by Dennis M. Myers, 07/17/2019
When I decided I wanted to go to ConGregate this year, it was really so that I could accomplish one thing. I wanted to meet Gray Rinehart
. He's the Slushmaster General at Baen
, and as such, the one who will read my book. I had heard good things about him from three different people I know and respect. I watched some of his YouTube videos and saw a decent man. I learned a bit about his background, and the fact that he's ex-military made me feel good.
I have to admit to some pro-military bias. Not for the conservative political bent it usually imparts, mind you, but for the shared, common experience of serving this country. I also bought his book, Walking on the Sea of Clouds
. My first story starts on a fully colonized moon, and he wrote this story about constructing the first colony. It was something I wanted to read, along with Moon Beam
by Jody Lynn Nye
and Travis S. Taylor
. I would mention all of the other books I've read on the subject, but these are the two authors I've actually met.
While I was at it, I joined his mailing list. The resulting interaction between us made me feel really good about meeting him.
Now, keep in mind, he might not like my first novel. Statistically speaking, the vast majority of first novels do not get published. I know this. I have plenty of research that tells me this is so. Which is why my goal is to have another novel in the slush pile before the first one is read. When I told Gray that this was my plan, he was very positive. If the first one doesn't get published, maybe the second one will. We will see.
The point is, regardless of what happens, I will continue to write until I can write no more. I'll improve my skills, and keep telling my stories. I have created such a huge playground for myself, I can't wait to explore it as much as I can.
Since I'm already mentioning it, Walking on the Sea of Clouds
is a book I would recommend to my friends who like solid science in their fiction. I compare it to the Mars television series where they interspersed mini-documentary material alongside the fictional account. This book is like that in tone and science, but without the documentary portions. The characters stand out as real people, doing real things, and encountering problems along the way. Their goal is to establish a fully self-sufficient colony on the Moon. You can click on the book cover image up there and go get it for yourself.
My copy has now been personalized by the author. May and I spend a little over an hour listening to him sing his songs. They are weird, a little silly or sad, and well worth the time to listen. Before the concert I had been working on my next book, Endurance
. While I was supposed to be quietly sitting there enjoying the music, my devious brain hit me with a lyric. The setup is that the last contact expedition to fail ended in a feast. The lines would be part of a song called "Eaten by an Ombax". The fourth line made me laugh out loud. I hope Gray thought I was laughing at Tauntauns for Glory. I decided later to add the line, "Too soon, Gray. Too soon." I don't know that it will make it into the book, but it's just the sort of human way to deal with grief I would expect. If nothing else, maybe people will sing those lines at Science Fiction conventions in the future.