Westworld the series. Thoughts…

Has anybody else been watching Westworld the series?

I think we are at about episode 7 or 8. I’m not 100% sure if I’m on board with this series or not. It seems to be examining the nature of existence a bit too much for my liking. It’s old ground that has been trod over many times before. Anybody who has read their Philip K Dick, will not find this series particularly groundbreaking, to say the least. However it is very slick and there is a sense of mystery enhanced by the last two episodes which piqued my interest again.

westworld-panel-3645ec6e

Anthony Hopkins is acting at his most threatening best. But I find that my need for rationality is not satisfied by the game park scenario. I can’t see how it can work, unless each visitor can only be there for one day as the same stories circle over and over on a daily basis, and yet we have characters who are in stories that are lasting longer than a few days. What would happen if they return to the main town? Wouldn’t they then notice the same scenario is repeating? Wouldn’t that ruin their experience of the game?

Every night the park authorities must go out and repair the seemingly hundreds of androids that have been ‘killed’ the day before. They are getting repeatedly shot and stabbed. Surely no matter how robust these androids are, this level of daily damage would mean they wouldn’t last very long? And, on more than one occasion, an android who is going on a journey in the park with one of the guests, still ends up at night in the underground labs, only to return the next day. Wouldn’t the paying guests of the park notice them being taken away by the guys in the weird suits? And wouldn’t that break the illusion of the game?

To my mind, Westworld is fatally flawed, and I can’t really see where they’re going to go with it unless everyone is an android and the whole thing is an illusion or some sort which would satisfy my Philip K Dick needs.

Thoughts?

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Sygasm submissions Open Call

Announcing two anthologies! 

DEATH & DYING IN OUTER SPACE

v1-death-and-dying-in-outerspace-fb-group

OPEN CALL! …General Sci-Fi & Horror.  12+ stories needed. Story length: 4-12K words. Proposed launch: early 2017. Submit to kevheritage@sygasm.com (image is just a mock up, not the final cover).

Register your interest here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/sygasm/permalink/1757161727855350/

GODS, MONSTERS & SUPER-HUMANS

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OPEN CALL! …General Fantasy and Sci-fi. 12+ stories needed. Story length: 4-12K words. Proposed launch: early 2017. Submit to kevheritage@sygasm.com (image is just a mock up, not the final cover).

Register your interest here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/sygasm/permalink/1757162387855284/

I look forward to reading your short story submissions.

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Yet another cover for Blue Into The Rip!

Just why am I tinkering with the cover of a novel that’s out already? 

The reason? It’s because I’m finalising the next novel in the series: Blue Into The Moon which means that I have to design a new cover. And as my Photoshop skills have improved somewhat, it means that both covers in the series have to match. Hence yet another version – although I’m confident that this is the last, never-to-be-repeated, closing, finishing, ending, concluding, terminating, culminating, ultimate, eventual, endmost, terminal and final version. Possibly…

blue-into-the-rip-full-jacket

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Sygasm anthology series launched this week!

What the hell is Sygasm?

About 20 years ago I was walking home one evening thinking I’d really like to produce a  magazine dedicated to imaginative fiction… and the name Sygasm popped into my head from absolutely nowhere.

I wasn’t really sure what it meant, but I thought the name stood out. Nothing came of the magazine. I was too young, too inexperienced and too skint to make it happen. But the project has stayed with me ever since.

Fast forward to 2016, and now I have the ways and means to create what I originally wanted to do a long time ago, if not in a slightly different format.

For the last year or two so, Sygasm has been the nominal name for my self-publishing efforts. Recently, however, I decided to expand Sygasm publishing into an imaginative fiction anthology series, which you can find here on its Facebook group page:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/sygasm/

I will be collating a series of cross-genre stories for each volume – being responsible for all the formatting, typesetting (some editing), cover design, marketing and promotion.

Submissions are now open!

