Thursday, October 24, 2019

Writing Update

As ever I’ve been pretty lax in posting stuff here. Mostly I’ve been posting on Facebook or Twitter. I could justify this by saying I get more reaction and interaction there, and that more people spend their time on those social media rather than on blogs. Do I need to justify it? Not really. But the real reason I post there is because it’s easier to bang off a short paragraph about what I’m doing and feed it into the modern version of ‘today’s newspaper tomorrow’s chip paper’. I also spend a lot of my internet time using an Ipad, and typing out some long post on that touchscreen, with just a little window in which to see it, I find annoying. Anyway, I hope the recent FB catch-up posts here have served a purpose. But now I’ll have a ramble through the recent past and present, and probably repeat a lot of what you’ve already read in the catch-ups and elsewhere.

The main reason I’m writing here now is to take breaks from going through the copy editing of The Human – third book in the ‘Rise of the Jain’ trilogy (published on April 16th 2019). It’s a boring chore of mostly going through with a mouse to click ‘accept’ or ‘reject’. By this time I’m about sick of a book I’ve written and gone through ad nauseum and only with gritted teeth can manage two or three chapters without trying to think of other ‘essential’ task to do, like make a coffee, or put bee’s wax on a door. The Human brings me up-to-date on my present contract with Macmillan. At some point I’ll have a chat with Bella Pagan at Macmillan about a new contract (and suggest it’s time for a pay rise) but, despite this contract coming to an end, that does not mean I’ve stopped writing.

Since I was again ahead of my contract I turned my attention to writing short stories. One I started using something I’d excised from a previous book, but it grew in the telling and became a book itself titled Jack Four. This is the tale of a clone taken to the King’s Ship to be experimented upon, steadily ramping up into a border incident between the Polity and the prador kingdom. That done to first draft I put it aside and went back to short stories again. I did a few. Skin will appear in an Ian Whates anthology, An Alien on Crete will appear in Asimov’s and a novella called Moral Biology is destined to appear in Analog. I have others besides I’ve either yet to send or have been rejected. The Bosch is a novella that concerns a biotech world in the far future (after the Polity) where the ruler of that world raises the creatures of Hieronymus Bosch in a quest for vengeance. The Host is linked to Moral Biology. While Longevity Averaging is a near future (novella) based on my reading of present day life-extension research – the ‘longevity averaging’ of the title concerns how government works out when you get your pension.

Again, however, while in short story mode, I started something that had legs and kept on running. I have a working title for it of Cacoraptors but suspect I’ll be changing that in due course. This concerns the colonisation of a world just at about the time when the prador/human war starts up. All the lovable elements are there: prador, Jain tech, grotesque and vicious alien creatures (besides the prador, that is), human transformation, Polity double-dealing and lots of smoking wreckage. However, I’m writing this one in a different way. As I wrote what was initially a short story I started putting in ‘retroacts’ to fill in background. This became, to me, as interesting as the ongoing story and I did more and more. Now the book runs with the story in the present at the start of each chapter followed by the background that has led to present events. Generally, as the book goes on, I’m delving further and further into the past with the latter, but I am mixing it up a bit by putting in past events where they are relevant to the present ones. The timeline is all over the place. It’s interesting and tangled, and I hope you find it interesting too. I was a bit unsure about doing this and considered straightening out the timeline, but remembering that one of my top ten favourite books is Use of Weapons by Iain M Banks, I’ll stick with it.

So there you have it – you’re up to date with stuff about my work . . . or rather, you’re not. Something I did three years ago will be seeing the light of day soon. I also have other stuff I have to keep my mouth shut about. And no, before you get excited, no one is making films of any of my books.

Monday, October 21, 2019

October 2019 Facebook Posts

October 1st
The Macmillan sales team have secured an October Kindle Monthly Deal for The Line of Polity in the UK. The deal runs from 1st - 31st October. Find it here: The Line of Polity (Agent Cormac Book 2)

 Image may contain: text

Nice picture of me for a change. No protruding belly in sight and face concealed by vapour.

Image may contain: 2 people, including Neal Asher, people sitting, table and outdoor

Been making a pig of myself with the kayaking. 15K again today. 3.5 hours out on the Libyan Sea. Fucking love it. I've also been walking in the mountains but not so frequently. Not so excited about that in the mornings after beer.

Oct 2nd
Damn but there is so much crap out there about 'burning muscle'. Nice to get back to reading something that makes evolutionary biological sense.

Contemplating my return to the UK. Definitely 2 consecutive days of fasting each week, a serious weigh-training program, zero alcohol and a meat and veg diet with little in the way of carbs. I will lose this bloody tyre around my waist! On the writing front: complete the next book to first draft, then short stories - lots of short stories.

Right, I'm off. It's time to make chilli sauce!

Oct 3rd
Okay, it's that time of year again. I didn't quite have enough chillies for one batch of sauce from my plants, but Peter - the guy who provided me with the plants in the first place - came up with a nice bag full. I forgot to buy cornflour so this is not as thick as I would like but, I have my chilli sauce in the house again at last!

Image may contain: food and indoor

Image may contain: drink, indoor and food

Image may contain: drink, table, food and indoor

Image may contain: drink, indoor and food

Image may contain: drink, table, indoor and food

Oct 5th
Okay, maybe no kayaking today. The waves here are enough to flip me over so I can guarantee they'll be worse once I head off around either of the points.

Image may contain: one or more people, ocean, sky, cloud, sunglasses, outdoor, nature and water

Image may contain: ocean, sky, tree, outdoor and nature

Image may contain: ocean, sky, outdoor, water and nature

Image may contain: ocean, beach, sky, water, outdoor and nature

Image may contain: ocean, sky, water, beach, outdoor and nature

Peak and final booze intake was achieved the day before yesterday. A carafe of white wine (half a litre) followed by three large glasses (more than half a litre) followed by more white wine then raki isn't a great idea. Do this on a practically empty stomach and it's even less of a good idea. At a certain point my memory of the evening is non-existent. The next day's hangover was of the cringe and curl up somewhere hoping for unconsciousness kind, then this morning an army of dwarves had set up a forge in my head to provide the weapons for war against the orcs. Paracetamol, ibuprofen, lots of water and a walk in the mountains has dismissed the buggers, but the mere thought of alcohol makes me gag.

My last post may have been premature. . . 

Image may contain: drink, table and indoor

Oct 6th
Still cutting up a bit rough, but not as bad as yesterday. I have today and tomorrow (maybe) to take the kayak out. Do I risk it? A sensible person would say no. I left 'sensible' behind long ago. Still pondering. . .

