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Monday, December 14, 2020

 I've neglected this blog over the last couple of months, mostly due to my concentrating solely on creating the audiobook for 2120. With the year 2020 on the way out though, things should start picking up again. Once the audiobook is out at the start of the new year, it will be full steam ahead on writing and finishing the first major book in the series, 2121.

This year may have been a horror show in all but name, but on a personal level things have gone in interesting and amazing ways that I never thought they would. I didn't plan on writing and releasing the prologue short novel, but it happened. I didn't plan on doing an audiobook for it, either. But due to the shorter length, the smaller number of characters needing voice actors, and the logistics of it all being easier, it all made sense.

There's only two characters left requiring their voices added to the audiobook, and then it will be up for pre-orders. I thought the original buzz of releasing my first ebook on Amazon Kindle was great, but audiobooks are taking off in such a big way that I've already had people asking about when 2120 releases. The interest compared to ebooks is phenomenal.

So far, I've yet to have anyone give me any really negative feedback on Solar Rift's characters, or 2120's story, or my writing for that matter. It will come, of that I'm sure. Being a laid back person, I'll take it all with good humour anyway. I think I might take a cue from Elon Musk - happily showing the world his rockets exploding, or Joe Abercrombie's twitter - revelling and posting the worst and most brutal reviews. 

Either way, I'm excited for the new year. With the added exposure of the audiobook, the full-length novel coming out, and hopefully some more artwork and videos, 2021 should be the perfect year for 2121's release. Hopefully more folks will fall in love with Raz and Namazu, or root for Zarina and Dieter to make it through their next scrape.

Considering how wildly off-plan this year went for Solar Rift, I hesitate to make ANY predictions for any of it. All I know is that I -will- be releasing 2121. No. Matter. What... I'm not going to end up being George R.R Martin.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Back to the Novel


With everything to do with the prologue novella, 2120, all but done, I've returned to writing 2121 the full-length novel. There's still a few new things to get out there - like the "This is... Namazu" video that kicks off a series of main character introductions, as well as me attempting to turn 2120 into an audiobook. But, for the most part, my focus is once more back on the novel.

The old versions of Chapters 1 and 2 up here at the blog are looking a bit shabby compared to how they now look, so I might get around to updating them again soon, but that will depend upon my free time outside of writing.

As I said on my progress journal at the writing forums, considering everything I learned in getting 2120 out there, both literary and the technical aspects, it should stand me in good stead to make 2121 a much more polished product when it's finished. I feel the entire process has justified my decision to take the time out to create the prologue in the first place. When it eventually goes free to everyone when 2121 hits, it will also complement the full novel with more exposure and hopefully get more people enjoying the characters and story.

I felt relieved elation but tired when I completed 2120. Now I feel re-energized for 2121.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

 I think this pretty sums up my notes in scrivener right now. I get to flush a few of them out now that the prologue novella, 2120 is done and dusted. But it's basically like taking 2 sheets of paper away from this image above, heh.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Top 30

 I'm not one to usually toot my own horn, but I had to share this. It blew me away. 

At its peak during its promotion weekends, Solar Rift : 2120 reached as high as #22 on the free book listings for cyberpunk scifi. I have no more words. Gobsmacked is an understatement.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Housekeeping in Preparation


With the prologue novella, Solar Rift : 2120, launching this week, I've had to do a bit of housekeeping with the blog. The most notable item is that I've removed the preview of the first chapter that I put up here - "Raz."
Amazon (and everyone else's) publishing guidelines require me to remove it before publication, but if you use the free sample that they supply when the book goes live, you'll be able to preview even more than Raz and Namazu's first scene. So it's a win-win all round.

Everything relating to the main novel, 2121, and the first two preview chapters here remains the same. So, if you start with "Milan" in the link above, everything will still flow as it should. (Even if the version online here is quite an old one by now.)

The response by the beta readers to the prologue novella has been really astounding, and if paying readers find it half as good as they did when it goes live, I'll be delighted.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Artwork and Revisions Update

The Prologue Novella, 2120, is about to undergo its final couple of revisions when the last of the beta readers get back with their feedback.

Along with the character images of Raz, Namazu, and Zarina, and the schematics of the Xiangu, the artwork accompanying the book will include this rendering of Zarina's Fantastica sword, Sunblade. The engraving isn't as detailed or intricate as I'd like, but with the time available to me, I'm pretty pleased with the final result.

The book is looking like it will be out in time to take part in the Kindle Storyteller Award 2020 contest, and when it goes live it should be as close to what I envisaged when I came up with the idea.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Character Profiles

With the prologue about to go into beta reading, and the website mid-way through construction, I sought out a couple of great artists to bring the characters to life. Here, we see Namazu, Zarina, Raz, and Milan, with Liv on the way. Art has done a brilliant job of understanding the characters' looks from my concept studies that I gave him, and there will be more to follow soon.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

"Solar Rift : 2120" and the Blurb

“Solar Rift : 2120” tells two thrilling tales of realistic science-fiction and cyberpunk espionage, set on the Earth and in the asteroid belt a century in the future.

On Earth, the private investigator and infiltration expert, Raz Kadir, and his business partner, the flamboyant Japanese hacker Namazu, take a job for the up-and-coming Viator Engineering and Logistics company. With their first job ending up as a bumpy ride, things start spiraling out of control when they’re asked to blur the boundaries of legality and morality. Before long, the pair are lost in the murky and deadly world of inter-corporate warfare and need to use all of their cunning to keep their freedom.

In the asteroid belt beyond Mars, pilot and navigator Zarina Verma and her two fellow crewmates are coming to the end of their two-year tour of duty. Responding to problems that automated droneships fail to take care of, the crew encounters a destroyed mining station belonging to their employers, the TKR Corporation. As the mystery unfolds, the mission not only begins to strain their friendship but tests their mettle against an ever-increasing threat.

“Solar Rift : 2120” is a pair of novella-length stories that serve as a standalone book or a prologue to the upcoming full-length novel “Solar Rift : 2121”


Current Update : The novella is now only one chapter away from its full first draft. It will then go off for a proof-read, sort out the kinks, then beta-reading, and then release.
The website is coming along as well, with an image of Raz and Namazu on the way.
Fingers crossed, everything might come together mid-august.

Then, the big one - the full length novel.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Novella Prologue!

After talking it through with a few people, I feel it might be a good idea to garner interest in Solar Rift 2121 as a book if I release a small prologue novella for free that introduces a few of the characters and give a flavour of the world. So I'm adding more work onto my plate by creating Solar Rift : 2120, an introduction to Raz and Namazu, as well as Zarina and Dieter. Both stories directly pertain to how they get to where they are when 2121 kicks off.

More details to follow.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

April Update

Updated 26/04/2020
Added nearly all of Chapter 2, with the exception of a couple of Zarina's scenes.

The Soldier, the Spy, the Colonist, and the Captain.

Four character-driven stories intermingle to bring dramatic viewpoints of a civilization-spanning tale set a century in the future. One part sci-fi adventure, one part cyberpunk espionage, one part frontier survival, and one part political thriller, Solar Rift brings these different elements together in an exciting clash of backgrounds and ideologies.

In the year 2121, a catastrophe on the largest moon of Mars sets off a chain of events that uncovers a bloody world of inter-corporate battles, national-corruption, and terrorist revolutionaries. All begin to crescendo, as technological progression forces Earth's old institutions and societal systems to finally reach breaking point.

On Phobos, Milan Kalakov, a Major in the Russian Space Force, has only recently arrived to serve aboard Domovoi Outpost. However, his first week ends with a horrific incident, one that forces him to question not only who is to blame but who he can trust amongst his allies, not to mention the corporate representatives and the martian colonists. With a United Nations and Corporations investigation looming over him, and the insidious corporations influencing events, his mission to find those responsible leads him down a dark and disturbing path.

On the corporate-owned spaceship Enceladus, Commander Zarina Verma is tasked with bringing the Chief Investigator for the UNC from Earth to Phobos, while also looking into the Phobos Incident herself. However, her employers, the multifaceted Tao-Kelland-Raman Corporation, do not want the Commander to simply discover if they themselves are to blame; if true, they want her to cover it up. With it taking twenty days to reach Mars, Zarina is not only behind in the race but she is also locked on a collision course with the crew of Domovoi Outpost.

On Mars, colonist and council member Liv Rademaker struggles to deal with the ever-increasing tensions between the Martians and Earth. With her two children and work colleague, Deelon Stafford, to look out for, Liv tries her best to influence the Borealis Colony Council to protect their citizens. But, in the aftermath of the Phobos Incident, it seems that every decision will anger someone, and the councilors find themselves walking a minefield to ensure that their unique place amongst humanity remains intact.

On Earth, the British-Moroccan infiltration expert, Raz Kadir, and his business partner, the Japanese hacker Namazu, finally make it into the big league, having previously only worked in the small-economy. Finding themselves in a steep learning curve, the first official job for their new employer throws them straight into the deep-end against the richest people in the world. With their lives on the line against a formidable opponent, Raz begins learning that Namazu has just as many secrets as their intimidating target.

SOLAR RIFT is a vast saga that takes the reader on a journey through many distinctive characters, locations, and plots throughout the solar system.
Designed to span multiple books, the explosive first entry not only works as a standalone novel but sets up the saga to come, as the four stories continue onwards to greater revelations, twists, and turns.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Chapter 1 Completed!

That's Chapter 1 in its entirety. Each scene has just been re-uploaded and updated with all the latest revisions and reads very well now. I think it's safe to say I might call it version 0.5.
Since I'm currently writing the end of the book, the only way this chapter will now change is if something important needs altering, but that shouldn't be too likely.

This will now free me up with time to go over Chapter 2, revise it, get it to my editor, and then chuck it up here.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

2121 Chapter by Chapter

Since I will be using the creative writing forums to post excerpts and get feedback, I thought a blog would be the best way to upload my book as I finalize each chapter. This way, anyone coming in fresh to reading it will be able to come here as a reference and read any parts they missed, or start from the beginning to understand the plot. And, of course, for anyone that simply finds themselves here and wants to read a good book :)

This novel, 2121, is the first book in a planned series of five telling the story of life a century from now, where technological advancement has pushed our society's systems and institutions so far that they have finally found their breaking point. An incident on Mars' largest moon, Phobos, is the spark that sets off a chain of events uncovering a bloody world of inter-corporate battles, national corruption, and terrorist revolutionaries.

For anyone that stumbles across this, reads it, likes it, and wants to help give their own feedback, feel free to do just that by visiting, or, of course, here in the comments section. :)

On the forums, I go by Steve_Rivers, and most of my work will be posted in the novel part of the writer's workshop.

Thanks for your time, regardless, and I hope you get some enjoyment out of it.