Saturday, 29 December 2012

Coming Soon.

It just suddenly struck me that I haven't advertised my own book in my blog yet. I put up a page; but really; if you're writing your first novel; you want to shout it from the rooftops.

 #Insert Shameless Self Promotion Here#

http://www.mattstephens.me/p/the-lostkind.html


For me; the very best fiction in the world is the kind where you can put the book down and say to yourself: "Now. Can I prove that it isn't a true story?"

The first example of this that I came across was a movie called "Millennium." It's based on a book of the same name, written by a man named John Varley.

Now my book is nothing like the movie; but what I set out to achieve was the same thing. A premise that fits into our real life seamlessly; and yet is so fantastic as to be unbelievable.

For more information about the book; go to the Book Page on my blog; and for up to date information about the release date; and places to buy your own copy; you can follow the book on Google Plus at it's own page here.

If you're not on Google Plus, my apologies; but I promise the book page here will include all the relevant information.

Many Worlds


So. What did I do today?

Okay. So far today; I went up top the bank to collect some rent money; picked up two kinds of olives because the third kind was wrong; made lunch; and realized I hadn't had breakfast, because I was plotting out this story idea I had when I woke up.

On the walk to the store, I considered the sun and all it's nasty properties, given it's a pretty hot day. For a while, I wondered about the mathematics of how less than a thousandth of a percent of the sun's energy reached earth, but that was enough to power all the weather; including the hurricanes; plus fry a few people with sunstroke; plus make every single living thing grow.

This led to an idea which would allow for all the sun's power to be harvested; but that went belly up when I realized the story in my head was a lot like a Star Trek episode I had seen; so obviously I couldn't get to work on that one.

I listened to two podcasts on the way there and back; one with a sassy 1930's girl detective solving a murder; and an dramatized version of the Foundation Series by Asimov, where a group of thinkers use knickknacks and tinker toys to conquer the universe.

 Finally got a contents page to work in my book; and finished writing a bridge between the first and second halves of my second novel-in-progress.

I rewatched a few episodes of +H+ The Digital Series, seeking some proof in a theory I have about the twisty-turny plot lines of this particular web-series. I discovered my theory was wrong, but I got inspired by the what-ifs, so I did a little research on the transhuman movement; and I see several potential storylines... but I'm looking for one that hasn't been done already and a quick search on Amazon says the first things that come to mind have been done almost to death.

There was a kid in the produce section looking over a grapefruit with disturbing intensity; and a woman who bought a chocolate bar, paying for it in very small change; stacked twelve coins deep. So now my next story idea has two interesting characters.

What did I do today?

... not so much, really.

Half the world is made up of people sitting in the corner, scribbling into a notebook; or a kid playing let's-pretend, or a gamer on a laptop; taking on armies in four different directions as only a brilliant tactical mind can. These things happen every second; and are ignored or unobserved.

Seriously; look around. If you're reading this on a laptop; or a tablet or a smartphone; I bet you're in a public place. How many people are gazing into the distance with a thousand-yard stare? The creative people are all around you.

Who would think to look at us that we have universes unfolding in our heads?


photo credit: Βethan via photopin cc

Friday, 21 December 2012

Happy Dalek Day!

Happy Doomsday everyone!

The 21st of December is of course slated as the end of the world. Being in Australia; the 21st is almost over; so I can say that the sun rose; and the sun has (Almost) set as it always did.

Those of us who understand; those of us who know, are aware what this means. For those who follow the exploits of The Man With The Blue Box; this Marked Day of Destruction has a special meaning, and warning.

21st December! The Daleks first made their appearance on screen on the 21st December 1963.

Hence the date has been declared International Dalek Remembrance Day!

The sceptics and the naysayers will scoff at this; the way they did the certainty of solar flares; massive quakes, and spontaneous combustion of the earth. But those of us who know; do not take the Dalek lightly. No army of Man or Alien can undo the machinations of the Exterminators; for they are a plague of Anti-Life that has swept across the vast expanses of the universe.

There is no science of man that can predict them; no NASA expert that would be able to warn of it; nor any army on earth that could hold them back.

There is however a man. A remarkable man that has stood alone against the Great Space Dustbin's; fighting them back across billions of light-years, and aeons of time. He has promised that protection for the earth; and the Fury of The Time Lord sweeps away any who try to move against his favourite place.

The sceptics will say that when this day came and went; there was no massive event; because the Mayan prophecy was a myth.

But of course; The Children of Time know the truth.

The Doctor always speaks the truth to his Companions, and he is not one to mince words about the end of the world. At the discovery of yet another scheme to tear down the human race; The Doctor would give warning, just in case. And so the now Infamous Calender was drawn and carved... and after six thousand years history became story; then story became legend, and then legend became myth...

But hidden in the walls of the Ancient Halls; where the soothsayers looked across the Ether and saw the truths hidden from the cold unnatural tools of modern science; there is, hidden by obscurity, the proof of what truly happened; and what inspired that ancient warning of doom for all mankind.

On International Dalek Remembrance Day; the monsters no doubt turned their inhuman glowing eyes toward our Pale Blue Dot; as have so invaders many before them. For two Combatants that can step between millennia as easy as both our Invaders, and our Defenders can do... what is that amount of time?

But the sun rose; and the sun set; and those of us who know the truth, also know why the world kept spinning, as it has for so many days before. 

This is not a lone voice of madness; for there are many more of us who stand and speak with open gratitude to a man who has done so much; lost so much; and fought so hard against Nightmares, with nary a word of gratitude in return. To all those who know the story of The Doctor ("Doctor?" I hear you ask. "+Doctor Who ?") this is a special day; when the Human Race escapes the Wrath of the Daleks, once again.

And so I close with the immortal words of Jackson Lake, a man who knows the particulars of being a Time Lord better than any of us:

“Ladies and gentleman, I know that man! That Doctor on high! And I know that he has done this deed a thousand times. But not once, no, sir, not once, not ever, has he ever been thanked. But no more, for I say to you on this Christmas Morn, bravo, sir!”

#EndOfTheWorld

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Ingress


This is simplicity itself.

http://www.ingress.com/

An android game that is basically a computerized scavenger hunt. You go out and find information about various place/businesses/attraction and upload it to the game.

Though they haven't declared it as an intention of the game, Google has taken advantage of this information mine; as a crowd-sourcing tool. The scavenger hunt says to find out the opening time of a store or company; and the players involved seek this information out.

The reaction to this is mixed; some saying it's an invasion of privacy, or that it's lazy, getting people to get information that Google wants.

This is, in my humble opinion, simplicity itself. It gives the consumer a way to make information gathering fun and interesting; and gets the supplier all the information they need on any area. I've long been fascinated by the Alternate Reality Game; to take a normal place and make it exciting; like a secret world that others do not see.

The downside is that I live in a town that doesn't have such things set up. It takes a lot of work to organize something like that. Making it a downloadable app is the best of all possible worlds for my own self.

This is the best way to get things done: To make them fun to do. This is Elegant, intelligent, and hopefully as addictive as a game can be.

I'm in Australia, and Ingress isn't available in my country yet; as it is in Beta. I eagerly look forward to the day that it is. Google has reported that making it available in Australia/New Zealand is on the cards.

For more information:
http://www.techgoondu.com/2012/11/22/what-googles-new-augmented-reality-game-ingress-is-really-about/
http://www.rediguana.co.nz/gav/2012/12/02/what-are-the-ulterior-motives-of-ingress/
#Ingress