This has led to the possibility of Sygasm now offering publishing services to authors who want their work out there in printed and electronic form. In effect, Sygasm has become a publishing house for independent authors.

If there are any authors or anthologists out there with a novel they want publishing, or who needs a cover, or help with editing and typesetting, then Sygasm can do all that for you. At a price of course!

Again, for full contact details, pop over to facebook and join the group.

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10 Minutes… that’s it!

It’s recently occurred to me that I spend far too much time editing Facebook Twitter, email and even blog posts. This is because I have a strong desire to make sure everything is well-written and well formatted. And to be honest… it’s becoming a waste of valuable time.

When I do come to make a Facebook post or reply to am email, and especially when it’s written on my phone, I find that I’m spending too long tidying up what is in effect something that is not particularly important and which is is not going to be read or shared by that many people.  HAHA! But it’s true! 😮

So I’ve come to the difficult decision that from this point onward, I’ll no longer be doing this. The result? Expect a lot of badly written, badly punctuated and sometimes badly spelled drivel from me in the future. 😃 So no change….

Obviously, for the blog and emails, I’ll try to use a bit more editing but  my focus has to be on my stories. On my day to day writing. And not on my random thoughts and sudden ideas for interesting blog, Twitter or Facebook posts that constantly pop into my head and won’t go away until I write them down somewhere. There’s nothing wrong in that, but its an OCD issue – great for fiction – but a waste of time for everything else.

It’s not unusual for me to spend an afternoon writing a blog post or an email and at the end of it wondering why???? Especially when I could be writing fiction instead.

So there we have it. from now on, I’m mot spending more than 10 minutes on a blog, email – and significantly less on Twitter.

BTW – this took me 12 minutes, including at least 90 seconds where I contemplated inserting a deliberate typo…  😡

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ALT. CHRONICLES: LEGACY FLEET out now!!

It’s finally here…

ALT.CHRONICLES: LEGACY FLEET

Presented by Samuel Peralta and Nick Webb

Edited by Therin Knite

Live-Legacy-FleetBased on the ‘Legacy Fleet’ world by USA Today bestselling author Nick Webb, Alt.Chronicles: Legacy Fleet is a ground-breaking anthology that brings together work from some of the most visionary voices working in speculative fiction today.

With stories from series creator, Nick Webb and:

David Adams
Peter Cawdron
Patrice Fitzgerald
K. J. Fieler
Jon Frater
Kev Heritage
Ralph Kern
Joseph Robert Lewis
J. E. Mac
Felix R. Savage
Will Swardstrom
Matther Alan Thyer
Christopher Valin.

Buy it now on Amazon! (US Only)

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ERROR 4:04am SLEEP NOT FOUND…

It’s been a very restless 3 to 4 weeks. This is because I’ve been suffering from the worst bout of insomnia I’ve had in about 20 years!

Back then, in the early 90s, I used to suffer from insomnia all the time but I learnt a self-hypnosis technique which pretty much killed it in a few weeks. And since then apart from the occasional night or two when I don’t sleep very well (usually associated with the full moon), I’ve been sleeping very well. Until about a month ago when for some inexplicable reason I just stopped being able to nod off.

insom1I was just not tired!

I’d go to bed in my normal way at my normal time and I would just not fall asleep. And if I did fall asleep it’d be for 40 minutes or so only – and then I’d be wide awake for the rest of the night. It even affected my afternoon snooze. Normally at 3PM I feel very tired. If at work I struggle to stay awake and if at home, I just take a 20 to 40 minutes nap on the sofa. But nothing. Not even a yawn. Yikes.

I’ve not really suffered from insomnia like this ever before. It was just an absence of feeling tired in any part of the cycle of the day and night. Getting to sleep was an absolute effort of lying there and just trying to drift away–meditation, cajoling, trying not to damn think about anything or  get annoyed! It was very very difficult. For two weeks, hardly any sleep at all. I’m a problem solver and tried to work out what the cause may be. But I wasn’t worried about anything nor under any kind of stress (other than not sleeping). I’d not changed my diet or habits. there was no reason, which made it doubly troubling.

