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Posts Tagged ‘science fiction’

Switching gears

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on June 30, 2018

Here’s the final illustration for the cover to “The Death of David Pickett” by Jon Hunt. Check out his great website. The writing, rewriting, editing, and copy editing of TDDP are finished, but it’ll take me three more months to put together the digital “book” and the logistics for its release.

I’m moving on to my next writing project, the science fiction novelette I was working on five months ago when I switched to TDDP. At the time, when I decided to convert the original bones of TDDP into the prequel to my novel, 1% Free, I’d judged that the novelette would take a lot of work to complete. Too much work and time to use it in any promotional/publicity campaign for my novel. With TDDP in place for that purpose, now I’m writing on the novelette. Currently, it’s at 18,000 words, just on the edge of being a novella. I’ve mapped out three new sections that should expand the story, taking me well into novella territory (17,500-40,000 words) and perhaps even into novel length if the writing goes well. Just yesterday, I finished a particularly tricky bit of story universe exposition, so I’m feeling good about my progress and prospects. This will be a writing weekend.

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Lure of writing the Great American Novel

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on June 8, 2018

I read through my story “The Death of David Pickett” one last time yesterday before I sent the manuscript off to my copy editor. Once the text is corrected, this is the next step before I format it into a digital “book” (ebook and pdf). TDDP will be a bit of swag, a promotional item given away for free, a well written prequel to my novel 1% Free full of links encouraging readers of the story to buy the book.

This project came out of efforts to develop one of my completed longish short stories into something approaching another novel in length. My novel production is not prodigious, which is why I tend toward the kitchen sink approach in writing 400+ page books crammed with everything under the sun. I’m never sure when, or if, I will manage to write another. Once the copyediting of TDDP is done, I’ll return to this approach with the three potential science fiction candidates in my archive.

I also have a longstanding idea for a novel-length story that isn’t science fiction. Set in 1967-68, it focuses on a Spanish graduate student at the National Autonomous University of Mexico who is suspended for a prank, travels around the world participating in some of the heady events of “the year that shook the world,” and returns to UNAM in time to witness the Tlatelolco massacre in Mexico City on October 2, 1968. This is also about my fascination with the time in my life that formed my politics, and I have about 30 pages, 8,000 words, and a bare outline to work with from when I first considered the idea. But unlike my novelettes/novellas I hope to expand into novels, this is a novel that still needs to be written. It will require some discipline and maybe a writing group or two to get it started. I’ve already begun collecting material and sources for this potential book.

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Winnowing the Wheat from the Chaff

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on November 26, 2017

I’ve written and published two books in twenty-two years. At this rate, I’ll be lucky to complete a third book before I die. In light of that, I’ve gone through several score of potential story ideas at various stages of development–from basic idea to completed rough draft–in my word processing program Scrivener, winnowing wheat from chaff to select out a handful of candidates to work on.

I’ve come up with four possibilities, all science fiction. Two are completed rough drafts of novelettes (7,500-17,499 words) I could try to boost up to novella length (17,500-39,999 words). One is set in a post-apocalyptic far future where the main character, an ex-soldier with various biological military upgrades, meets up with someone who claims to be her brother. The second is a time travel/alternate universe story premised on the early, complete assassination of Lenin in an alternate time line.

I also have two promising ideas for full-length novels (40,000+ words), neither of which are anywhere near completion however. One is set entirely in 1968, the year I got politics, which has the main character traveling around to various iconic/historic events, with a sci-fi twist. The second is near-future science fiction in which neanderthals haven’t gone extinct but live secretly amid regular humans on the verge of self-extinction.

The incomplete novels would take a lot of time to finish, but they have the greatest potential story-wise. The novelettes would require extensive rewrites, but they’re basically done. My plan is to concentrate on these four pieces. Which will be difficult because I always have fiction stories in reserve, like two possible, incomplete sequels to my latest novel. One is set five years after the current book, the other a century later, and both are novelette/novella in length. Also, in addition to the archive of fiction ideas and snippets archived in Scrivener, I’m coming up with new ideas all the time. I’ll continue to write my non-fiction MRR columns, of course, but narrowing my focus in the fiction realm seems best.

I’ve got to draw the line somewhere.

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A Graphic History of Science Fiction

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on October 27, 2016

I have a book launch event for my novel 1% Free at 6 pm on Thursday, November 3, 2016 at the Book Passage Bookstore in the Ferry Building. My presentation will draw from the rich, complex history of science fiction, as depicted in this diagram drawn by Ward Shelley.
histscifi2

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GoodReads reviews

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on May 11, 2016

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GoodReads Reviews

Jim Beckmann rated it it was amazing

Planning on re-reading this as all I really remember was that I really liked it. It will be interesting this time around to read a future history set in 2007. 9/12/13 Just finished it. Even better than I remember. So much going on in this story but it never gets confusing. What I liked most were the political commentaries of the main character. He was a peripheral member of the anti war movement till a chance encounter puts him in the middle of the action. Though this book comes from a left perspective, there is extensive critique of all manner of leftist ideologies and actions. He dissects the good from the bad in Marxist/Leninism, Anarchism, violence, non violence, consensus, etc. This book is so many things, a detective story, a future history, science fiction, and a commentary on politics, and relationships. Refreshing and rare to see an author so thoroughly take apart his side of the political fence. highly recommend this book.

Smiley McGrouchpants rated it it was amazing

G. A. Matiasz’s mini-opus covers an awful lot of ground in just over 200 pages; considering the ideological (as in: the thought patterns people subscribe to, and the divergences that occur when they try to put them into practice) and mechanics (who knew this much about computers who was writing fiction in ’97 — except Gibson, Sterling, and Shirley?) apparati which drive the people in this high-caliber work of speculative fiction, you wonder why so much other acclaimed stuff is, by comparison, so half-awake and lazy.

AK Press brought out a winner! Try and catch up. Be as surprised as I was.

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Amazon reviews

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on May 10, 2016

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Amazon Reviews

Well-thought Out, Anarchist, Sci-Fi
By Britt A. Green on July 3, 2000
Format: Paperback

This author writes under the name of Lefty Hooligan for the stalwart punk zine, Maximum Rock-and-Roll. Enjoying his column, I eagerly bought this book when I found it in the catalogue of AK Press.

My money was really well spent. Make no mistake about this: “Lefty” gets his nickname because he is far to the left of Ralph Nader. Fans of Tom Clancy will probably not enjoy this. His politics are intertwined with an amazing story of a student uprising in the near future Bay Area.

Unlike a lot of far left literature, all of his characters are very human. The author never falls into the easy trap of using caricatures of people. Everyone is very believable, and even the government agents can be sympathetic.
Furthermore, Lefty is an incredibly intelligent and rational writer. His reasoning is very well thought out (both in terms of politics and story progression.) As hinted at above, this book is very pragmatic and realistic. It avoids the typical extremist idealism that permeates many other books of the genre.

I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a good piece of anarchist literature. The fact that its somewhat sci-fi is a definate plus, as well! ….

A great piece of agit-prop
By Randall Barnhart on April 6, 2001
Format: Paperback

Yup, this is the greatest piece of anarchist agit-prop since…well, since forever. There is nothing better.

Having said that, let’s look at the book from the science fiction angle. Matiasz knows and effectively uses every tropism of modern SF to very good effect. The use of “other sources” to push the exposition, the plot devices (missing atomic weapons, a Hidden Hero, the idealistic young protagonist who, by learning, reveals all). Wonderful.

And even if Matiasz uses trops, he never, ever sinks to stereotypes. There are cops that, while trapped in the System, are also caring and real. And a lot of the comrades are also idiots and buttheads. Every character is real.

This book is nothing like the stuff so-called Libertarian SF. It is profoundly and wonderfully great.

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NASA Space Travel Posters

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on February 21, 2016

NASA is offering something very cool, 14 mint space travel posters for the solar system and near Milky Way galaxy.GrandTour I converted the original, extremely large TIFFs into equally large JPEGs and set them up for display on this page so as not to slow down the main page’s loading to a crawl.

This “tour” begins with Earth and travels out to Venus, Mars, Ceres, a grand tour of the gas giants, Jupiter, Europa, Titan, Enceladus, various newly discovered exoplanets, HD40307g, PSOJ318.5-22, Kepler 16b, and Kepler 186f. Enjoy this trippy (in more ways than one) poster art.

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