar thing with Transformers, Dark Side of the Moon'. we only had to destroy one single item on the planet to win.'Battle for Los Angeles', similar again, I got the impression this one was very like 'Black Hawk Down' with aliens, and the single point of failure conveniently located on the surface of the planet was thrown in so the good guys could win. Still I suppose if the good guys have to win you have to come up with a completely implausible method to achieve it. If there were a real alien invasion of course, we wouldn't stand a chance.

    I have mentioned how I think any hostile aliens would take the planet from us in my yarn, but if that really happened it would be a very short film, and we would be annihilated very effciently.

    I went to see 'Cowboys and Aliens' as I was curios to see how hollywood thought some guys with six-guns on horse-back could defeat flying machines capable of inter-stellar travel, I was disappointed to see the method telegraphed in the first five minutes of the film. Still I suppose it was different, this stuff is all science fiction after all.

  10. #640
    Ataraxic Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    No, you used parentheses ( ) instead of brackets [ ]. That doesn't work. Only brackets work. So try again.

    I have not looked at your book excerpt. I went on the assumption that the person meant Old Man's War, which I have read, because you told us your novel is about an alien invasion and Old Man's War is about soldiers dealing with aliens. Whereas Agent to the Stars, which I have not read, I do know is a comic work he did that hasn't much to do with battle and alien invasions.

    What I meant by 'single point of failure' is one single point where destruction of a single item thwarts the whole invasion.
    Ah, okay, got it. That's a different thing.

    In 'Independance Day' the single point of failure was the mother ship. Although the invasion fleet was dispersed over all of the the major cities around the planet, destruction of this one single item allowed the destruction of the entire fleet.
    Yes, that was silly. However, the bigger plot hole was that they made the aliens telepathic and that was a main way they communicated. Which means that there's no way that Jeff Goldblum and Will Smith could actually sneak on to the mother ship (even though that was actually the best written part in terms of dialogue and acting.)

    Similar thing with Transformers, Dark Side of the Moon'. we only had to destroy one single item on the planet to win.
    Spoiler:
    Didn't see that one yet. However, the thing with the Transformers universe is that the invaders, like the allied transformers, are small bands of refugees from what's left of their populations and so their operations are limited. My understanding is that the machine that is destroyed in that movie was a peace-making invention, so it wasn't actually brought to Earth by the Decepticons. They just try to take advantage of it.


    'Battle for Los Angeles', similar again
    Sort of, but not exactly. Armies do have centralized communication/command centers and the particular alien army has a lot of robot drones, which a lot of countries now have in their own military. So the small force manages to take out the communications center ship for the one force of many, which incapacitates a lot of their drone weaponry, disrupts the ability to communicate with their forces and causes a temporary retreat. But the soldiers have not actually won the battle, much less the war, and L.A. is a smoking ruin. They simply uncover useful information and make it back with that intelligence in a brief pause in the fighting. The remaining soldiers of the group the film follows heads right out again to the next battle, because they are stupid. The rest of the movie was not bad, especially the alien autopsy.

    In Cowboys & Aliens, the cowboys take out a mining/scouting operation of one ship. This was probably considered more feasible than what was in the original graphic novel, which concerned an alien ship that crash-lands on Earth, takes over a small city and then tries to get back in contact with their homeworld to bring in an invasion force.

    There are of course numerous alien invasion scenarios. Movies are framed in a 2-3 hour block and have to have some sort of resolution and may be using the aliens for symbolic purposes. So they often do have a simplistic, shoot the lasers into one vent and it blows up the Death Star set-up. You might like films like Skyline or Monsters.
    Last edited by KatG; February 26th, 2012 at 04:11 PM.

  11. #641
    Speaks fluent Bawehrf zachariah's Avatar
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    Way to ruin Dark Side Of the Moon for me, guys! That's the one album I haven't listened to yet. Thanks.

    This is what you want, pragmatist:
    HTML Code:
    Here's is that quote I would like to quote - 
    
    [quote]Doughnuts, not donuts. Nobody ever made a nut out of 'do'.[/quote]
    
    Which I think you'll find illustrates my point perfectly.
    Which would show:

    Here's is that quote I would like to quote -

    Doughnuts, not donuts. Nobody ever made a nut out of 'do'.
    Which I think you'll find illustrates my point perfectly.

  12. #642
    pragmatist
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    Thank you KatG and Zachariah.

    Let's give it another go.

    Quote:
    I have not looked at your book excerpt. I went on the assumption that the person meant Old Man's War, which I have read, because you told us your novel is about an alien invasion and Old Man's War is about soldiers dealing with aliens. Whereas Agent to the Stars, which I have not read, I do know is a comic work he did that hasn't much to do with battle and alien invasions.
    Understood. I didn't actually use the word 'invasion', I used the word visitation. (I hope) And then usually add 'and the military interaction that follows'. I hope it does have some humour in it, but it's not written as a comedy, it's written as an adventure story.

    The aliens being telepathic in Independence Day had gone right over my head, I never even thought of that. Although there are a couple of get-out of jail free possibilities.

