Tagged: books

Favorite Weapons in Science Fiction and Fantasy

SFSignal recently ran an article asking several authors what their favorite weapons in sci-fi and fantasy were.

Lightsabers were brought up the most, while swords, and even characters were mentioned. It’s a pretty cool article (for we geeks) and I highly recommend reading it.

It got me thinking: what are MY favorite science fiction and fantasy weapons? I read and watch a lot of science fiction – and some fantasy. As I read the article on SFSignal it got me thinking through TV shows, books, games, and comics.

Favorite Science Fiction Weapons

Honestly there are too many to count. SciFi is where I spend most of my time. But I narrowed it down to four of them. While some may flex the definition to include vehicles, mecha, or power armor, I kept the definition of weapon pretty narrow to specific weapon systems.

Battletech Particle Project Cannon (PPC) – The PPC, and later the Clan extended range (ER) PPC was one of the most devastating ‘Mech/tank weapons in the game. Because it was energy based it didn’t need any reloads. While it created a lot of heat, most ‘Mechs could handle it and PPCs were the end of many an enemy ‘Mech in games. Just the thought of man-made lightning slicing through and blowing up armor is awesome!

PPC

Command and Conquer GDI Ion Cannon – I’ve been playing C&C since I was very young, and I love the original game even today. While The Brotherhood of NOD was fun to play, GDI had the orbiting satellite ion cannon that we lovingly termed “God’s middle finger” and would sew destruction across the battlefield.

169209-command-conquer-tiberian-sun-windows-screenshot-shooting-with

Warhammer 40k Heavy Bolter – Sure, the standard bolter in WH40k is an awesome staple, but I’m a heavy weapons lover, and the heavy bolter is a death-dealing masterpiece. And it just looks cool.

Heavy_Bolter_UM_1

Firefly – Jane’s Gun “Vera” – Jane has to be my favorite character from Firefly, and his tricked out beast of a gun “Vera” just looks cool. Though I lose geek points for not knowing whether or not he actually got to use it in the series.

jayne_cobb_vera

Fantasy

This one is a little harder. I don’t normally delve into fantasy these days. There are, of course, swords and axes galore. But specific weapons are harder for me to identify.

The Cinder Spires Crystal Gauntlets – In the first book in Jim Butcher’s new series “Aeronaut’s Windlass” the militaries of the spires have crystal gauntlets that fire magic. These are handy and very cool, not to mention the battle scenes with them are fantastic.

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The Hobbit “Sting” – When I was very young I watched the animated “The Hobbit” movie and was immediately hooked on the fantasy genre. The sword “Sting” holds a special place in my heart. Later I would read the book, and I still thought Sting, though really just a long dagger/short sword was still a fine weapon. Plus the blue glow early-warning orc detection feature is quite nice.

rotk-1-1204-sting-found

Warhammer Fantasy Warsword of Khaine – The only books I enjoy from Warhammer Fantasy, and the series I’ve read three times now, the tales of Malus Darkblade have to be the best. The action and adventure, not to mention the dark plot really draw the reader in. The Warpsword of Khaine had the ability to keep Tz’arkan the Slaanesh demon at bay, and was a blood thirsty blade that drove Malus to kill more. My kinda sword.

Warhammer_Malus_Darkblade_Throne

 

What are YOUR favorite science fiction and fantasy weapons?

Until next time. . .

 

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Communication During the Editing Process

Update: the book is coming along swimmingly.

Part of the reason the recent editing of the book is going so well is the clear lines of communication between my editor and myself. Like any endeavor – writing, military operations, power plant maintenance, family – communication is key. I find over-communication tends to be better (though perhaps a little annoying) than under-communication.

Now I’m not going to write a whole lot on this. I am going to put a lot more into “A Tale of Two Editors – Part 2”. But it has been such a good experience that I wanted to cover it.

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

Throughout the whole editing process this last month, my editor and I have been in regular communication through phone calls, emails, and face-to-face meetings.

Some people may think that this could become cumbersome, even annoying. At times my first reaction is just that.

But the high level of communication has allowed us to deconflict issues we’ve had, reschedule meetings without issue, and to verify next steps and expectations.

Talking through things has allowed my editor to have a much deeper grasp of where I want to go with my story, and the background to it. Sometimes I feel uncomfortable talking about all the nerdy stuff in my book. But the more I explain, the more my editor has been able to guide me in a better direction, and my book is really shaping up because of it.

Now Communicate Some More

I’m going to go back to the possibility of annoyance for a second.