Image may contain: ocean, sky, outdoor, nature and water

Image may contain: one or more people, sky, beach, cloud, ocean, tree, outdoor, nature and water

Well, there you go. The other kayaker stopped on the next beach round. I continued most of the way to Koutsouras where over one wave the kayak became airborne from the top and landed with quite a thump in the trough on the other side. At this point I chickened out and turned back. I then achieved the height of cool when a wave flipped the kayak over and I didn't even lose my sunglasses. I had to tow the thing in so I could get back on it. Enough for today.

Oct 7th
Who ordered the omens? My last day of kayaking and a wave flips me over. A glass jar that has had flowers and suchlike in it all summer came off the outside table and smashed - 'the glass is broken' having a particular meaning here I won't go into. It clouded over and I said to my neighbours that the rain would start when I took in my tables and chairs. It started spotting when I got up to do this and was raining by the time they were inside. But of course we are human and always looking for patterns and connections. They mean nothing . . . if you dismiss my deep connection to the gods on Olympus.

So I wonder what this omen is all about?

Image may contain: ocean, sky, cloud and outdoor

Oh well. Sitting in the airport at the departure gate. 😏 It's grim but it has to be done.

This is annoying: still sitting at the boarding gate and the plane is supposed to leave in 15 minutes.

Oct 8th
Parcels opened first because brown envelopes from the Inland Revenue are just too depressing in the early hours of the morning after a flight from Crete.

No photo description available.

The temperature here in Essex has climbed from 6C to a massive 8C. I'm going through my mail in a desultory manner little inclined to do more than look at it, throw away the rubbish and stack the rest on my desk. I'm also taking the opportunity presented by an empty fridge to start my first fast and I'll hit the gym later. I'll do more tomorrow after a decent night's sleep since I didn't get to bed last night until 4AM UK time and 6AM Greek time.

Image may contain: grass, sky, cloud, plant, outdoor and nature

Oh well, that's my gym plan buggered today. Clickety-click from the starter motor - battery flat.

Okay, just getting round to watching Love, Death and Robots. The short films are as various as the stories they come from, so it's unsurprising that thus far the best have been by Peter Hamilton and Alastair Reynolds.

Image may contain: text

Car started and run for a little while now. Thanks Heidi. I also remembered I had the same problem last time I returned from Crete. A simple expedient is detaching one of the terminals, which I forgot to do. I've also ordered one of those portable jump starters.

Is the Dark Crystal series any good?

Oct 9th
Up at 5.00AM this morning, which is 7.00 on Crete so I'm a bit jet lagged. I've dealt with a few irritations of UK living, like telling the BBC to stick their TV licence, and have a few phone calls to make. Next up is shopping, since there's only a bottle of milk in the fridge, then I have to get a routine established for each day: 2,000 words, 1 hour of Greek, gym visit/walk and fasting (I failed yesterday and ate canned fish and beans). Still feeling a bit spaced out, however.

Yay! Cracked it! Happy to have written 2,000 words, slightly sore throat from speaking Greek language lessons out loud for an hour, body tight with a foretaste of tomorrow's aches and pains from a hard hour in the gym. I now feel fully justified to slump in an armchair with a cup of tea. I did have a bit of a food failure, however. You know how they put sweets next to the tills to tempt squalling brats? Well, in Home Bargains they put packets of crumpets next to the till I paid at, the bastards.

Oct 10th
I think I'll head out for a long walk this morning. The contrast to Crete will be interesting: flat, muddy and a temperature reading outside at present of zero. 😏 You may gather that I'm not exactly bubbling over with enthusiasm for this.

‎Jon Wood‎ to Neal Asher
10 October at 09:01 · 
I keep seeing fantastic vinyl box sets and Special Edition Blu-ray boxsets but I don’t see any book collections! I have a full collection of Asher books but some of the older books are a little tattered and have older artwork...are the publishers missing an opportunity here?

No photo description available.

Box sets might be an idea, and they are redoing all the covers:

No photo description available.

Once again the slump in the armchair with a cup of tea. 7 mile walk this morning, 2,000 words of the book written, an hour of Greek recitation done followed by a final hard hour in the gym. I'm knackered.

Image may contain: living room, shoes, screen and indoor

I quite enjoyed Ghost in the Shell - it was a bit of violent fun. But I have to wonder, was she supposed to be clad in a skin-tight suit or, with all their wonderful technology, that they could make boobs but were defeated by nipples?

Image may contain: 1 person, standing and outdoor

Now thinking about watching The Dark Tower. Any good? I will of course briefly heed your opinions before discarding them.

Ooh, excellent. I see that they have Lucy on Netflix. Highly recommended. I think I'll watch it again.

Oct 11th
Oh bloody hell the gym work is catching up with me. Feels like I've been beaten with a stick in places, and like there is elastic under my arms preventing me from easily lifting them. Again today? I dunno. . .

Ολο αυτο το βραδυ εγραψα τα ελληνικα. Μονο λιγο τηλεοραση. Προτιμησα να μαθαινω.
All this evening I wrote Greek. Only little television. I preferred to learn. . . . Or at least that is what I hope that says. I'm sure someone will be along to correct me. Yeah, often I find supposed entertainment boring but, making an effort to learn something, interesting. But then we all know I'm as weird as fuck.

Fuck my body hurts. DOMS. You know you've hit the gym hard when getting out of an armchair is a negotiation, and taking something down from the top shelf of a cupboard is a risky exercise.

Oct 12th
And again no gym. I was going to go, but when I struggled to take off my T-shirt I decided it wasn't a great idea. Food, rest, studying Greek and watching Netflix only today.

Hahahaha! The Boys.

Image may contain: 2 people, beard and text

Saving the last two episodes of The Boys for tomorrow. And yeah, the superheroes would probably end up like that. We see the arrogance of power all around us in politicians and media stars. What kind of arrogance would be engendered by being practically unkillable, able to spatter 'normals' and simply ignore human justice?

Somebody said that in the Brass Man cover picture (the Sullivan) Mr Crane has a little rubber dog in his pocket. I am undecided about this. Maybe I should take a look in better light.

Image may contain: one or more people

Right. That's enough. I've been a layabout for two days. I'm hitting that gym tomorrow even if I still have DOMS. It has faded a bit now - I just realised I got out of my chair without struggling like a turtle turned on its shell.

