Friday, November 18, 2011

In The Mouth Of The Whale, Chapter 2

Here's the second chapter of my new novel, In The Mouth Of The Whale.  (The first chapter is here.)  No spoilers here, for those who might want until the novel is released into the wild in January.

Currently listening to: Peg Leg Howell: 'Low Down Rounder Blues'
Currently reading: Don Delillo: The Angel Esmeralda: Nine Stories
Currently writing: the last chapters of the second draft of the fourth Quiet War novel

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Endorsing The Future

This dates from the early 1980s, I think, back when hand-held computers you could program in  BASIC were cutting edge. One small measure of how important Isaac Asimov was, as a cultural figure: he wasn't just the default face of American science fiction; he was also the default face of popular science writing. Now, as the newspapers and TV news keep reminding us, everything is like science fiction, so science-fiction writers are no longer needed to explain how amazing some bit of technological kit is, because we've come to expect the amazing. Now, we have hand-held computers with full-colour touch screens, wireless connectivity to the whole wide world, memories equivalent to the content of the Library of Congress, and magical AI assistants. And everyone takes them for granted. And it's kind of cool, because it means we really are living in the future.  But what would be truly amazing, these days?

Monday, November 14, 2011

In The Mouth Of The Whale, Chapter 1

My new novel, In The Mouth of the Whale, is scheduled to be published in January next year. Following a long tradition, I'll be posting serial extracts every Monday and Friday from now until publication day.  Here's the beginning of the first chapter:
When the Child was a child, a sturdy toddler not quite two years old, she and her mother moved to São Gabriel da Cachoeira, in the north-west corner of the Peixoto family’s territory in Greater Brazil.  It was an old place, São Gabriel da Cachoeira, an old garrison town on the Rio Negro, serving an army base and a depot for workers in the Reclamation and Reconstruction Corps.  Civilians, mostly descendants of Indians and early settlers, lived in a skewed grid of apartment blocks and bungalows beneath the green breast of the Fortaleza hill.  Senior army officers, supervisors, and government officials rented villas along the Praia Grande, where in the dry season between September and January a beach appeared at the edge of the river.  There was an airfield and a solar farm to the north, two schools, a hotel and half a dozen bars, a scruffy futbol pitch, a big church built in the brutalist style of the mid-twenty- first century, and a hospital, where the Child’s mother, Maria Hong-Owen, had taken up the position of resident surgeon.

Read more here.
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