Latest Goings On

Before I get into the latest on me, let me take a moment to thank those of you that read, and have started following me. I’ve noticed a bit of higher traffic even though my posts are sporadic. I appreciate that some folks can put up with that.

On to the latest.

Firstly, you may notice a change to the website theme, and that it is no longer so dark. I had to realize at some point that reading light colored text on black background isn’t easy on the eyes. So, I switched to a much clearer and crisp layout to help avoid that.

In the meantime, I have been reworking and fleshing out a longtime project that really needs to be finished sooner than later. I found this site to be very helpful in fleshing out plots, characters, and acts in a story.

Writing A Novel Using The Snowflake Method

There is a book being sold on the subject as well at this site, but I found using just the outlines on that page to be helpful enough. I definitely recommend using this method, since it has greatly helped me get my ideas straight.

Besides writing, I have also been reading a great deal again. Just recently got into British author Neal Asher’s work, and I can’t get enough. The Polity novels have been my favorite. I really found myself loving the Transformation series. Dark Intelligence, and War Factory were amazing reads. I’m awaiting the third installment, Infinity Engine, when it releases in the US. I strongly recommend this author for those of you who love aliens, A.I.s, and far advanced tech.

The Transformation series of books is the only book I’ve ever done fan art for. I love the war drones, and a few of the alien creatures. I’ve only done two so far, but I plan to do others soon.

This one is of the war drone ‘Riss’. She was deliberately designed like a parasite that once plagued the ruthless Prador species. Just so happens that said parasites resemble a Terran snake.

riss2
“Riss, The War Drone”

 

The second piece is of the monstrous ‘Hooder’, and bio-mechincal war machines designed by an ancient alien race. They are like a horrible version of a millipede, with a front end with slicing/dicing ‘manipulators’ that pretty much dissect prey alive. I doubt I added enough of the appendages that do all that work, considering the scenes I read. It’s pretty brutal.

"The Hooder"
“The Hooder”

I’ll not spoil anymore for you. Be back soon.

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The Disappointment Of SciFi Films

 

If you are a science fiction fan like me, you’ve probably been left disappointed by the latest crop of films to come out in the last few years. Too few of them stand out as truly thought provoking or engaging, but that’s nothing new in terms of entertainment from Hollywood. New ideas rarely make their way through to the cinema, and if they do, there’s the issue of how the film is executed.

 

 

I recently saw Riddick, and while I enjoy the character, and storylines, this movie felt a bit too anti-climactic. I loved the first two films, and I thought they really started developing the universe pretty well, at least on the surface. However, for the most part, these films are pretty straightforward with the formula, and generally you know what to expect.

 

 

The third installment was fun, but there were things within it that just didn’t seem to fit. Not going to give away any major spoilers, but here are the few things that bugged me. First, there was a female prisoner that is shown for just one or two scenes, and the way in which it is presented make it seem like she has some significance, which we abruptly learn otherwise. So, it left me wondering why this scene was there in the first place.

 

Second, the dog-like animal Riddick ‘adopts’ gives us a view of some man-and-his-canine-friend moments, and we see the soft, playful side of Riddick. While I liked the interaction between these two characters, it may have been a little too drawn out for this story. Perhaps the animal itself was portrayed too dog-like and too playful. A stark contrast to the hell hounds in the 2nd film. I liked those creatures, because they had a more menacing quality and yet, Riddick managed to face it down and have it tolerate him petting it.

 

My last issue is the way the film ended. It seemed way too easy, and I couldn’t suspend my disbelief for that outcome. It just didn’t add up.

 

 

The few movies I have enjoyed are due for sequels, and I look forward to seeing how they turn out.

 

 

I really don’t understand why it seems to be nearly impossible to get a decent or even great science fiction movie done these days. The special effects aren’t much of an issue anymore, but the overall plots are. Now, film makers are setting there sites on famous novels to translate to film, and that’s both exciting and potentially disappointing. Don’t even get me started on the horrid attempts at anime inspired films.

 

 

I hope that the future will be better, and that some new blood will manage to rise up and knock the old formulas to the wayside to give us something truly great in story, visuals, characters, and creatures. Wish on a shooting star (or a fucking asteroid) so that this may come to pass. 😛

 

 

The thing I still love about the old fashioned book isn’t just the feel of the paper, or the cover illustrations, but that fact that the journey of the story feels so much longer and is filled with rich character and atmospheric detail so often forgotten in film.

 

 

So, I guess that makes me a bit of a film snob and traditionalist (in terms of physical books anyway).

 

~ Lynn

 

 

Exile Dawn: Chapter 1

Note:  This is a VERY early draft of some new work of mine.

 

 

Chapter 1

Leon Erastis’ strong hands worked over an outdated aircraft , gutting its useless innards and repairing what was worthy of salvage. Some parts would be replaced, while others had been tossed aside as scrap metal.

Leon’s pale, angular face reflected in the cockpit’s terminal screen as he poured over the details of reformatting the ship’s navigation system. He wiped a bit of sweat from his forehead, and combed his fingers through a short crop of light brown hair. While he sat back in the pilot’s seat waiting for the system to load its updates, Leon noticed an old holo-card tucked in one of the console slots and pulled it out.

