This week’s free book is Black Onyx (A Superhero Thriller), by Victor Methos. Evidently this involves a relic from a lost civilization, which appears to be a suit of super-powered armor, but I haven’t yet gotten to the point where the armor has actually been found, so I’m sort of guessing. But given that the book description calls it the “Black Onyx” suit, reveals that there are more than one of it lying around under the Antarctic ice, and gives away quite a bit of the villain’s activities in his attempt to get one of the suits for himself, it seems like a pretty good guess.
Well it’s been a while since I reached into my vast trove of ancient publisher response letters, so I figured it was about time to do so again. And what did I find this time? An acceptance letter from the old ‘zine “Mindmares”, for my old story “Rush Hour”. (See, it’s not ALL rejection letters in there.) Nothing to do with Jackie Chan or Chris Tucker, this is the story of a man who is stuck in traffic, reading the paper, and failing to notice that there’s a Very Bad Thing heading his way. Whoops.
This week’s book, from the Baen free library, is Starliner, by David Drake. This is about an interstellar passenger ship (the “starliner” of the title, natch) that gets dragged into a war between two planets along its route. At least, I assume it’s going to get dragged into the war. Otherwise there’s not going to be much going on, is there?
The first one or two times I make editing passes on a book, scenes tend to get longer. This is because I’ve found that if I keep going back and fleshing out earlier scenes as I think of more stuff, the book never gets finished. Here is an example, from a scene that introduces a character new to the story in part two of Shards: Brennendah, a scientifically-minded Rittandic whose job is to study the Æther, also known as the void, which is gradually consuming the region where the Rittandics live. (This loss of territory, known as the Unraveling, is what gives the territory—the Ravels—its name.) Here is the original paragraph, followed by the revised version: