kiev4am: (underwood)
2012-05-18 04:11 pm
Entry tags:

Fic: Smart Money

RicStar fic drop.

Read on )
kiev4am: (underwood)
2012-03-20 01:10 pm
Entry tags:

Fic: The New Gear

Moar fic...

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kiev4am: (underwood)
2012-02-21 09:58 am
Entry tags:

Fic: Wrong Turn, or...

This one is silly. It has orcs in it.

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kiev4am: (care)
2012-02-20 10:39 am

Mugged by the fan fiction monkey

Seriously. He hit me over the head and stole half my brain and all of my free time. No-one told me writing this stuff was so addictive!
kiev4am: (underwood)
2012-01-15 12:05 am
Entry tags:

Fic: The Short Straw

Silly alt!X-Factor-#230 fic.

Read on )
kiev4am: (six)
2012-01-03 11:50 pm

New Yorker stories

I was skimming through some of my Dad's New Yorker magazines recently. I still find the non-fiction stuff in the NY really interesting; one issue alone had pieces about giant Polaroid cameras, Edward Hopper's house, a writer's double life of lit-fic and pulp noir, and a deceased modern artist called Blinky Palermo who I wish I'd heard of before. I also still giggle like a fool at some of the cartoons (zebra to lion: I give up, what's black and white and red all over?). But then I happen to read a short story, and it's like going back in time to the eighties when I first started dipping into these magazines as a teenager and thinking, 'Oh God, is this what proper grown-up writing is supposed to be like? Really?'

You could make a bingo card. Middle-aged male narrator, horny but jaded - check. Dysfunctional marriage to ambitious but thwarted woman - check. (If the narrator's female, the marriage is the same but there's a mother-in-law and a lofty, feckless academic lover who'll never commit). Affairs described like dry, inevitable collisions between bits of furniture; one-note secondary characters; passing bigotry added without criticism because the target readership parses it as 'grit', 'authenticity' or 'colour'; bloodless, cut-off, non-ending endings with neither resolution nor resonance, as if the storyteller just hung up on you midway. It may not apply to every NY story but wow, is it a common template. Grim.
kiev4am: (underwood)
2011-12-08 01:57 pm
Entry tags:

Fic: Force Of Habit 3/3

Third reel!

I have really enjoyed writing this story. And I think it's not bad. The title's apt; I may have a new, hard-to-shake habit. Thanks for reading, guys.

Read on )
kiev4am: (underwood)
2011-12-03 03:14 pm
Entry tags:

Fic: Force Of Habit 2/3

The mayhem continues.

Read on )
kiev4am: (gah)
2011-11-23 11:18 am

That Midlife TODO List In Full

1. Finish rewriting book before I die, at the current rate of 15 minutes a day
2. Get agent in a shrinking, suspicious marketplace
3. Get book published in a see above
4. Retrain very fast and without it costing anything
5. Get new job with flexible hours, in an industry that isn't tanking, without having any experience in it, at close to middle age

It fits on a Post-It, it's totally doable. What?
kiev4am: (underwood)
2011-11-21 12:08 pm
Entry tags:

Fic: Force Of Habit 1/3

Moar RicStar. 100% less gloomy than the last one.

Read on )
kiev4am: (underwood)
2011-11-02 04:47 pm
Entry tags:

Fic: Rules To Live By

So, yeah... first RicStar fic.

Read on )
kiev4am: (underwood)
2011-10-06 02:16 pm

Damn you, Moleskine

I shouldn't want this, it's far too geeky even for me and the wanky reactionary old git part of me deplores the increasing dilution of the 'proper notebooks for proper writers' boring black Moleskine aesthetic. And then I go eeeeeee, Star Wars Moleskine!

I think I'd need more appropriate manglings of Star Wars quotations on mine, though.

"If there's a bright centre to literature, you're in the notebook that it's farthest from."

"Aren't you a little short for a novel?"

"I find your lack of plot disturbing."

And of course, "Sorry about the mess."
kiev4am: (underwood)
2011-09-22 02:41 pm
Entry tags:


In general,The older I get and the more I write, the clearer it seems is to me that the sense of almost any piece of writing I produce is pretty much 200% improved straight away by the single, simple act of removing most of the qualifiers with which I instinctively tend to hedge, weaken or muffle nearly everything I say.

kiev4am: (jennysparks)
2011-09-02 02:14 pm

Old comic reviews #2 - misc. WildStorm

Just a few more old WildStorm reviews. Again, these first went up on Comixology and co. when the issues came out.

On reflection, it's weird that I've never reviewed Peter David's X-Factor. I love that book to distraction, but I seem to have the notion that my reviewing efforts are redundant unless they're aimed at a book that needs all the help it can get. When I wrote the Authority stuff, passionate user reviews were the only exposure that book was getting. X-Factor by contrast is all over the comic critic radar, wins awards, gets properly promoted by Marvel, and pisses off all the right people on CBR's X-forums. But I don't really think user reviews raise a book's profile all that much (they sure as hell didn't save WildStorm), so maybe I should stop being so stupid-earnest and write them for fun.

Secret History of the Authority: Jack Hawksmoor )

North 40 #2 )

North 40 #3 )

WildCATS #19 )

Authority #18 )

Authority #19 )
kiev4am: (authority)
2011-09-02 02:13 pm

Old comic reviews #1 - The Authority : World's End

Okay, this is kind of a cheap win on the 'yes, I will write some entries' front. Below is a sheaf of reviews I posted on Comixology, ComicVine and iFanboy during the World's End era of WildStorm comics, i.e. the last ongoings before DC canned the imprint last year. I started these in response to a call to arms from Authority uberfan Chris Striker on his very excellent Clark's Bar message board; sales on the World's End books were tanking and he posted a challenge to us fans to raise the profile through reviews and stuff. WildStorm pimping aside, I found that producing these things - the discipline of reading the issue and then turning around a half-decent review as quickly as possible, keeping to the word limit imposed by the sites - was a really tight writing exercise.

Anyway, if you read the issues at the time you might like these write-ups. If you didn't, and you're a fan of the Authority, I really can't recommend the Abnett, Lanning and Coleby series highly enough. The relevant trades are Authority: World's End and Authority: Rule Britannia.

A lot has changed since these reviews were first written, not least the death of WildStorm as a separate imprint and the absorption of various WS fragments into the DC universe in time for the ambitious 'New 52' shakeup going on at DC. As much as I abhor DC's wastage of WildStorm, I am hugely psyched for the potential awesomeness that is Paul Cornell's Stormwatch, so I may start reviewing it when it hits the stands.

Authority #8 )

Authority #9 )

Authority #10 )

Authority #11 )

Authority #12 )

Authority #13 )

Authority #14 )

Authority #17 )

Authority World's End Volume 1 TPB )