Another Book Read

I finished reading Chris Stocking’s ESTRA Corp. last night and I was impressed with the story generally, but the ending really blew me away.  Here’s the link to his blog which I’m a big fan of.  This book is a little rough around the edges and Chris has mentioned that he’d like to fix it up a little.  I hope he does cause it has a good story, an interesting universe and some pretty fascinating characters.  There’s a lot of questions left unanswered and looking at it from a writers point of view its a very rich universe that if Chris wanted to he could play with a lot.  As for the ending, I didn’t see it coming which is always a good sign.  Surprising the reader is, in my opinion, good 🙂

It did take me a while to read this one, I had too many outside factors which did not give me time to zip through this as quickly as I normally get books read.  I just never seemed to find the time to actually sit down and get lots of pages read.  Normally I’ll read a couple of pages of a morning before I go to work and a couple of evenings a week I sit down and steam through ten or twenty pages but I havent been doing that lately.  Last night I did though.  In addition to reading the last twenty or so pages of ESTRA Corp. I knocked out over seventy pages of Salvations Reach by the legend that is Dan Abnett.  Here’s his website, Salvations Reach is I think the 13th book in his Gaunt’s Ghosts series of Warhammer 40k novels.  I’ve got them all and have read a few of them multiple times, Necropolis I’ve read more times then I can remember.  For me that’s the book where Abnett got his feel for the characters and universe that he is writing in here and as a general rule the books got stronger.  The Gaunt’s Ghosts books have followed a regiment from their founding and having been there since then I was really excited to get started on this book.  The way that Abnett writes also adds to this, he’s not just giving us a story that we read but I’ve found it’s like I’m there in the trenches with the characters.  Characters have died and I’ve been absolutely gutted that they did.  I need to look into some of his other fiction because he has written in a wide variety of areas, just check out his bibliography on Wiki and you’ll see what I mean.  Dan Abnett is one of my biggest influences as a writer.  Within the first thirty pages of Salvations Reach I’m already amazed at how much information Abnett gives with so few words.  So I am determined to try to learn as much as I can from Abnett as I read Salvations Reach as well as enjoying the read, which I know I will 🙂



Needs Dynamite To Blow A Hole In This Writers Block

I’m finding that ideas are flowing quite well at the moment but getting them down onto paper is a different story.  The grey matter is still working and the ideas that I am having are mainly world building ideas which are making two worlds that I write in feel like they will have more depth when I go back to working on them.  Another idea that I have is that I have is gaining some ground because a TV series that I am watching on DVD is of a similar idea (Thanks to my girlfriend for getting me that for my birthday 🙂 )

This lack of being able to write is getting to me now as I am even struggling to write blog posts! I have three blog posts partly written which I just cannot wrap up.  Add in a writing partner argument which has come close to ending the partnership and a number of non-writing life issues I am more than a little frustrated at the moment (including computer/laptop issues), but it is the lack of being able to write (and Edit) that is driving me crazy.

As I’ve said in previous posts I am still having ideas and the ideas are getting stronger which I think means the actual writers block is lifting and that I just need to beat the fatigue from a long working week before I am back to writing again.

In other areas I am still reading ESTRA Corp. by Christopher Stocking.  I thought I would have had this read by now, but falling asleep almost as soon as I get home has slowed my pace a little.  I have just got to a bit which has thrown a little surprise at me so I’m keen to see where Mr. Stocking is taking that little thread.  I’ll have a couple of hours where I can get stuck into the story today so hopefully I’ll have it wrapped up soon.

I recently saw The avengers or Avengers Assemble as its titled over here in the UK and I will just say “WOW” There will be a post about that in the next few days hopefully.

In the last week I’ve also re-listened to the audio books of The Caves Of Steel and I, Robot by the master that is Issac Asimov which has been very eye-opening.  I think where I’ve grown as a writer since I listened to them last I am finding much more appreciation for the skill with which they are written and the strength of content within them.  Asimov was truly a pioneer of the genre and I must discover more of his work.  I may readFoundationagain soon.

As always feel free to follow and ‘Like’ me on Facebook and Twitter respectively, those links are on the right hand side of your screen and hopefully the words will move from my head onto paper before too long 🙂

This Week’s Update

Okay, so I am still having more than a little trouble getting anything written at the moment, but I know its down to fatigue.  So while I’m hitting this big brick wall of writers block I am going to decorate my room.  I’ll be going for a lighter colour to my walls and get rid of this dark red I have (Dont Ask lol)  So I’m hoping it’ll lighten the room up a little and be a more calming environment.  I don’t think it will help ease my writer’s block, as I’ve said that’s more fatigue, but It’ll make a nice change.  The only downside to decorating is that I will have to clear out my room so I can get to the walls! It’s a small room with lots of furniture.

I’ve also actually brought a few books in the last week.  Thanks to a very good friend who gave me an Amazon Gift Voucher I was able to buy Old Man’s War by John Scalzi, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Salvations Reach by the one and only Dan Abnett.  So once I’ve finished ESTRA Corp. by Christopher Stocking I have three more books to try to choose between reading.

One thing that is making me feel calm about this writers block is that I am still having ideas, albeit little, world building ideas, but ideas all the same.  So I know that there is still that creative spark within me and once I have my little week off in June I am sure I’ll be firing on all cylinders once more.

This Week’s Target & Last Weeks Update

I did not hit my target of 2500 words for last week, I was just shy of 2000 words.  One reason was that I decided to re-write the short story I was working on and I was asked to drive my granddad to his sisters on sunday, which meant I had to do a couple of chores on friday night as I had plans on sunday.  What I did write was some pretty good stuff which I’m looking forward to re-writing.


Now for this week : I am going to get a short story edited.  My amazing Beta readers have been good enough to take the time to read what I sent them so I am going to have one done and hopefully ready to submit by the end of the week.


I’ve started Reading ESTRA. Corp by Chris Stocking and I’m flying through it. I’m already at page 63.  I also watched Final Destination 5 last week which I absolutely loved and I thought the ending was brilliant.


Right now I’m off to edit, edit and edit some more.  Catch you all later.

The All-Pro By Scott Sigler

As you guys probably know I have been reading The All-Pro  and as I’ve got to the second half of the book it really pulled me along with little effort.  Sigler has given us what I think is one of his best books to date with The All-Pro bearing in mind that his publishers don’t publish this and its a self published effort. The All-Pro  is following the career of young Quintin Barnes who has become the starting quarter back for the Ionath Krakens in the Galactic Football League.  So it’s basically American Football in space, the biggest difference is that Barnes is playing against and with aliens that either worship him, or would be quite happy to eat him.  I’m not an american football fan, but this is a sport that I’d like to see.  Many different species of intelligent life forms of different shapes and sizes? whats not to like about that?

The characters are unique and fascinating, even the games themselves are the edge of your seat action sequences. There is a little romance, lots fo deceit and threat and suspense.  Not only is the storyline itself very good but Sigler has put a lot of world building into this book which is very clearly leading up to something spectacular on a galactic scale. This was already a strong universe due to two previous books in the series and Sigler’s The Crypt series of stories which are set in the same universe but this took it all to another level and I cant wait to pre-order the next book in the series The MVP.

Please go and check out the link above and find out for yourself just how strong a series this is shaping up to be.

The next book that I will be reading is Estra Corp by Christopher Stocking.