At his hand’s touch, a small hologram came to life, displaying an animated loop of a happy family waving and smiling at the camera. The holo-card’s display began to stutter, and finally fizzed out, its circuits having been weakened by age.

The old memento inspired little reaction from Leon. In fact, he felt a little resentment toward it, since happy memories seemed to have evaded him for the better part of his life. Some people have it all, and they just had to leave these reminders for the less fortunate to find. Normally, Leon would’ve held on to misplaced belongings until the owners were found. Today, he honestly couldn’t have cared less. One less reminder of mistakes past.

His crime would haunt his record for decades, but at least his stolen genes worked well enough. Not that they did any good for him socially or employment wise. Though, enhanced abilities did provide hours of entertainment.

Leon counted himself lucky he’d avoided a stint in prison, since he was a juvenile at the time. Instead, he was sentenced to serve 18 months in a juvenile facility. That was difficult, but hardly as terrible as it could have been.

In the meantime, life as an aircraft mechanic wasn’t too bad. He worked alone and the money was decent, so there was little he could complain about.

The aircraft’s terminal chimed when it’s reformatting was complete. Leon’s attention returned, and he started installing the new software and tweaked the settings. Most glitches should be taken care of by the reformat, but that was never a guarantee.

As his stomach gurgled, Leon hoped that any remaining problems would be few.

* * *

Nevi Ynewt had just arrived in the Ayhelene system, specifically planet Helena, both evading and searching. Only having barely escaped murder at the hands of a lynch mob, she was in want for a place to lay low for a while. Helena was far enough away from the world on which she’d caused ecological disaster, but news could still travel fast.

Nevi’s long white hair blew across the pale olive skin of her face as she exited the immigration port. She searched the crowds warily, her light brown eyes panning for anyone suspicious. The onrush of departing and arriving people was overwhelming. She had to get out of here fast.

After several city blocks, Nevi spotted a strip of open restaurants offering different cuisines. She decided on a Helenian restaurant, since the culinary nuances of her own people were rarely if ever found on other worlds. She entered the small establishment and sat on a stool at the bar. A drink would help calm her nerves right about now.

The bartender greeted her with a light smile. “Just arrived?” he guessed.

Nevi nodded, keeping the duffel bag she carried in her lap, careful to keep safe the precious cargo within. “Yeah, I need something to take the edge off,”she said. “A rum and coke would be fine.”

“Sure. Anything else?”

Nevi quickly scanned a small menu, and ordered a a bowl of ramen. As the bartender served

drink, and then left to pass the order on to the kitchen, Nevi rubbed her eyes wearily and sighed thinking of the colossal mess she’d made for herself.

After she finished slurping from the ramen bowl, and having downed the drink, Nevi continued on her way to find a hotel to stay for the time being. The buildings and homes of the many enclaves were built into the mountainous terrain. These colonists had successfully blended into their chosen home world. Many alien plants, both ornamental and fruit bearing, adorned many balconies. While the enclave didn’t lack for modern style, it still gave off a rustic appeal.

The beauty of the scenery, and the near effortless meshing of civilization and an alien wild reminded her of a home she might never be able to return to. The memory of her own world stung with longing, and guilt. She would probably never be able to face her people after her mistakes.

She found a hotel not far from the marketplace, paid for a room, and took a long shower. She stashed her duffel in a private storage compartment in the wall, and watched it slide closed. The door would stay locked unless she gave it a personal password. All hotels had one of these in each room, and the passwords could be changed and suited for different customers.

As she slept that night, Nevi dreamed of her unique ‘children’ flying in the skies of a new world, one they’d call their own.

 *   *   *

Chapter 2 is currently being worked on, and it’ll be posted soon. In the meantime, let me know what you think of the first installment.

~ Lynn

 

 

 

 

Goings On & a Mock Cover

My writing muse is coming back, and yet, I haven’t found enough good reading material. Greg Egan is always a favorite, among others. I’ve been reading the Uplift Saga by David Brin, and I enjoyed the first three books. The fourth isn’t doing much for me. I may just skip to the last two.

After moving to a new apartment complex, I’ve been greeted by these furry little caterpillars crawling about all of a sudden.

white_marked_tussock_cat_katewhitemarkedtussmoth

They are White-Marked Tussock Moth larvae. They are going about their business of finding a spot to cocoon up, and later emerge as this …

7268

Not as brilliantly colored as the caterpillar forms, but I do like the rabbit-esque antennae.

Lastly, I ended up fooling around and made a mock up of what a cover of the novel (WIP) I’m working on would look like if I ever got it published… or finished.

Quick short synopsis: Iona is a hitwoman with a past childhood marred by illegal human experimentation that has made her something other than human. To make things more complicated, there are strange beings appearing everywhere with unknown intentions, and a close friend of hers has begun experimenting on an alien material related to them. Iona encounters one of the alien beings, and ends up more involved than she wants.

AC mock cover copy

It may or may not suck depending on who’s looking/ reading. I’ll find out eventually I guess.

I’m going to try to post some snippets of the things I’m working on in the next few weeks. I can’t promise this blog will ever not be irregular, but I will try to get more content flowing in.

~ Lynn