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  1. #121
    I like SF. SF is cool. Steven L Jordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JunkMonkey View Post
    (Authors I thought s**t would have to write theirs out longhand - with a quill.)
    Well, if you're okay with reading quillscratch...

    I'm okay with shorter books, but generally, I don't mind books that provide story and character detail that they once would've left out because of publisher's page-count concerns.

    I'm not saying I want bibles, but I wrote a book that came out to just under 150,000 words, and I thought it was a great length. You think that's too much, huh?

  2. #122
    A chuffing heffalump Chuffalump's Avatar
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    If it's good, then the longer the better I say. A good short story is a joy but I want something to keep me entertained for hours and hours.

  3. #123
    Live Long & Suffer psikeyhackr's Avatar
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    Representations of Technology in Science Fiction for Young People - Noga Applebaum

    In this new book, Noga Applebaum surveys science fiction novels published for children and young adults from 1980 to the present, exposing the anti-technological bias existing within a genre often associated with the celebration of technology. Applebaum argues that perceptions of technology as a corrupting force, particularly in relation to its use by young people, are a manifestation of the enduring allure of the myth of childhood innocence and result in young-adult fiction that endorses a technophobic agenda.
    http://www.tradebit.com/filedetail.p...ce-fiction-for

    psik

  4. #124
    Creator of futures TraciLoudin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rosie Oliver View Post
    ... I've got new ideas, crafted into stories and nobody seems to want the 'new'. It's almost as if the pro SF publishing community are scared of them. ...
    So I do wonder if the issue is really the publishing community are wanting to hedge their income by relying on variations of what has sold successfully before, without taking a risk of giving their audience something really different. To an extent, I have sympathy with this position in this recessional times.
    Sorry to go back in time a little bit, but...

    Rosie, have you tried http://critters.org ? I haven't gotten started yet, but once I get my latest novel polished up, I was thinking of getting involved on there. They may be able to help you pinpoint at what point the big publishers might be losing interest in your story.

    And if it turns out that you don't want to change the story based on their feedback, you could always hire a freelance editor to check things over one last time and then self-publish. It's not the "kiss of doom" people made it out to be a couple years back. You may not make a lot of money from it on the up-front, but it might be enough to get the ball rolling and have publishers take notice later on.

    And you may find that the scifi reading community is more receptive to new ideas than the big publishing houses. Because, as you mentioned, I think they are being very conservative right now, not taking many chances on new ideas.

  5. #125
    Registered User ian_sales's Avatar
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    If you produce good work, it doesn't matter that it's self-published. However, breaking out beyond your friends and acquaintances is difficult, no matter how good your book is. The fact that it's niche, or not commercial enough for a major imprint, is only going to make it harder.

    A couple of small presses expressed early interest in my novella, and I knew it would never be bought by a magazine (it has a glossary, for one thing), but I chose to self-publish it for reasons of speed and control. I don't know that it would have sold more copies, or been bought by more people, if it had been published by a name people recognised. I do know that since I've done it myself I know exactly how hard it is to get people to persuade people to buy a copy...

  6. #126
    Registered User JunkMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psikeyhackr View Post
    But now the effects are so good no forgiveness is required. Avatar has the better effects but The Abyss is the better movie so it becomes a matter of how good is the science fiction story?[/B]
    Thank you for the steer, Psi. Another movie slides further down my 'I must get round to watching' list.

    I've never seen Avatar and only just watched The Abyss for the first time recently. I thought it the most godawful overblown pile of bollocks I have seen for ages (and I have watched Octoman, Warrior of the Lost World, and a lot of Rutger Hauer films recently).

  7. #127
    Live Long & Suffer psikeyhackr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JunkMonkey View Post
    Thank you for the steer, Psi. Another movie slides further down my 'I must get round to watching' list.

    I've never seen Avatar and only just watched The Abyss for the first time recently. I thought it the most godawful overblown pile of bollocks I have seen for ages (and I have watched Octoman, Warrior of the Lost World, and a lot of Rutger Hauer films recently).
    Did you watch the theatrical version or the Special Edition?

    The second is about 30 minutes longer and the first has a dumb ending.

    If that is what you think of The Abyss special edition then I gotta hear what you think of Avatar. I probably won't be able to stop laughing for a week.

    psik
    Last edited by psikeyhackr; September 24th, 2012 at 11:36 AM.

  8. #128
    Registered User JunkMonkey's Avatar
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    It was the 'special edition'. I bought a two disc both versions boxset in a car boot sale for a quid (I never learn) and swithered about which I should watch...
    The Abyss (1989) - which I had never seen before and now consider the three hours I spent watching the extended Special Edition Director's Cut With Added Patronisingly Simplistic Message Content to be utterly wasted. Wish I'd watched the shorter funnier version, though I suspect I would have lost my patience with it at the same point. Our hero falls for 30 minutes straight down the abyss, buffeted and bouncing off a undersea cliff, and lands RIGHT NEXT to the nuclear bomb he has come to defuse - and then we have the whole 'don't cut the blue wire' gag? Oh Come on!

  9. #129
    Live Long & Suffer psikeyhackr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JunkMonkey View Post
    It was the 'special edition'. I bought a two disc both versions boxset in a car boot sale for a quid (I never learn) and swithered about which I should watch..
    Our hero falls for 30 minutes straight down the abyss, buffeted and bouncing off a undersea cliff, and lands RIGHT NEXT to the nuclear bomb he has come to defuse - and then we have the whole 'don't cut the blue wire' gag? Oh Come on!
    What, you don't think the submarine bumper battle made up for that?

    That was so cool!

    The woman drowning was a neat trick also. But it would have made more sense if she had hyperventilated and helped him swim part way back.