Oct 13th
Ooh, look what just appeared on Amazon:

Gym visit extended by a five extra minutes on the hour. And I don't stand around talking to people - generally a maximum of thirty seconds rest between sets, though sometimes more for the hard bastards. I'm aiming to go every day and, hopefully, take my time there up to an hour and a half or above. Supposing I don't get crippled by DOMS again.

Ενταξει, θελω ανθρωποι, που μπορεις, να χρησιμοποιεις ελληνικα εδω. Και να με διαρθωσεις οταν ειμαι λαθος. Θελω να μαθενω τι γλωσσα.

Nice sunset this evening. All that London pollution has its uses. 🤣

Image may contain: cloud, sky, outdoor and nature

Righto. I've just eaten a couple of cheese and onion sandwiches, and that's the last food I plan to eat until after midday on Wednesday. Time to get back into the fasting routine. I won't even have milk in tea or coffee. Nothing. Zip. Zero calories. I will also continue with the gym visits and maybe get a long walk in too if it's not pissing down. I will damned well go into ketosis and autophagy!

Seen all of The Boys now. Highly recommended!

A lot here to read for those who are interested in fasting and the science behind it, rather than what the bloke down the gym said, or what some site trying to sell you an expensive diet says, or what the latest crap about it in the media is, or what stupidities your GP or the NHS are still hanging onto.

Oct 14th
Apparently something I posted didn't meet FB community standards. Buggered if I know what it was. Aren't they supposed to tell you what they removed?

First full day of fasting begun. I started with an hour and 6 minutes in the gym to burn off some glycogen. Now I'm drinking only black coffee and green tea, and have a salt mixture for those difficult moments later on. Now I need to do stuff, because one thing I've found with fasting is just how much time you have to spare when you're not preparing, eating and digesting food!

Well well well. I questioned FB about that post and now they've said they got it wrong and put it back.

21 hours into the fast now, no real problems - hunger comes in occasional waves and that's all. Though, admittedly, you could have surfed on the one I got smelling fish and chips in Maldon high Street. I've done my hour plus in the gym, my 2,000 words, my hour of Greek and now must occupy my time till bedtime. I think I'll clean the bathroom and maybe get the vacuum out. Meanwhile, tell me what you're enjoying on Netflix and Prime!

Three episodes into Mindhunter and enjoying it very much. Thanks to all those who recommended it!

Image may contain: 2 people

Oct 15th
Past 36 hours into my fast now and all that is going fine. No hunger this morning. I am, however, not moving around very fast. This is due to the gym. A year or so ago they changed their equipment and the new abduction machines were crap - too much slack in them, thighs hitting handles either side of the seat, the necessity to put them up to the top weight to actually feel anything. I used them again the day before yesterday and yesterday - easy exercises that felt like a rest from the other stuff. Yesterday I found a way to take up the slack in one of them (the one where you push your knees inward against the weight). Apparently those machines are now having an effect. The DOMS woke me up in the night and now I'm walking around as if recovering from a kick in the balls.

The new book is now at 127,000 words. Some creatures in it I named by putting together Greek suffixes and prefixes, my choices being 'kako' for bad and 'phage' for eat. Oh dear. This it turns out was not a good choice at all. 🤣 Look up cacophage.

The creatures are nasty predators that eat people, given half a chance. My other choice of name was 'multidapt' because they are capable of rapidly changing their body form - they can adapt fast to challenges or threats. I'm now going to have to use multidapt or come up with something else.

New name for the creatures made . . . provisionally.

Ooh I do like eBay. Seeds for next year now winging their way to me. My garden will be the Papagiannades hotspot!

Um, spent most of today walking round like I'd just stuck a number of decades on my age. Now, do I ease up on the gym stuff, or do I just keep blasting through it? Silly question really since it will always be the second option. No pain no gain, and I'm thinking my gains should be fucking substantial now. 🤣

A change is as good as a rest, eh. Kinda surprised me I've only been in the UK for eight days. It's gonna be a long winter.

Okay, I didn't last as long as I hoped. I blame the characters from Mindhunters always eating and drinking onscreen. But I did manage a 48 hour fast, which is not a bad start. I'll see if I can do better next week.

Meh, insomnia, it's 3.00AM here. But then I did collapse into bed at 9.00PM. I don't suppose staring at an Ipad is helping.

Oct 16th
Still getting annoyed by jerks who talk nonsense about muscle loss from fasting. The myth arose, I suspect, in gyms where people saw their muscles apparently shrinking from loss of glycogen and fat. As I have said before: look at a joint of pork and how much fat is in it, then consider that pigs are less well fed than us. It can also stem from the fact that often, when people fast, they stop exercising - a case of use it or lose it. Autophagy also kicks in to digest crappy cells, which include muscle cells. In this respect and others the body conserves and any muscle loss will be that which is unused or broken. But in the end the basic reality is this: a starving creature that loses muscle it is using in preference to fat, which is there precisely for those times when there is no food around, would have been taken out by natural selection before anything crawled out of the seas. It is like burning pieces of your wooden house to keep warm, rather than using the woodpile out back.

Okay, time to make another attempt at sleep. Annoyingly I took magnesium and melatonin last night. It has not had the desired effect. Probably my insomnia is due to lack of exercise - mooching around all day whining about the pain in my legs.

Nope, I give up. Sleep keeps on evading me. I'll go to the gym, which is open early thankfully. Doubtless sleep will creep up on me later in the day with a brick in a sock.

Good day today. I woke early and went to gym early for a hard hour plus. After that the last of the DOMS started fading away. Next time I'll push through it rather than sit around feeling sorry for myself. I then got some shopping in before sitting down to write. 2,000 words done. Later an hour of Greek, and now time to relax. The glamorous life of the writer continues. Oh, and re fasting. I haven't felt particularly hungry today.

And again with the sky. A couple of minutes either way and you miss this.

Image may contain: sky, cloud, twilight, outdoor and nature

Oct 17th
Interesting. After my fast from Sunday night to Tuesday night my appetite hasn't returned yet. Yesterday I ate a large salad divided into two - one half at 12 the other at about 7 - but not with any relish. More a case of I have to do this, it's necessary. Today I felt some passing hunger in the morning, but since I've introduced an eating window between 12 and 8 I waited till midday. The vegetable omelette I made still sits on a plate only a quarter eaten. I'll just run with this. No point shoving food in my gob if my body is saying no thanks.

And now I have figure out how I'm going to attach this to my kayak!

No photo description available.

