Writing Is A Window On Delancey

As you do a thing for fifteen years, you load that activity with feelings and images. I am putting together a series of reflections on what the word writing brings to my mind. I’ll stamp the headline of these posts with “Writing Is” to make them easy to spot and to give them a suitably farty air.

For me, writing is sitting in the window of a cafe and watching the world go by.

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Announcing The Killbug Eulogies on June 12th

Let’s not bury the lede, shall we?

Disemboweled by the razor scythes of a six-foot mantis, lobotomized by hungry larvae, or roasted on an exoskeletal skewer: these are only a few of the disgusting ways to die in humanity’s hopeless war against giant space insects. Deployed on a brutal bug planet without a chaplain, a depleted infantry unit has entrusted its eulogy duties to the soldier standing closest at time of death. Somehow this rotten privilege keeps falling to Pvt. Timothy Archon.

Archon’s speeches explore the strange obsessions the men have developed since the war began—from archiving killbug death psalms to trying to seduce the enemy. Did these manias somehow redeem them, or only bring them quicker to their messy ends?

But more importantly: Why does Archon keep having such terrible luck?

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A New Novel, Classic Sci-Fi Feel

My first full-length novel, The Killbug Eulogies, is just about ready for release this June!

The book has been booting around my hard drive for several years while I worked on other material. For a long time, I felt intimidated by the publication process, especially when so many people talk about the mistakes they made putting out their first book. I was afraid of making a mess of it.

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Distributing Your Book Online: The Devil’s Details

If you are a writer looking to publish a book on Amazon or elsewhere, a ton of articles on the web will tell you about what you should or shouldn’t do. However these articles often pass over certain smaller details, which if you aren’t prepared in advance can give you quite a headache, including putting a skew on your timeline.

I recently put out a small book called Kevin The Vampire and pushed it through a number of distribution channels, precisely to locate these speed bumps so I could avoid them while publishing future projects. I list my discoveries here, in case they are of use to anybody.

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Culture is Anti-Authoritarian

Authors are aware the market for novels is becoming more glutted by the day. With all that competition just to get your work in front of a potential reader, let alone to make a sale, many are asking themselves if it might be wiser to conceal their political opinions lest they alienate a segment of their audience.

In today’s climate, however, this line of reasoning has one very fatal flaw.

Authoritarians don’t read.

I’d go to far as to say: Authoritarians can’t read.

Not because they are stupid. They are so terrified of consuming culture that might upset their frail digestive systems, even the smell of a new idea leaves a terrible sneer upon their faces. All they have a stomach for is whatever has been ground down by thousands of identical iterations into flavorless gruel. Not just books but artwork, music, film, anything.

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Revisiting Starship Troopers

The local arthouse theater showed Starship Troopers as its midnight movie this weekend. This film is the conspicuous chief source for my first full length novel, The Killbug Eulogies, coming out shortly. (I’ll be seeing the final cover very soon!) I hadn’t seen it in a couple years, so I thought it was time to give it another look.

When I first saw Starship Troopers during my junior year of college, I was immediately drawn to its witty satire of wartime propaganda. I even gasped at the scene where the children are encouraged to stomp roaches to death: it was uncomfortably close to footage I had seen of how the United States portrayed its enemies during the Second World War.

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Bugging Out: The Insectoid Foe in Science Fiction

My first full length novel, The Killbug Eulogies, involves human soldiers fighting giant space insects across the galaxy. Bugs appealed to me as adversaries in science fiction because they are among the least human adversaries an audience can imagine. A werewolf, for instance, is only ordinary human nature gone feral, but a bug’s life is completely alien to our way of thinking.

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Creativity In A World Gone To Shit: What Is It Good For?

Over the last few months, I’ve been making final revisions to my first full length novel, The Killbug Eulogies. The original draft has been around a while—the earliest notes are dated 2011!—but the story seems more real now than when I wrote it. The characters, like those in my favorite space operas, fight to save the galaxy against overwhelming odds. These heroes, however, sense they are going to lose. Humanity faces eradication at the hands of an enemy that believes it performs the service as a favor. The mistake seems reasonable, since instead of mounting a coordinated last ditch offensive, human leaders feed each other to the wolves in petty political struggles.

With almost nothing left to hope for, soldiers deployed behind enemy lines try to find something to give meaning to what time they have left.

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