But now it’s a week and a half and I’ve been sleeping perfectly normally again. Long enough for me to hope that this is over and done with. But it has led me to wonder about those poor sods who deal with this affliction from night to night, week to week, month-to-month and year to year. I was suffering for only a couple of weeks and I was rundown tired. I was irritable and depressed, my attention span was  non-existent and I was less effective in my daily job. And, of course, my writing was also undermined. I found it almost impossible to get anything done because I just didn’t have the concentration level required–which I normally take for granted.

I went to bed, closed my eyes and woke up ten hours later! Hurrah. As to why my sleep returned? I have no idea, but it has given me an appreciation of what insomnia sufferers have to deal with. And it is now with a sense of accomplishment when I wake up after a night of uninterrupted sleep.

I’m off for a snooze ZZZZZ

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Chronicle World’s: Legacy Fleet

Hi Everybuddy! In August, my short story, Churchill’s Rock, will be appearing in Chronicle Worlds, Legacy Fleet.

Legacy Fleet

Put together by Future Chronicles guru, Samuel Peralta and Legacy Fleet series creator, Nick Endi Webb.

For those who have read within Nick’s bestselling Legacy Fleet trilogy (Constitution, Warrior, and Victory) or anyone else who loves military SF… you need to get this and you won’t be disappointed!

Chronicle Worlds: Legacy Fleet is Samuel Peralta, Nick Endi Webb, Therin Knite, Dave Monk Fraser Adams, Peter Cawdron, Patrice Fitzgerald, Kat Fieler, Jon Frater, Kev Heritage, Ralph Kern, Joseph Lewis, James McCormick (J.E. Mac), Felix R Savage, Will Swardstrom, Matthew Alan Thyer, Christopher Valin

Edited by: Therin Knite

Anyone keen on reviewing this great new release, get in touch.

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IRONSCYTHE SAGAS BOOKS 1-3 – SPECIAL OFFER!!

SPECIAL OFFER UNTIL FRIDAY 17th JUNE!!

$0.99/£0.99 all e-formats (except iTunes)

or equivalent to your country of residence.

IRONSCYTHE SAGAS BOOKS 1-3


IronScythe Sagas - Books 1-3And from the dark unknown came a hooded avenger, a sable-weaved nemesis branded with living iron whose will it was to destroy all works of Delving. His name? He had many, but history remembers him as only…the Scowl!

…The IronScythe Sagas, Cairn.

Fast-Paced Adventure Fantasy

Welcome to the IronScythe Sagas and the world of Arn, where two suns fill the sky and metals are forbidden, dangerous things. And introducing the hooded nemesis of delving himself—the enigmatic Scowl, the wielder of the land’s own avenger, IronScythe.

Fast-Paced Adventure Fantasy

IRONSCYTHE SAGAS BOOKS 1-3 is an exciting trilogy of linked adventure fantasy novellas featuring:

 FLESH GOLEM
WEIRDING
GOD GOLD

Reviews 

“A fast-paced fantasy adventure that will thrill and delight readers from start to finish… a very exciting read for those who are into fantasy stories and a nice introduction to the genre for non-fans, too.” Reading For Pleasure

“If you love the genre of Adult Fantasy then you must give Kev Heritage’s books a go. Heritage really does bring dark fantasy to life.” A Woman’s Wisdom

Available in Kindle

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Other Vendors

Barnes & Noble: paperback & Nook
kobo
Apple iTunes (still waiting on Apple!)
Smashwords (other formats)

COWL

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Why self-publishing your novel is a no-brainer

Kev: I wrote this back in the heady days of 2014 – I’ve updated it slightly, but it pretty much remains the same.

I believe every committed, professionally-minded author should self-publish their work. Why? The answer is simple… why not?