Another productive day today with an hour plus of gym, 2,000 words written and on hour of Greek completed. With the Greek I'm reading past lessons out loud to try and bury the words and phrases in my skull. But an odd lack of relaxation at the end of this day. I've sat here trying to watch stuff on TV but just can't get into it. I also only just stopped myself going out to get a bottle of bourbon, and made a cup of tea instead. I think I need a chair to repair! 🤣

Oct 18th
Back on making my own kefir now. Taking advice (thanks Chris Haringa) I just used a bottle of plain kefir from the supermarket rather than buying grains from the internet. It works just as well - I poured some of the bottle into a pint of milk and 24 hours later had a pint of kefir. I've refrigerated most of that to drink and am making more from the remainder. And so it will continue.

Oct 19th
One hour plus in the gym, an hour of speaking Greek but, sadly, only 1,000 words written. After eating I felt somewhat dopy, then woke up in my armchair three hours later. 🤣 Something quite annoying occurred today too. The circumstance, which I can't talk about, for me coming back from Crete, has been cancelled. Bollocks, bugger, shit and fuck. I could have stayed there for another month.

Anyway, the new book has slid past 130,000 words and I've managed a bit more work on the odd timeline. In this I'm running the present story in the first section or two of each chapter, while delving into the past with the rest of each - deeper and deeper as the book goes on. A lot of polishing will have to ensue, as I shift stuff around to link past events to those in the present, or write such links in. It occurs to me that I'm seeking out complication to make the process more interesting for me, but of course with the corollary that it will be more interesting for you!

Image may contain: 1 person

Oh for goodness sake. The trans woman, or man, or whatever in sports arguments still rage. Some say there should be another category for them but, with the way things are going that'll lead eventually to a hundred categories. Perhaps one for those who self identify as a penguin like Piers Morgan. Bottom line: men have bigger bones and muscles and in general 10% greater lung capacity than women. Cutting off their nadgers, taking hormones or growing their hair longer and dying it pink ain't gonna change that.

I've been putting together my posts on here into blog posts - one for each month - for Facebook haters. A few have protested the necessity of coming here to read them. I'm up to August thus far and need to take a break. Oddly, while doing this, I've been plagued all morning with this feeling that there is something I must do - almost a late for work sensation. Each time I rise out of it and realise that well no, there isn't anything and I can sit on my arse all day if I want. One of the penalties I suspect of constantly pushing myself.

Oct 20th
Creatine powers T cells' fight against cancer

Tactile Devices.

Aug fibres and, effectively, body-monitoring nanites.

Fascinating creatures, eels.

How our memories stabilize while we sleep

Still some time left on this. . .

The Macmillan sales team have secured an October Kindle Monthly Deal for The Line of Polity in the UK. The deal runs from 1st - 31st October. Find it here: The Line of Polity (Agent Cormac Book 2)

Here's a review of The Warship by Russell Letson in Locus Magazine.

The Warship, Neal Asher (Night Shade 978-1-59780-990-0, $26.99, 369pp, hc) May 2019. Cover by Adam Burn. Okay, now it’s getting complicated. I called…

Two plus days of fasting begun - last thing I ate was at 7.30 last night. I'm aiming again to go through till Wednesday. Right now I'm sipping coffee and shortly about to go to the gym to burn off some glycogen. Black coffee of course.

Oct 21st
4 years ago
Neal Asher
21 October 2015 ·
The reason I first walked into Revans Bar 7 years ago. A certain guy called Stan told me it was there so I had to go check it out. Now glued together again and ready to be returned.

No photo description available.

No photo description available.

Tiny, biocompatible nanolaser could function inside living tissues

Discovery leads to ultrasensistive way to measure light

They're slowly learning to handle graphene

Material That Could Someday Power Quantum Computer

Nanoscale Manipulation of Light Leads to Exciting New Nanophotonics Advancement

Meh. Despite all my best intentions I haven't done very well with the fasting. I did do twenty-two hours a day for two days. That's okay for weight loss but doesn't put me into autophagy. Ah well. You never fail till you stop trying. Otherwise it's been a good couple of days. I did my 2,000 words, hour of Greek and an hour at the gym on both of them.

Oct 23rd
Heh. Not what I thought it was.

Magnetic supercrystals can assemble themselves

"We also found that over expression of c-Answer causes advanced brain growth and larger eyes, which surprised us, since it means c-Answer modulates for regeneration and brain development," says Korotkova.

Wake-up call: Cellular sleep isn't as harmless as once thought

Novel agent flips on garbage disposal in neurons, eliminating toxic brain proteins in mice

The copy editing has now arrived for The Human. Being a good boy I did my 2,000 words and then went through half of that. No gym today because I've overstrained my back. Damned body. Hour of Greek done and now It should be time to completely relax. I cannot, however. Even though I did do two lots of twenty-two hours fasting, I still want to do two consecutive days and get properly into ketosis and autophagy. If I relax, my mind will probably stray to the cheddar and preserved sausage in the fridge. 🤣

Yay! I made it past the watershed. It was about 6.30 the last two days when fasting collapsed into scoffing what I could find in the fridge.

Just caught up with season 5. Bloody excellent.
Image may contain: 1 person, standing, sky, text and outdoor

Not so taken with Good Omens. Same over-the-top "acting" by Tennant that finally switched me off Dr Who many years ago. And generally the whole thing seems silly and amateurish.

Oct 24th

Gawd I find going through editing a chore. I shouldn't complain really since, having done all sorts of jobs, I'm aware of what a real 'chore' is. To alleviate the tedium I'm taking breaks to waffle out a blog post. Even this is a bit ho-hum because I'm repeating stuff I've already written here and copied into the blog in catch-up posts. But I guess a state-of-play all in one place is . . . okay.

A Concatenation review of The Soldier.
Image may contain: text

Writing Update.

Interesting. Hmm 72 hours. . .

47 hours fasting thus far at 6.30. I'm definitely going for 48 but thereafter all is negotiable. After learning that immune system breaks down old immune cells and generates new ones at about 72 hours, I'll definitely go for that at some point. But perhaps it would be better to get reacquainted with two-day fasts first.

In other news I've gone through the copyedits of The Human and dispatched them back to Macmillan. There may be further queries, but that's about it for that book now. I wonder how long before publication they start printing. I must ask.

I don't know whether it's due to the fasting, but I'm being plagued by optical migraine lights tonight. Thankfully they never develop into a headache with me.

