Thursday, May 19, 2016

Sapo Saga has been released

I've just compiled the story I serialized over at Sigild V for last month's edition of the annual A-to-Z Challenge, and while the result is surely short, I'm proud to present Sapo Saga to the world.  Here's the back cover, too, so you know what it's about:

Basically it's the condensed version of a classic space opera epic, told from the perspective of twenty-six individuals recounting their relationship to the story, which at its heart details to heroics of Ulysses and the redemption of Zuri, both of whom are heroes of the Sapo Order and saviors of the planet Zala, and are equally desperately needing to be rediscovered by a galaxy that has forgotten they were real people.  The people lending their thoughts strange from friends and relatives to the persons responsible for finding out the truth about what really happened.  Central to the whole thing is the mysterious Kindly, the android depicted on the cover.

You can purchase it here (digitally, here).

Speaking of that cover, yes, it's the first time I've delved into creating a distinctive, art-centered cover, so on that score, it marks a transition in my self-publishing.  Thanks for your continued support.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

IWSG May 2016 - May the 4th be with you...

This is an Insecure Writers Support Group post...

I love Star Wars, in part because it stands as a triumph of the imagination.  George Lucas took things he loved (old sci-fi movie serials, Hidden Fortress) and showed everyone why he loved them.  (This makes him a little like Quentin Tarantino, actually.)  And the first version he came up with (later adapted by Dark Horse Comics in its The Star Wars) is virtually nothing like the saga as we'd get to know it.  Hollywood literally spent twenty years trying desperately to catch up with it, and it was such a tough job the fans eventually considered that Lucas himself wasn't up to it when he created the prequel trilogy.

His imagination, however, was a powerful lure.  I grew up with these movies.  By the time I was old enough to watch them, the original trilogy had already been completed, and my family watched them over and over again.  I was young enough to be extremely impressionable, in a number of ways.  The scariest parts of the movies were things I wasn't really ready to face.  I vividly remember that iconic moment when the Emperor removes his hood and reveals his ugly...Wait, you say that never happened?  Well, it did for me.  That, and tiny, shrunken Princess Leia.  I mean, that was a gimme, right?  Only if you didn't understand how the scene was being presented in that prison cell.

Beyond that, and in conjunction with Star Trek (I know, right? most fans like one or the other), Star Wars was to have a profound impact on my budding creative life.  Like Hollywood, it was to be a daunting journey.  I didn't write a word of Star Wars fiction until about a decade into my budding career.  (I've previously written about the huge challenge I set for myself later, the 101 Star Wars Variations.)  A lot of writers tend to be inspired by what they read rather than watched.  That certainly seems to be my experience, anyway.  There are definitely writers who crib from their viewing habits (it's always obvious), but it's far more common (see George R.R. Martin and other famous fantasy writers, obviously following in the footsteps of Tolkien, for instance) for reading habits to be exposed.  Most sci-fi writers still exist in the insular world of book logic, including those actively penning Star Wars (and Star Trek) fiction.

Well, not me.  Star Wars was too important to me.  And yeah, I've been chasing it ever since.  Probably a foolish obsession, I know, but one I can't shake.  It defines the term "saga" for me, and what I always wanted from that saga, but never found except in the movies, what I've always wanted for my sagas.  I mean, what would be the point otherwise?

It's not all Star Wars (or Star Trek).  Last time I checked in I talked about the need for inspiration that truly inspires you, and a large pool of it.  But without Star Wars, my pool would be considerably more shallow.  In both senses.

Is it an impossible dream?  Who knows?
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