    There are nearly always flaws in stories, especially movies. Different people draw the line in different places as to when the flaws become intolerable.

    psik
    Last edited by psikeyhackr; September 24th, 2012 at 01:21 PM.

  10. #130
    Quote Originally Posted by TraciLoudin View Post
    Sorry to go back in time a little bit, but...

    Rosie, have you tried http://critters.org ? I haven't gotten started yet, but once I get my latest novel polished up, I was thinking of getting involved on there. They may be able to help you pinpoint at what point the big publishers might be losing interest in your story.

    And if it turns out that you don't want to change the story based on their feedback, you could always hire a freelance editor to check things over one last time and then self-publish. It's not the "kiss of doom" people made it out to be a couple years back. You may not make a lot of money from it on the up-front, but it might be enough to get the ball rolling and have publishers take notice later on.

    And you may find that the scifi reading community is more receptive to new ideas than the big publishing houses. Because, as you mentioned, I think they are being very conservative right now, not taking many chances on new ideas.
    Bless you for the tip... However, I already belong to critting group that's been around for several years and I've had bits of the novel gone over by professional writers. In fact my tutor (who is known to be a hard marker) and critting group almost bit my arm for the next episodes! And those I'm still in contact with, want me to write another novel!

    So it really is all down to the publishing industry and market conditions.

    Having said that, it sounds like a very useful group and I may use it for the next novel. Thank you.

  11. #131
    Quote Originally Posted by ian_sales View Post
    If you produce good work, it doesn't matter that it's self-published. However, breaking out beyond your friends and acquaintances is difficult, no matter how good your book is. The fact that it's niche, or not commercial enough for a major imprint, is only going to make it harder.

    A couple of small presses expressed early interest in my novella, and I knew it would never be bought by a magazine (it has a glossary, for one thing), but I chose to self-publish it for reasons of speed and control. I don't know that it would have sold more copies, or been bought by more people, if it had been published by a name people recognised. I do know that since I've done it myself I know exactly how hard it is to get people to persuade people to buy a copy...
    Because I've had such positive reactions by those that have seen the drafts (and some of them were plain talking about the faults, which were corrected), I'm unwilling to let the novel go cheaply. That means a good marketing engine, which means a good publisher.

    If I don't get a good publisher, then I won't publish - end of story - in both senses. I know this sounds hard, maybe even self-defeating, but I know it's good writing, has a heap of new science fiction ideas liberally scattered throughout, has some interesting characters (I still can't fully understand why the lady readers fall for Dirk) and has a good plot (I can trace the basic plot back to a Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale).

    I made a mistake with one of my published short stories in letting it go cheaply...

    So given all this, can you blame me, for digging my heels in on my novel?

  12. #132
    Registered User JunkMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psikeyhackr View Post
    The woman drowning was a neat trick also. But it would have made more sense if she had hyperventilated and helped him swim part way back.
    The trouble with that bit was the revival sequence that followed. It would have been a much better film if the character had died and not miraculously revived after all but her ex-husband had given up hope. Nice idea... didn't work. That would have sowed real seeds of doubts in the audiences' mind as to whether the rest of the characters weren't going to get a Hollywood happy ever after ending. Mind you, the 'estranged couple who built the (whatever) and hate each at the start of the film and rediscover their love during the course of the movie' trope is one that has had me throwing handsets at TVs before.

  13. #133
    Orthodox Herbertian Omphalos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JunkMonkey View Post
    The trouble with that bit was the revival sequence that followed. It would have been a much better film if the character had died and not miraculously revived after all but her ex-husband had given up hope. Nice idea... didn't work. That would have sowed real seeds of doubts in the audiences' mind as to whether the rest of the characters weren't going to get a Hollywood happy ever after ending. Mind you, the 'estranged couple who built the (whatever) and hate each at the start of the film and rediscover their love during the course of the movie' trope is one that has had me throwing handsets at TVs before.
    I watched this movie way back when I was much was possessed of a much less sophisticated crapometer. I loved it then. Nowadays I have a state of the art device, and stuff like The Abyss never makes it through.

  14. #134
    Registered User ian_sales's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rosie Oliver View Post
    Because I've had such positive reactions by those that have seen the drafts (and some of them were plain talking about the faults, which were corrected), I'm unwilling to let the novel go cheaply. That means a good marketing engine, which means a good publisher.

    If I don't get a good publisher, then I won't publish - end of story - in both senses. I know this sounds hard, maybe even self-defeating, but I know it's good writing, has a heap of new science fiction ideas liberally scattered throughout, has some interesting characters (I still can't fully understand why the lady readers fall for Dirk) and has a good plot (I can trace the basic plot back to a Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale).

    I made a mistake with one of my published short stories in letting it go cheaply...

    So given all this, can you blame me, for digging my heels in on my novel?
    You've tried it at the various open doors publishers have? Angry Robot have had a couple, and I think HarperVoyager, or someone like that, are having/about to have one. Most small presses are backed up for a couple of years, and even then you wouldn't expect them to sell more than 500 copies (and frequently considerably less). If you've not submitted to John Jarrold, I recommend trying. He's my agent, and he's always looking for new clients. He is very picky though.

    Meanwhile, of course, it's time to get started on a new project.

    As for letting a story go cheaply... Exposure is worth far more than the money you get paid. First, people start to recognise your name, then they start to remember it, then they start to look for it... And then they ask you if you'd like to send them something...

  15. #135
    Live Long & Suffer psikeyhackr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JunkMonkey View Post
    The trouble with that bit was the revival sequence that followed. It would have been a much better film if the character had died and not miraculously revived after all but her ex-husband had given up hope. Nice idea... didn't work.
    How much time would he have to waste getting a limp body through that hatch?

    The revival was too melodramatic but I still liked the movie overall.

    psik

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