    1) The aliens can communicate between themselves telepathically and put their thoughts into the head of another species, but can't actually read that species thoughts.

    2)Their telepathic abilities are very short range. Imagine if the aliens had football, and stood in a football crowd, they would get a headache pretty quickly.

    Battle for Los Angeles, you're quite right, I had forgotton exactly how that ended.

    By the sound of it, I think the orginal plot line for 'Cowboys and Aliens' sounds better to me.

    You're right again, I did enjoy 'Skyline', I sat and thought I really can't see how these guys are going to pull this off, it got closer and closer to the end, and I thought surely not, it can't go that way, but it did.

    I will check out 'Monsters', thank you.

    quote:
    Which I think you'll find illustrates my point perfectly.
    Yes I think it does, Many thanks Zachariah.

  13. #643
    Ataraxic Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    There you go on quote boxes. Sorry for the spoiler, Zachariah. I guess I thought it had been out long enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by pragmatist View Post
    The aliens being telepathic in Independence Day had gone right over my head, I never even thought of that.
    It's the plothole the size of the truck. Not that they worried about that much in Independence Day.

    Although there are a couple of get-out of jail free possibilities.

    1) The aliens can communicate between themselves telepathically and put their thoughts into the head of another species, but can't actually read that species thoughts.
    That would work except that they have the alien reading a human's thoughts, putting thoughts into the human's head and controlling the human's mind, thus speaking to other humans.

    2)Their telepathic abilities are very short range. Imagine if the aliens had football, and stood in a football crowd, they would get a headache pretty quickly.
    Since the aliens use telepathy for a lot of their communications, this would be kind of inefficient. Even so, once the guys are in the mother ship and deal with the air traffic controller, that they aren't the right species should have been pretty easy to determine.

    We still love Independence Day in our household because of the brilliant Saturday Night Live sketch they did when Bill Pullman was hosting for the show. In the sketch Bill Pullman's Independence Day president is running for re-election after the alien invasion and his opponent is a version of Bob Dole, who was running in real life at the time, played by Norm Macdonald. Pullman's president says something about the average American and Bob Dole growls back: "The average American is dead!" So that's a saying in our household, especially in reference to alien invasion movies.

    All of which has nothing to do with promotion, unless we're talking movie promotion. So I'll segue. If you wrote a story because you were inspired to go in a different direction from movies you see or stories you saw, then there are times you can use that in promotion, as long as you don't make it sound like griping too much about the story you banked off of. For instance, you can say that you're telling the lighter side of alien invasions or that your story is the reverse tale of Independence Day or Bladerunner or whatever. Don't, please, do anti-Tolkien for fantasy stories. That's just highly annoying at this point and it will not give you any real juice.

  14. #644
    pragmatist
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    Don't, please, do anti-Tolkien for fantasy stories. That's just highly annoying at this point and it will not give you any real juice.
    KatG:
    No chance of that, I wouldn't know where to start even if I wanted to, which I don't.

    I wouldn't try to apply any analysis whatsoever to space operas or fantasy stuff, they're all about escapism and un-realism, that's the whole point of them. They're a completely different 'kettle of fish'.

    'Star Wars' wouldn't stand up to any analysis, but sitting back with my fizzy drink and popcorn it blew my socks off, I loved it. If I were to apply some analysis I would say Vader and the Empire = the Nazis, the damsel in distress is from many a fairy tale, and the grand finale was a direct rip off of the old war film '633 Squadron'. In '633 squadron' a squadron of Mosquito bombers has to fly up a narrow fjord with guns blazing at them all the way along it, and bomb a small target at the end under an overhanging rock. I bought that and 'Star Wars' on DVD too. There were no terrestrial scenarios or equipment to analyse, 'Star Wars' just wasn't that sort of film.


    'Idependence Day' is a different type of sci-fi to 'Star Wars', it's semi-realistic sci-fi that mixes our current technology, fighter planes and nuclear weapons etc with alien technology here on Earth. So I think it's interesting to see what different people think would be the outcome. Come to think of it, the personal opinion of the people that write these stories is probably that we would get creamed, but they know they have to write in a 'wrinkle' so we, or the Earth itself can win. It's interesting to see what 'wrinkle' they choose. I bought 'Independence Day' on DVD too, I thought it was great.

    I have a particular interest in the possibility of aliens visiting the Earth for whatever reason, that's why I can't help looking at how hollywood handle it.

  15. #645
    Things Fall Apart AZimmer23's Avatar
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    I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this, but is everyone here familiar with Ralan's Webstravaganza? It's essentially a site that lists many outlets (web and print mags, publishers, etc.) for selling stories, poems and art and includes pay rates, contacts and where to submit.

    My question is this. Is it bad form to submit a story to more than one outlet? I guess it could be embarrassing or even downright bad for a burgeoning career if two people want to publish a story. One gets it and one is irritated and may blacklist you.

    On the other hand, some publishers have such a long turn around and limited submission times, so only submitting to one at a time seems like making the mistake of throwing all of one's eggs into a single basket.

    I'm in a quandary here. Any advice?

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