Regularly Expressing

science, sci fi, writing, spirituality

From a Reader….

Steve,

I read your “Memoirs of a Sith Lord” book at the airport waiting for my plane Sat. morning…—it was the perfect setting and I had a great read. I’m going to share it with a couple more people and I have no idea where it will end up. I liked the combination of emotional connection it wove through the saga and the dark-humor side of Darth we always suspected but never knew. The book left me wanting to read more about it—as any good book should do.

A reader

“Memoirs of a Sith Lord” is available on Wattpad. If you read it, and like it, please give it votes and/or comments.


Advice for U.S.Air

I recently flew from D.C. through North Carolina to Baton Rouge. When I got to North Carolina, I found my flight had been canceled and I was given a new flight the next morning. I don’t know if they would have put me up in a hotel, I didn’t check because it was 7 hours to my flight, and I guessed that between shuttling to and from the airport I’d get less than 5 hours sleep and it probably wasn’t worth the trouble. Besides, I heard people saying the local hotels were all full, which wouldn’t be surprising with so many flights canceled. In retrospect, I wish I’d tried. Regardless, however, I was part of a very large number of people sleeping in the airport.

This terminal was a U.S.Air hub, which means it was almost exclusively their planes on the boards, and only the U.S.Air club was in the terminal. Now I realize that airlines are not swimming in profits these days, and there’s only so much they can do when there’s a storm. I heard a lot of people say they wouldn’t fly U.S.Air again, but I wasn’t one of them. However, I think they missed a lot of opportunities. For starters, I think it was a mistake to close up all the stores, and leave us all in the cold.

If I was the airline, I’d make deals with airport restaurants to keep one or two of them open all night in the event of massive cancellations. The restaurants that did it would make massive amounts of money, and it would earn a lot of good will. That’s the easiest (and most profitable) thing they could have done.

The second is to face the fact that people will sometimes need to sleep in the airport. It looked to me as if all the chairs were designed to prevent people from sleeping on them in any position. Low backs, immovable arm rests, etc. It might be nice to provide cots (I think Houston airport has some), or maybe set up a large number of air mattresses somewhere if there’s a massive number of cancelled flights. That shouldn’t be too costly, and it would give the impression that someone cared about us. And it has got to be cheaper than hotel vouchers.

This last suggestion is probably impractical. After the storm was over, it was late at night. Airplanes sat empty, docked to the terminals. Given that all the people were already in the airport, couldn’t they have scheduled an extra flight?


Sword and Isolation

Greenblade lives on World Carrick, an icy planet ruled by female warriors. She herself longs to be a warrior, but despite her training and ability, she lacks the strength of the other girls. She has other qualities that prevent her from fitting in: blue eyes, an unusual interest in boys for a girl of sixteen, and a mysterious power over life and death. She may, in fact, not belong to the race of the Sarl at all, but to their mortal enemies: the Navin.

You can read early samples of this work in progress at Wattpad. If you do, please leave offer comments or give us a vote!


How long should your Fantasy or SF Novel be?

This is a question I struggle with from time to time. It seems the most natural lengths that come out of my pen are 70k words and 150k words. Grr.

I made this table based on Ralan’s compilation of the major players in publishing these genres. I point out that these are preferred lengths and not strict limits. A friend of mine published his first novel with Baen and it was 150k words.

All things being equal, however, it makes sense to target the lengths that your publisher wants. It turns out that books in the length 100k to 120k will work for any of them, and so that’s probably the length you want to write.

Publisher Min Length Max Length
Ace 80 125
Baen 100 130
Daw 60 120
Pyr 100 130
Roc 80 125