I am very straight forward, concise, to-the-point kind of guy. I want the facts, and then to tackle the solution. I don’t need fluff or prolonged discussion.

Usually.

I quickly found that this would not work in this case.

First and foremost, while my editor and I have gotten to know one another better, we still really don’t know each other well. We have both had to learn to understand how the other operates, reads, and understands things.

While I am a straight to the point kind of person, my editor needs more discussion. That, and I found that greater discussion in greater detail was required so that my editor could really grasp what I am trying to do with my book. It was a bit of a mental stretch for me, but once I got past my mental block, my editor has come to understand my book better and, as I said before, has helped me change it for the better.

For example, I wanted to ensure that the culture of the Star Folk, the main peoples described in my book, had a lot of examples without just info dumping. Info dumps make the writing boring and interrupt the flow. At first I tried to describe this and my editor had a difficult time helping me. But once I described the culture more, where and how I wanted to describe it, and examples of info dumps, my editor was able to give me suggestions and help me brainstorm.

Softy

The issue with this kind of communication is it’s a soft skill. It’s more difficult to make it into a procedure, or to document a process.

I have to understand myself and how I communicate, and learn how the other person receives information, processes it, and communicates back. And I have to do this each time with different people, whether writing, at work, or with family and friends.

As many may know, it takes time, practice, and many iterations of trial and error.

Conclusion

Communication through the editing process has been key to helping my book become better. Sometimes the over-communication has at first seemed unnecessary, but I’ve learned it’s required if I want my editor to really be able to help me. Perhaps if I had done this more in the past, my book would be further along that it is.

The book is, in fact, coming along really well! I wouldn’t normally say that – I would say good, or decent, or it doesn’t quite suck. But I can honestly say the book is making some real leaps to something much more organized, professional, and almost ready for publishing. I will have more updates in the weeks to come.

Until next time. . .

Update

Alright, so as you all know, the novella PRIMO VICTORIA is available on Amazon for $0.99. You can get your Kindle copy here: http://www.amazon.com/Primo-Victoria-ebook/dp/B00912693K/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1345811053&sr=8-4&keywords=Primo+Victoria

As for Nook and iBook? Weeeeellll…

The iBook version should be done tonight. I now know I need to create the iBook well before I release the Kindle or Nook versions. When it’s released is really based on when Apple posts it. I shall keep you all updated.

As for the Nook version…I’m still working out the kinks. For whatever reason the manuscript wants to all flow together in the Nook version and I can’t get the pages and chapters to separate. Going to see if the program Calibre has any remedies.

Not using BookBaby makes this a bit harder, but I’m also not shelling out $90 in an effort to merely break even (as with DER STERNVOLKER). I’m glad Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Apple have all provided ways for authors to generate the books themselves. And I don’t mind paying a small percentage of my sale in order to keep my profits. It’s a pretty good deal, actually. Will DER STERNVOLKER remain on BookBaby? . . . we’ll see.

And no paperback copies this time, folks. Though CreateSpace is a great service (it really is, no sarcasm intended), and creates a great product, the return on investment and savings to the consumer are not great. DER STERNVOLKER is available for $13.00 through CreateSpace. A book published by a big publishing house of equivalent size and page count would be $9.99. PRIMO VICTORIA would have to be priced at $8 or $9, when a similar book would sell for $4 or $5, or less. It just doesn’t make sense. I’m sorry to those of you who will not read PRIMO VICTORIA because it’s not in trade paperback, but it’s just not worth it for either you nor me.

I hope you’re all enjoying PRIMO VICTORIA. If you haven’t got it already, head over to the Kindle Store and grab your copy today! http://www.amazon.com/Primo-Victoria-ebook/dp/B00912693K/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1345811053&sr=8-4&keywords=Primo+Victoria

Until next time . . .

Publishing Issues

So PRIMO VICTORIA was supposed to go on sale last night. The plan was to release the Kindle, Nook, and Apple iBook versions at the same time.

Oh how little did I know that wouldn’t happen.

So right now the Kindle version is uploaded to Kindle Direct Publishing, and is in review. It should be available in 12 hours for the US, and 48 for all other countries.

The Nook version is giving me a headache. For whatever reason it wants to bleed all the pages together in on giant miasmatic cluster. You will most likely see the Nook version tomorrow.

And the Apple iBook will also most likely be available tomorrow. Though formatting really isn’t an issue (iAuthor on my MacBook Air FTW!) I don’t know the lead time between upload and sales.

I will update you all once we are good to go.

Until next time . . .