Okay, 48 hours of fasting achieved, broken with two cheese and onion sandwiches, salad and some preserved sausage. I'll do the 'refeed' over the next three days, then get back on it from Sunday night. Regarding 'refeeding', this is very important and I only have to read some of what people post on fasting FB pages to see that many don't get it. The reason diets fail is that if you constantly reduce your food intake your Base Metabolic Rate adjusts to that, and it can do so by dropping by as much as a thousand calories. The whole point of fasting (for weight loss) is you circumvent that. If you fast for a couple of days then go back to normal eating your body doesn't have time to adjust, but you've still majorly reduced your overall intake. So no, don't diet between fasts else you're setting yourself up for failure.

Oct 25th
Excellent. I've made a good step forward learning the Greek. I've got a stack of notes full of sentences, phrases and words (like the verbs with their eighteen different versions). Until now all I've been doing is reading them out loud to imbed them in my mind. Boring and repetitive, but necessary. Now with every word or phrase I'm making up sentences that include them, as fast as I can, and saying them. Sometimes replying to myself too. Just winging it. This is making me realise how much I have actually learned, but also highlighting words I just haven't learned. 'Question' was the last of those tonight. It's also good that I've been enjoying doing so, rather than seeing it as a bit of a chore.

No photo description available.

Um, the book I'm writing has just topped 140,000 words (another 2,000 today) and the ending keeps shifting out of reach. I also need to add some sections throughout and I've only written two or three of those chapter start thingies. This is going to be a long and complicated one I reckon. But I'm enjoying knotting it all up. Oh, and incidentally, this one and the one before it (Jack Four) are both different in another respect. They are both told from the point of view of one character only.

Oct 26th
Heh. Seems I do a post like this at about the same time every year.
2 years ago
Neal Asher
26 October 2017 · 
Meh. I do not like editing. But one has to retain perspective. I won't, for example, be doing what (hopefully soon) the guys from Anglia Water will be doing. Editing is better than unblocking sewers. It is also better than many jobs people have to do all their lives, so quit whingeing Neal.

Oh that's better. My back's been a bit buggered but it was better enough today for an hour plus at the gym. 'Love handles' and that stubborn slug of fat at the front have melted away a bit too after fasting. More will go next week when I attempt a 72 hour fast (I hope).

Oct 27th
Well that was a crappy night's sleep. 11.30 till 1.00 despite melatonin, St John's Wort and Benadryl. Then a half sleeping pill at 4.00 knocks me out till 11.30 and I wake up feeling like shit with a gummy eye. Oh well, at least I gain an hour today. I'm now trying to get functional with excessive amounts of coffee. Need some kind of a reset.


Oct 28th
Well, it seems I got my reset. I drank rather more red wine than should be good for me, fell asleep for three hours in an armchair then for eight hours in bed. Alcohol does that sometimes - floods through knocking the system out of kilter and then it reintegrates with functions changed. It's almost like a format or taking it back to factory settings. Oddly I don't have a hangover and just feel like I've had a good, needed sleep. But I'm off to the gym shortly, so let's see if they need to send for an ambulance. 🤣

The Blood of Roses
No photo description available.

Oct 29th
Microscale rockets can travel through cellular landscapes

Ooh, have they only just noticed?

Pre-Cooler for Hypersonic Spaceplane Cools From 1,000°C in Less Than 0.05 Seconds

Well, since no hangover was interfering, I did start another fast on Sunday night. I'm not being hugely strict with myself i.e. occasionally I'm putting milk in tea and coffee. I'm not too concerned about that since I've done a couple of heavy gym sessions to burn stuff up and am aiming for 72 hours without food.

On other fronts: the book is heading towards 150,000 words but now the end, sort of, is in sight. This one is going to need lots of work after this first draft. I suspect I'll be on it in that respect for many weeks while chewing the edge of my desk. As for learning Greek . . . I'm just reading through my notes and speaking out loud made-up conversations. This has made me realise I know more than I thought I knew as words just rise into place from my back brain. I really need to look up (or invent) Greek words for gabbleduck and hooder to make those conversations more interesting! 🤣

Watching The Magic Pill on Netflix. I know about most of this stuff but, damn it, seed oil and many food companies, along with tossers with their hands in corporate pockets, including politicians and members of the American Heart Association, and many so-called health experts, should be in jail. Shame it's too late for someone to kick Ancel Keys' arse too.

Image may contain: text that says "THE MAGIC PILL"

Interesting to compare and contrast the above documentary with this one on Netflix. But the final upshot in either case is eat fewer crappy foods, and I think we all know what they are.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, text

Oct 30th
I failed to do 72 hours fasting this time (it was 46) but fuck it I'm going again. I watched a couple of documentaries last night (last post below and one in the comments). I didn't agree with everything in them but they were inspirational. I then watched the snake diet guy on You Tube for a bit and told myself to stop being a pussy. I then threw out every piece of bread in the house, every last remaining sweet item. Lot's of veg meat and fat from now on, after another fast. My body will obey.

I wonder how many people tell their friends and family, 'I go to the gym for an hour long session three times a week!' or similar, when the reality is somewhat different. You have Mrs Water Bottle who first fills her bottle on arriving then seems to spend an awful long time sipping from it while contemplating her next exercise. Then there's Mr Fitness App who sits on a machine for five minutes after exercising while checking his fitness stats, and probably messaging and pissing about on social media. Then there are the 'gym as social activity' people, who, when they find a victim, will ramble on into lengthy detail about, well, anything really. Annoying ones are those who do this while hanging onto a machine you want to use. Today three gym goers got together to discuss their activities - how this exercise works and how you really should do this, or that. I did four different exercises, four sets of ten repetitions in each, before they actually got back to doing something. The gym is definitely a place full of displacement activities.

No, not really. It can work if both partners are filling their boots, but usually one partner is getting the shitty end of the stick. It causes damage in a relationship and besides that can damage the partners they choose outside of the relationship.

Study identifies role of specific gene in hardening of blood vessel walls

Oh do fuck off.

This Strange Rule Is What Makes the Human Brain So Powerful


Oct 31st
Hmm, not so long ago.
1 Year Ago
Neal Asher
31 October 2018 ·
Jack Four just passed 125,00 words, which is about the length of Cowl. I am having fun. I suspect this is one you'll read out of breath all the time. I certainly get that way writing it.

Image may contain: ocean

Shortly we'll have: our use of fossil fuels is upsetting the climate, ice melt has cooled the ocean resulting in sea ice, and this will cause an Ice Age. We need to build more wind turbines, pay more taxes and introduce international authoritarian socialism (though that's tautology). Power to the people!

