03 May 2005

Ossian's Eleven

I'm sorry that this blog has been quieter than usual recently, and that promised book reviews, Speculative Cityscapes and the like are still failing to materialise. This is partly due to general busyness, and partly the fact that I'm dividing what little time I am getting for blogging between this and my New Doctor Who review blog, Parrinium Mines. Which, erm, I also haven't updated when I said I would.

In my defence, I did have a rather interrupted weekend, and therefore had to make up writing time. Saturday night found B. and me in Welwyn Garden City, attending a family party -- not either of our own families, but even so. I didn't know many people there, and the food was a terrible temptation to a dieting person, one which I did not entirely succeed in resisting. (Otherwise the diet's been going rather well, thanks for asking.) Having to set the timer to record Dalek while we were away was also a source of worry. Still, it was lovely to celebrate with Not Invented Here and her connections, and B. and I were back in Bristol in time to watch the episode and get down to work for the afternoon.

The next time I need to make up any technobabble, I intend to refer to a value called the "Wellingar Density".

Yesterday I worked very hard indeed at getting together a proposal for Ossian's Reach, and didn't displace-act by playing the Last Dalek game on the B.B.C. website for hours in any way whatsoever. Ossian's Reach is actually coming together rather nicely, although admittedly everything I've written so far is background and it's going to take some effort to simplify the story sufficiently to put it across quickly to an agent or publisher. It is in part an elaboration upon, and extrapolation of, some elements I've used in a number of my unpublished Doctor Who novel proposals... or, more accurately, one proposal which underwent some eight revisions as it shuttled between the B.B.C. and Telos.

At some point (with a great deal of luck, it'll be after Ossian's Reach has been published by a proper S.F. publisher) the full and epic history of the A Memory of Fire proposal may be told, but it resurfaced at different points as an Eighth Doctor novel, a Seventh Doctor novel, a Fifth Doctor novel, a short story and a novella... all entirely at the suggestion of the various editors, I might add, who then didn't publish it. That last one really seemed to be getting somewhere, and went through three separate revisions on its own before Telos decided against using it. Fortunately, that contact did allow me to make an early pitch for Telos' Time Hunter novella series, which is how Peculiar Lives came about.

Anyway, while the core of A Memory of Fire was very specific indeed to Doctor Who, there were some incidental aspects (and I obviously can't say what they were at this stage) which, during the course of those successive revisions, became so intricately developed as to be able to sustain a novel in their own right -- and, in my firm opinion, a mainstream, non-tie-in, S.F. novel.

And that's what I've been up to this weekend.

[Edit to add: I started Parrinium Mines as a means of not talking about Doctor Who on this blog. That's not working out so well, is it...]

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