Working on revisions

Thanks to super-fast feedback from some of my beta readers, I’m already working on the revisions to the Perihelix.  

Naturally I saved a copy of the last file I was working on as a new version to make these changes.  About halfway I noticed something.  I thought I’d changed that, I thought.  Oh, darn, don’t tell me I saved it into the beta version with new edits….  I haven’t found a way of comparing versions on the iMac, so I’ll convert it to Word and compare it with the beta I sent out from the PC laptop.

Well, in response to the feedback I’d put in a new section giving the girls some more background – not their life history, of course, just a bit more to show who they really were under their working image.  It’s a discussion point, really.  These women are escorts, so of course they are going to do what pleases the men.  However, since they get to do things on their own, I can give them full rein to develop in their own personalities rather than their work personas as the story progresses.  What?  You haven’t got a work persona?  I certainly had.  I’m not sure whether I have now or not.

There was also desire for more background on the Imperium and the Federation.  Part of that fits with the girls’ backgrounds, but I hit on an idea which I hope you’ll like, by giving a snippet from the ‘Universal Word Usage, 2822 edition’ at the start of each chapter.  My aim is to make that reference book wholly biased towards the Imperium, and very sanitised (so reading between the lines is useful), and then let the characters flesh it out in their own sweet way, sometimes in the same chapter.

I’m also examining the role of women (and other sexes) in the book.  Farsight is the best place to promote gender equality, since it’s an academic planet.  Unfortunately the Imperium is very much alpha male territory, and Viridian itself is Wild West, not that there’s any barrier to women asteroid miners, they just don’t tend to get that far; I already have women visitors and inter-sex and non-sexual aliens there, though!  The Federation is interesting, since it definitely has reptoids as well as humanoids in its personnel profile.

I hope the beta2 version will be ready at the end of the week, if anyone’s ready to give it a reading for me.  Should that be beta2 or gamma?

A Viridian System Sampler

I’ve just about finished the edit of The Perihelix and will send it to my editor tomorrow.  So if you asked for a beta copy to comment on, that will be sent to you within the next day or so, too, if you haven’t already received it.

If you forgot to put yourself forward for this honour (!) then complete the form here to send to me and I’ll be in touch by email.

viridian-system-samplerI threatened you with a free sample of Viridian stories – well, you’ve already seen them, but I’ve collected together eight stories that are part of the Viridian System (including Paradisio, Ghostgum Creek and Hell Hath No Fury, which kind of derive from Paradisio).  The plan is to send them out as an ebook, free, via Smashwords, as a teaser for The Perihelix.  I am also adding three other scifi short stories – Pilgrimage and Homing Instinct, which are two sides of one story, the Last Ice-cream – and also Traveller’s Return, which is more of a ghost story (but then, so is Ghostgum Creek).  Do you think that would put readers off the Perihelix, having other work in the sampler?  Should I stick to Viridian-connected stories, or is more better?  The twelve stories add up to about 17,000 words, which is a nice sort of sampler, novella-sized, which is why I included the extras.

I already have a lot of short stories which belong after the Perihelix.  With a little time to spare at the end of camp, I wrote a few chapters to start the next book in the series!

Your thoughts are welcome, as always!