Oh right, it's Halloween. Must remember to not bother answering my door.


Oh well, that wasn't a highly productive day. I went to the gym early, wrote a few hundred words, failed a fast at midday with a large omelette, then slept away most of the afternoon. I did do my hour of Greek, so there's that. Now I have the prospect of being awake until the early hours. Bugger. And I will damned well write this weekend to get my weekly count up to 10,000.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

September 2019 Facebook Posts

Sept 2nd
The Soldier is on a kindle monthly deal for September (in the UK) so you can buy it for 99p. Get in there!

The Soldier (Rise of the Jain Book 1)
Image may contain: text

Took a day yesterday to clean house from top to bottom, and finally clean all the glue, paint and wood stain spots off my front terrace. It was also a day of peeling onions for pickling. The chilli sauce will be next.

Image may contain: 1 person, food

Image may contain: table, food and indoor

Image may contain: indoor

I was going to bring my laptop down to book my flight home, just couldn't bear the thought of it today. I've now got to try and think of positive aspects of the UK in winter. . . Nope, struggling here.

Nope. I have to bear in mind that winter here isn't exactly a beach party. Positive aspects of the UK: gas central heating, big fuck-off TV with surround sound and The Expanse to watch, carpets. . . nah, still struggling.

I guess I'll have to see the winter as a time of health focus with fasting, long walks, hitting the gym and a severe reduction in booze consumption, and nose to the grindstone on the word processor.

Blimey. I've just realised it's not even 4PM yet. Quick kayak run that - shows what a day of rest can do. And just in case you think I'm spending my time enjoying myself rather than working. I did my 2,000 words this morning . . . though I enjoyed that too.

Full of piethachia meh skortho (lamb chops with garlic) as opposed to pethachia meh skortho (which would be children with garlic) and now enjoying a warm evening at Revans. It's weird. I'm here for another month yet, know I know when I have to go, still feel like I'm leaving shortly. The drop in temperature contributes. In the village I contemplate wearing jeans and don't want to sit outside anymore. This translates as high summer in the UK.

Sept 3rd
I'm sure the tourists here are loving the yip yipping on the beach. Bloody people with dogs who think it's okay to let them just keep on barking, yipping, yapping whining and howling. It's not okay. It's selfish disregard for others. Fuck right off.

Sept 4th
I passed 100,000 words today but didn't do my 2,000. With the timeline of the book all over the place, making alterations gets a bit more complicated. For example: I decided that the prador destroyed the satellite here, but did the colonists have it for surveillance when they retrieved the fusion reactor? Or when the mobile strangler fig tried to eat Nursum? Or when the multidapt aliens grew wings?


The rat-dog from Hell is back. Whatever. I'll be out on my kayak on the peace of the ocean soon.

Sept 5th
Well that was depressing: I've just booked my flight home. But then I should step back and get a bit of perspective. It's over a month away and most people don't even get to stay here that long.

Okay, after last night's excesses I did a big kayak run to burn the shit out of my system. My turn-around point was a beach called Stousa, a round trip I estimate at 15K - 3.25 hours. I even came back wanting a beer. This morning the mere thought of beer turned my stomach. Kala na patho (I got what I deserved).

Sept 6th
12K walking in the mountains this morning, 10K on the kayak this afternoon, and no beer. Sometimes you just need to straighten yourself out.

Sept 8th
And another 12K in the mountains in the morning and 10K on the kayak this afternoon. Only this time I have beer, because I'm entitled, because it's Sunday, and because a couple of days of abstinence in this place is worthy of a medal.

I can attest that the pickled onions turned out very nice, since I ate a whole jar of them last night. I'm now looking into ways of preserving black figs since I'm getting loads of them. Tried oven drying. Next I'll try sticking them in syrup.

Sept 9th
I'm now at that point in the book I will call the 'how do I sort this mess out' stage. This entails lots of deleting, moving stuff around and figuring out how to tie off plot threads. It unfortunately means that the word counts of 2,000 become much more intermittent. This is no good for my OCD, but I expect I'll compensate by counting steps in the mountains or paddle strokes while out on the kayak.

And here's a rarity for the annals: me actually making notes. Of course the picture is sufficiently blurred so you can't read them. . .

Image may contain: people sitting, drink, ocean and outdoor

I can understand how natural forces end up personified as gods, demons, angels or whatever. Out on the sea today I developed a strong case of Tourette's while talking to them. I set out against the wind, ended up in waves that weren't exactly malevolent but did seem to be toying with me. If I hadn't been alert I suspect I'd have been flipped a couple of times. Then as I came back, the wind changed direction while I was out from the coast. The big waves that had at last been working with me, acquired small waves on top of them heading in the opposite direction, and on the last third of the trip back I was paddling against the wind again. So naiads, nymphs, zephyrs or Poseidon bored and rattling his trident to see how big the waves need to be to have the Englishman off his kayak? Not unusual here: Greeks bored and playing with the xenos for entertainment.

Image may contain: tree, sky, outdoor, nature and water

Sept 11th
Okay, latest bit of food preservation. The syrup consists of a cup of red wine vinegar, two of sugar and juice of a lemon plus zest. I microwaved the figs to sterilise them and stuck them in hot jars, syrup poured in and then on with the lids. I have absolutely no idea how these will taste. Pretty good I think. . .

Image may contain: drink and food

Image may contain: fruit and food

No photo description available.

Image may contain: food and indoor

Um. As I commented to someone on here: I have a doorway in my house with a stone arch. It's okay if you're a little Greek granny but not so good if you're a hungover Englishman. The sore lump on the top of my head attests to this.

The book, now past 100,000 words, has two possible courses. I can finish it with the characters, plot threads, alarums and excursions I have thus far. Or I can do the Raymond Chandler 'time to walk a man in the room with a gun'. The gun in this case would be a fully armed and equipped prador dreadnought arriving just when it seems problems have been resolved. What do you think?

Time to return to the village. Do I sensibly stay in and cook for myself, or go out for food and quite possibly too much to drink. I think I know the answer already. . .

Thanks to Adam Fairchild we now have a new 'meme'. Having read Dawkins I'm not sure I like the usage of that word, but. . .

Image may contain: text

Okay, now I'm full of lamb chops with garlic, chips and salad. Suddenly the tight T-shirt is not looking like such a good idea. Oh for those days of a six-pack stomach that didn't change after four pints of beer, a donna kebab and large chips. Long gone I fear.

Sept 12th
Phlegm, sore throat and a dry cough have been screwing with me for about five days. Yesterday I felt well so ate out, and drank ouzo. I woke in the middle of the night coughing my lungs out and feel pretty shitty today. But still I'm reluctant to forgo my kayak 10K. Sitting here trying to come to a decision on that. . .

Sept 16th
Uhuh, going out on the kayak while a cold is coming on was not such a great idea. For three days I've been out of it. My body's thermostat went haywire and all my muscles feel leaden and beaten. The cough progressed to nicely 'productive' and moved through the phlegm spectrum to an interesting pale jade colour. The blobs of sputum have been seemingly immiscible with water and at times resembled grapes. Still buggered - sitting here in Revans in jeans - amoxycillin washed down with orange juice. The sea looks lovely for kayaking, but I have to go home.

Image may contain: one or more people, ocean, beach, sky, outdoor, nature and water

Sept 17th
The sea is flat and calm, it's sunny and lovely and warm. Antibiotics and nighttime coughing episodes aside, I'm going out on that fucking kayak later.

Okay, I was warned that fruit juices interact with many drugs. *sigh* oh well. I washed down the antibiotic with beer. Anyway, after the 10K kayak I feel much better. Sometimes there comes a stage when you're feeling shite when you have to get off your arse and push yourself. I will of course be remembering these words when I'm coughing my lungs up tonight.

Sept 18th
Excellent. I slept without coughing last night. The cold is gone, the lungs are clearing, I wrote with enthusiasm this morning, and shortly I'll be heading out here:

A cold can last interminably. I wonder, however, how long it can spend incubating in the body before its effects really make themselves known? I felt crappy and worn out for some time before my throat felt a bit icky. Then again, just being worn out makes you vulnerable to the bastard virus.

Okay, feeling healthy again, the sea was calm, so I had to do the 15K kayak. Not feeling particularly weary either. I'll probably bugger this all up later with a meal out and too much to drink. That's life.

Sept 19th
Cover reveal time. Here then is The Human, the concluding (and of course action packed) book of The Rise of the Jain trilogy. Enjoy!

Image may contain: text

So I was a good boy and didn't go out and drink away my health gains last night. In fact I was knackered and didn't want to do much more than lie on my sofa. But gains were made as it seemed my subconscious had been chewing things over. I ended up in that state between waking and dreaming afterwards and sat down to scribble a few lines which, when expanded, will be the last quarter of the book. This morning I made some alterations to suit this then went straight into my 2,000 words. Very satisfying. And yes:

Image may contain: text

Well that was a very laid back kayak trip. No wind, no waves, just sitting back in the thing and paddling along slowly. Actually needed after yesterday's adventure.

Emptying out now. It is September and getting late now. Quite sad to think this is the last year the Stratos is open under Dolores and Van. No more 'spot Neal Asher' and no more spicy food as an antidote to the generally bland Cretan fare.

Image may contain: people sitting, table, plant, outdoor and indoor

After a karavachi of ouzo in the Stratos to wash down hot wings followed by roast lamb, time to stagger over the hill to Revans. I will probably regret this in the morning.

A few people in Revans but it's early yet for the after dinner crowd. Steadily reviving now as my digestive system deals with its recent assault. But I mustn't stay out too late. Besides the danger of turning into a pumpkin, I have work to do! See, even in this setting I continue to do my job. . .

Image may contain: one or more people, people sitting, screen, table and indoor

Sept 20th
1,500 words done despite the ouzo hangover. Completely still and no wind when I headed down here from the house. From the moment I arrived the wind started blowing. It's those bloody zephyrs again. They're out to get me.

Well that was cool. The wind kicked up some big waves on the way to Koutsouras, then it died on the way back and the waves eased off. Ahead of me I caught sight of something large and grey-brown and a glimpse of something that looked like a fin. After a moment of buttock-clenching I went to investigate. It wasn't a fin but a flipper. I spent a happy few minutes watching a turtle sculling through the waves. It then turned away and dived. Excellent. First time I've seen one of them while out on the kayak.

Right, back up to the house to write the 500 words to complete today's 2,000. The excitement never ends.

Sept 21st
I was looking at the clouds in the mountains last night and thinking WTF, this is early. I then saw this FB memory from four years ago. Perception of the present based on a certain selectivity about the past can be deceiving. This probably explains a lot about the 'Oh my God the climate' crowd.
4 years ago
Neal Asher
21 September 2015 ·
Ah the crappy weather has arrived. Just been watching a thunderstorm and apparently we're due for rain all night. Καλο βραδυ!

Image may contain: 1 person

No photo description available.

No photo description available.

As somebody (Ricardo Graves) once described it, it's blowing a hooligan out there. Dismissing the immediate grotesque mental image that summons up, I'm looking out to sea and wondering. Probably better if I just went home and did stuff around the house and garden. But then again, I like a challenge, and in this wind I might be able to get the kayak airborne. . .

Image may contain: ocean, sky, beach, outdoor, nature and water

Okay, I easily ran with the wind to get out to the point. I turned the kayak into it once just to be sure I could paddle back against it. Sheltered going round the point then straight into it beyond there. White water, spray whipping up, then a strong gust picked the nose of the kayak about a foot out of the water and skidded it sideways. I suddenly lost my spirit of adventure at that juncture and turned around.

Eating out again tonight (because I haven't bothered filling the fridge) but definitely avoiding the ouzo. The Gabbiano is packed with Scandinavians once more. You can tell by the tables all together in a line - some throwback to Viking drinking halls or something. Mede and toasts to Odin. But they don't seem to be violent and I haven't glimpsed any concealed axes.

Sept 22nd
Ah, I did that then. And now I'll take this opportunity: all those who know me on Crete, please keep a lookout for dumped wooden furniture (no veneered crap) for me. Cupboards, chairs, tables . . . I'll be needing some projects next year.
4 years ago
Neal Asher
22 September 2015 ·
Okay, one scary chair renovation complete. Before and after pictures...

No photo description available.

No photo description available.

After a recent discussion with someone, about agendas and motivations, I have to wonder if I've become a bit too cynical. My story-telling faculty (as it did when I was suffering from anxiety) tends to tell the bad stories and those are the ones I believe. Perhaps I should cut people more slack?

Okay, that's enough self examination. Where's my kayak?

Windy again today, but not quite so bad as yesterday. I think it might be dying off. I'll see if I can get a bit further with the kayak. Only two weeks of this left now before my return the grey of the UK, alcohol abstinence, fasting, sweating in the gym and plenty of writing of course.