Self-publish-and-be-happyI’m often asked about self-publishing and my usual response is to say, ‘there’s loads of info out there on the internet – go take a look’, but today I’m going to tackle it directly… strap yourselves in!

I’m gonna kick off with why I think you should self-publish, even if you want a traditional publishing deal. Later on, I’ll blog about how to adopt a professional approach, how to go about pricing, how to produce professional printed versions of your novels for free, and the many other things you need to do before you hit the ‘publish your book’ button and take your first step as an actual author.

The big dream
My dream (and maybe yours if you’re reading this) was to walk into any book store to find my novel sitting next to James Herbert. How cool would that be? That hasn’t happened quite yet. My books, although available as printed versions, have not yet cracked the major bookstores. But compared to where I’d be without self-pubbing, I’m way ahead of where I thought I could be.

So what changed?
In a nutshell… Technological changes in printing and the freedom of the Internet and the rise of social media channels for marketing and promotion.

We’ve all read about the success stories of brilliant self-pubbed writers – and the number is only growing. Publishing is no longer only for a few people, but for anyone who wishes to take control of the publishing process. They can write the books they want to write, when they want to write them and can release them at whatever time they desire. The publishing world has been turned upside down.

Self-pubbed now respectful?
Self-published authors are more and more finding themselves in book stores. Yet not so long ago (just a few years) self-publishing was pretty much seen as second best. Reviewers were not interested in reading self-published books and book stores would not stock them. Quite simply, self-publishing did not have the clout and respect it enjoys these days.

Now that self-pubbers can sit shoulder to shoulder with traditional authors, an astounding thing has happened: readers  don’t actually care how the book was published. As long as you give them a great, well-edited story, they will want to read your other novels in the same way they would to read any traditionally published author.

Self-publishing good / traditional bad?
Recently, the debate regarding self-publishing has polarised between self/indie vs. traditional publishing with Amazon on the side of the ‘good guys’ and traditional publishing firmly in the ‘bad guys’ camp.

I’m not going to take sides on this, but I’m at heart a converted and committed Indie Author. Why?

However much you may love traditional publishing, you have to agree that the process moves very slowly. If I was having meetings about a book I’d written now, in May 2016, and secured a book deal, the earliest my novel would hit the shops would be summer 2018 or thereabouts. Roughly twenty-six months later. And this doesn’t factor in the time spent sending in your MSS to agents and publishing houses in the first place—spending up to and over six months languishing in their slush piles.

And you might think that after such a wait, my book would be released to a well-co-ordinated marketing campaign. Not so. Most traditionally published authors are expected to do this themselves. And when your book is finally published, you will receive 15-20 per cent of your royalties (as a self-publisher you can take 70 per cent!).

This doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t consider a deal offered by one of the big six. Of course I would. I’ve grown up fantasising about meetings with agents and international book-signings. Sure, I’d be flattered. But any deal I signed would have to take into account the present state of publishing and have special provision for electronic sales.

Most importantly, with the rise of self-publishing, traditional publishers (and agents) have been effectively disfranchised. We no longer need them to become published. Which is a crying shame as I’d love to be taken out for a free meal by my agent and told how wonderful I am. You never know… it might happen yet.

What have you got to lose?
The slogan for UK LOTTO is ‘You have to be in it, to win it’ and although the chances of becoming a successful author are slim, having a book out there is surely better than sitting on your computer drive or in a forgotten folder, isn’t it?

Self-publishing not only lets you publish your novel, it gives you the opportunity to chase your dreams. Sure, the saying ‘don’t write to get rich’ is pretty much on the mark and most writers never make anywhere close to minimum wage on their books, but self-publishing gives you more than a cash-reward. You can publish a travel guide, a fiction novel, faction, photographs—anything you want and engage with other people who share your interest and enjoy your work. And you never, ever know—you might just get lucky and release that best-seller. That’s a million miles from posting your unsolicited manuscript to an agent or publishing house and waiting for the almost inevitable rejection.

And that’s why self-publishing is a no-brainer…


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