Walk the Fire

Good morning!

In case you weren’t aware, I’m honored to be one of the authors in a shared world anthology known as Walk the Fire. It’s a Kickstarter funded project by John Mierau and David Sobkowiak, and as of right now, it is 84% funded with three days to go. Before I jump up on my soapbox and have at it, I’d like to ask you to head on over to the Kickstarter page and kick in a few dollars to get the project funded.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1325849873/walk-the-fire-a-shared-world-sf-anthology-series

If that mighty example of left-handed salesmanship didn’t do it for you, I have a few more things to say.

First off, I wouldn’t be involved if I didn’t like the concept. The “shared world” part means that John and David have created a grand sandbox in which to play. They have a world concept and a list of authors. Each author writes within the concept to come up with a tapestry of narrative within the universe of Walk the Fire. If the first anthology is any indication, this is a very cool way to build a story with many voices and interpretations on a theme. I personally have about four Walk the Fire story ideas competing to be written. I suspect the many of my co-authors are way ahead of me, and I’m excited to see the results.

Next, I’m a big fan of Kickstarter. It’s brilliant. We live in tight times. The traditional methods of getting things done are no longer working to drive us forward. Corporations tend to work in tried and true pipelines. The government can’t innovate its way out of a paper bag. Finding the money to try new things is harder than ever before. Along comes Kickstarter to create an engine to finance good (and sometimes not-so-good) ideas based on the actual demand for the idea. It’s a direct line of communication between the makers and those who want the products. If you spend any time there, I can almost guarantee that you will find something you always wanted but didn’t know it, something you realize is a perfect solution to an insolvable problem, and in concert, a better vision for our future.

More broadly, I’m one of those wingnuts who believes that the core of greatness comes from innovation, not in the bland platitudes of a Presidential radio address, but in the greasy, dirt-and-sawdust-covered hands of those who actually try to make something, to fix something, to grow something from bare earth and a handful of seeds.

We swim in raging rivers of information every day. People make entire fortunes with nothing more than data and a clever algorithm to mine revenue from the stream, and that’s fine, but there will never be a replacement for actually creating something tangible, from nothing, with our own hands, with our own minds.

Make something new, and support those who do. It helps us all improve the world, and sometimes, it just feels good. I think we’re built that way.

 

What’s up?

You  may have noticed that it has been very quiet around here of late. I must apologize. Not a day goes by without thinking about writing, but I’ve been doing very little of it the past few months. The reason is that I have a very good friend, and we have been starting a business. This doesn’t mean that I’m shifting away from writing in my personal grand scheme; in fact, some aspects of this business will be very helpful in that regard. However, it has involved an enormous amount of work to get things started, and since it primarily lives in my garage, I have been working non-stop to get up to speed.

I’m not ready to go into details of what the actual business is intended to do, but suffice it to say that it is both technical and intended to do some good in the world. On the other hand, it may be subject to some legal and regulatory difficulties. Progress is always subject to that sort of thing. I have a lot of work to do on all fronts.

In the meantime, if anyone needs something cut with an industrial CNC laser, please let me know. 🙂

On the writing side, I haven’t been blogging, as you can see. I haven’t been on Facebook. It’s all been about Decay, which is long overdue on my internal schedule, and on yours as well from the comments. Now that I’ve bitten off the steepest part of the business curve, I’ll see if I can wrap that up. Decay has existed in unfinished form for far too long. Definition is the second priority. I’d say the story is a little underdeveloped as it stands, but I can assure you that it is much bigger than it appears.

I wrote about John Scalzi’s serial release a while back, and I’ve read eight of the parts. Saying this as a huge fan of his is hard, but I’m disappointed with the result. It almost feels like he polished up his notes for ideas in the Old Man’s War universe and kicked them out as a serial. The upside of the experience is that it gave me a first person view on some of the negative comments I received for my own serial release of Renewal. The downside is that I apparently wanted another polished novel in 13 parts. As I wrestle with my own ideas about form and structure, Scalzi’s work teaches me a great deal.

And finally, I’ve noticed a steady stream of new users. I hope that most are actual readers and not waiting for a chance to sell us some blue pills and the ultimate web search optimization. Real people, please take the opportunity to speak up. I’m happy to answer questions in overly wordy fashion about almost anything.

As always, thanks for reading.