If you hadn’t noticed, and you might not have, some pretty serious allegations about harassment have been appearing across the entertainment industry. People in science fiction and fantasy publishing have been mentioned, along with the more prominent figures in comics and gaming, and… I really don’t know what to say about any of the allegations.
What I can say, broadly, is that safety is a basic human right. And taking steps to make sure you’re safe are important and necessary. That might involve getting out of a bad situation, that might involve – especially if the person taking your safety away holds significant power over you – taking steps to reduce that power. That can involve speaking out in public, because the vast power a public figure (or institution, like the police force) holds can only effectively be challenged in public.
I don’t know who’s wrong, I don’t know who’s right. I do know that there are people who are very hurt and who deserve consideration and care. Parts of this process need to take place in public, and it’s worth keeping an eye on all this and making up your own mind. And remembering that people who identify themselves as victims only tend to do so because they have been hurt, sometimes very badly, so, please be compassionate.
Back on the home front, work progress has been relatively slow this month, mainly due to a potent mix of global disturbances and personal life stuff, including but not limited to a couple of days I chalk up to last month’s fever where I just could not function without taking a gigantic nap.
One thing I’m happy to have achieved this month was to revise and update my world bible for the space opera. With the work I’ve been doing so far all sorts of new things have been introduced, invented, or tweaked, and keeping all those tweaks up to date in the world bible is important.
Some fun additions include vitrifying hibernation techniques (think fossils that wake up after a few hundred million years), technologically driven reincarnation, and some effects relating to stretching or squashing time without actually travelling through time. I’m immensely pleased with all of it, even if progress is slow.
In much more exciting news, remember Dog Country? Well, I’ve always wanted to see it in print – it’s been one of the Patreon Goals for quite some time. Getting a book print-ready takes quite a lot of work, more than I was able to take on when self-publishing it, but I’m pleased to tell you all that the support I’ve gotten through Patreon has let me take a very important first step.
I’ve hired on help and had Dog Country copy-edited. This is generally the last step before publication – involving checking for loose comma,s, Wandering Capital Letters, use of the right word instead of the wrong whirred, all that fun nitpicky stuff. I skipped this when self-publishing, relying on my own eyes and the labour of friends, and it left me a little self-conscious about the book. It turns out I did a decent job, but the copy-edit has caught what errors were left and increased my confidence in the manuscript immensely.
Sometime this coming month I hope to make time to go through the edits in detail, and I’m sure I’ll post something giving you all a peek over my shoulder to tell you what copy-edits look like and how I’m going to approach them.
My editor on this, by the way, is Jon Oliver, who is lovely, and who I had a chance to work with a little bit during some of my adventures with work-for-hire several years back. (https://www.jonolivereditor.co.uk )
My next steps include investigating what other help is available, whether working with a small press is a good option, and generally making more plans, and that may take a few more months before I have news. We’ll see what happens.
In the meanwhile, as ever, thank you so much for your support, be careful out in the world, wash your hands, assert your rights, and don’t be afraid to reach out for support in times of hardship.