Image may contain: one or more people, ocean, sky, beach, outdoor, nature and water

Thanks to Martin Lambert for this and, via a roundabout route, seeds of the top one here the Carolina Reaper. I may not get chillies this year from the four plants I'm growing, but hope to have someone picking and freezing them for me. Should make for some interesting chilli sauce next year.

Oh dear. I had to go and get a top from the car and still feel a bit chilly. The end is nigh for the acclimatised. If I was staying to the end of October I could see myself down here in jeans and jumper, while others would be walking around in shorts and looking like broiled lobsters.

Sept 23rd
Ah fuck nuggets. Guess which company I found a cheap flight with a few weeks back: Thomas Bleeding Cook. I now have to find out what the hell is going on with that, probably book another flight, and probably find the prices have skyrocketed.

Oh right. I just got an email from Directline Flights concerning the Thomas Cook clusterfuck. My money will be refunded but I have to book another flight. Prices are already going up what with others looking for flights. Annoyingly I really do have to get back to the UK before a certain date, so I'm probably going to get shafted on price.

Hmm, I think I better return with the laptop later and start checking out flight options. An awful lot of people have been stranded by this. Maybe I will have to do an Athens transfer - not too much of a problem since I have no hold luggage.

Right. I managed to book an Easyjet flight back on the 7th. The cheaper flights were all gone and they weren't putting up prices on those remaining, so the cost was €80 - 90 more. It wasn't a cheap flight, but it wasn't silly money either. Glad that's sorted!

I suspect that quite a shit storm is going to be hitting Crete next year. Here in Makrigialos the very large Sunwing Hotel was 100% Thomas Cook. The knock-on effects of that closing down are not going to be pleasant. Meanwhile it seems that 80% of hotels on Crete have contracts with TC. We can only hope that an efficient company moves in to fill the void.

Sept 24th
Right. Checked in and ticket ready to print so that's as certain as it can be. Now preparations for departure. The only one at the house is a neighbour watering plants and picking and freezing my chillies. Nothing else needs doing really. Next a UK shopping list: tape for the handle of my kayak paddle - important stuff like that.

I imagine that teenagers in Maoist 'study sessions' thought they were speaking truth to power too. Nice to have unfollow or 30 day snooze for idiots who think otherwise.

I have a headache this has made me irritable. I think I've snoozed about ten people on here. Perhaps I should stop looking at stuff. My irritation levels rise every time I see that bloody Greta or more about politicians trying to shaft democracy.

Ah fuck this I'm off. Social media seems more like Bedlam to me today.

Sept 25th
Nope nope nope. Still Bedlam on the social media. I'm going to have to limit myself to reading replies to my posts and ignore everything else for a while.

Waves are eating the beach here and cloud is looming heavy over the mountains. 100% humidity yesterday, which was noticeable this morning when my car struggled to start. Not entirely sure that's down to the damp - a mouse might have nibbled a wire somewhere. I'll head out on the kayak and upon my return try to avoid the beer. I have cover briefs to do for the Owner trilogy and need to get them to Bella soon. Meanwhile the present book advances apace: railgun strikes from above and a WTF is that! And during the mayhem it turns out someone is not quite as human as they should be. I like it when a plan comes together.

Image may contain: one or more people, ocean, sky, beach, cloud, outdoor and nature

Image may contain: beach, ocean, outdoor, water and nature

Okay, I'm being a good boy today. Here's the evidence:

Image may contain: drink, table and outdoor

Okay, cover briefs sent off to Macmillan and a contract elsewhere agreed (no, I can't tell you because I would have to send a Jain mycelium to eat out your cortex). This involved coming down to Revans with my laptop. Of course, now I'm here. . .

Sept 26th
Gag. A quick scroll through FB and Twitter and its repetition of Greta/Brexit/Boris. I beat a hasty retreat. Anyway, 2,000 words written this morning as I join up the dots of a nasty AI weapons development conspiracy and line up the players for final mayhem. I then had a nice dinner of vlita and tsipoura and, when my stomach feels less like a barrage balloon, I'll head out on the kayak. See, that was better than all the 1st world problems virtue signalling SJW political wank out there.

Sept 27th
I felt a bit bloated and crappy recently, probably as a result of antibiotics and some evenings of being a tad dissolute. So 12K in the mountains this morning and shortly 10K out on the kayak. No bloody beer either! The walk did infringe on my writing time so only 1,500 words done. I will do the rest later.

Um. I think I'll head towards Koutsouras today. The sea is nice and calm(ish) and the other route towards Kalo Nero would be good. However, I know that once on it I would be tempted to do 15K and, after this morning's walk, I'd end up completely knackered.

Then again. . .

And my next resolution will be not to make resolutions. . .

Image may contain: people sitting, drink, table and indoor

Sept 29th
Um, no writing done this morning. Yesterday I did 12K walking in the mountains then 15K on the kayak, then I had some drinks with old friends (Chris and Anna), went home, ate something and crashed on the sofa at 8.30 and didn't wake till 1.30. The ensuing disrupted night's sleep left me be a bit crappy this morning. Instead of writing I spent my time digging out a load of rotted grape matter from the kazani next to my house. As they still raki from fermented grapes they dump the debris into a nearby ruin. And I spread this lot across my garden. So something achieved, anyway. Kayak time now.

Meh. Eight days to go and I'm back in the UK. But I must try to be positive about that (he said, while wondering about what might be involved in relocating here permanently). Of course I have to remember that winter here is not exactly a pushover. The convenience of central heating is not to be denied. Meh.

So anyway, what's the writing SOP? I have The Human ready to come out next year in March-April-May (I don't know the release date). I have Jack Four written to first draft and the one I'm working on is up to 115,000 words and I should have that done to first draft by Christmas. I have stories coming out in Ian Whates collections (perhaps you can say something about those Ian?). I've got a story called An Alien on Crete coming out in Azimov's and a novella called Moral Biology coming out in Analog. I have other stories ready to submit to a few markets. Other things are also happening but are either under an NDA or I've agreed to keep my gob shut about them. I have to talk to Bella Pagan about a new contract with Macmillan. Plans? I'll get this latest book to first draft and again make an attempt to kick out some more short stories. So, all in all, this writing lark is going quite well.

Image may contain: 1 person

Sept 30th
Okay, Bella Pagan tells me the publication date for The Human is the 16th April.

Image may contain: text

Anna Haringa
30 September at 13:22 ·
It's great to be back in our favourite village and to meet up with our old friend Neal.