Looking Back At 2011

Okay so I wanted to give a quick look back at the last year and what has happened to me and what I’ve learnt.  Firstly I hit my 1000 word a week target.  I’ve started writing this on the 12th and I’ve written 77,839 words to this date.  I wont lie I’m quite cuffed about that 😀 Despite failing NaNoWriMo it played a big part in building that word count and taught me a lot about my writing and where I want it to go ( https://petergermany.wordpress.com/2011/11/28/looking-back-at-nanowrimo/ ) click the link to take you to a post where I talk about NaNo and what I learnt.

As for progress of my fiction I am disappointed to say that I have not submitted anything yet.  I have no long fiction even close to being ready for submission but I do have a number of short stories which are very close to being ready to be sent out into the wide world.  Most of those form part of a series of stories that I’m not sure I want to set free just yet.  I have a couple of others that just need a little fine tuning before I search out the best places to submit them.

I do think that a couple of the ideas that I and my writing partner have look to be coming to life a little.  So those in the New Year they will get some serious attention.

I know that I rarely speak of my personal life but here I will, just not in too much detail.  I’ve had a few ups and downs this last year.  Nothing out of  what any one of us may expect to encounter during our lives.  I have had friendships pushed to the limits and have learnt who my real friends are.  I’ve been pushed to my breaking point on more than one occasion which has taught me a lot about myself.


This is quite a tough one for me as I’ve seen a lot of good films this year.

The Kings Speech deserves a mention.  Like many people I didn’t really think it would be my type of film but I absolutely loved it.

X-Men:First Class was better than I was expecting (and I was expecting it to be good) Heres my review https://petergermany.wordpress.com/2011/08/02/x-men-first-class/

Captain America : The First Avenger did also blow me away,  https://petergermany.wordpress.com/2011/08/09/captain-america-the-first-avenger/

Thor also impressed me a lot.  I liked how the humour worked in the film (and it has Natalie Portman in it 😀 ) It was fascinating to see the world that Thor comes from and how some of the little sub plots and characters tie into the movie franchise that has been created which is leading up the Avengers movie.

And just for sheer enjoyment purposes Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil https://petergermany.wordpress.com/2011/10/23/movie-review-tucker-dale-vs-evil/ This film was daft but very funny with a lot of heart.


This one has to be Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky  https://petergermany.wordpress.com/2011/10/13/book-review-metro-2033-by-dmitry-glukhovsky/ This book really did blow my mind.  Even now new things about the depth of the book and all within its pages are coming to mind.  Once I’ve cleared more of my ‘To Read’ backlog then I’m going to read it again.  Theres not many books that I can say that about.


This one is Conditional Love by Felicity Shoulders (http://felicityshoulders.com/) which I heard via the Escape Pod Podcast  http://escapepod.org/2011/02/11/ep279-conditional-love/ Its one of the few stories that made me actually stop what I was doing and say “Wow!”


This one goes to Adventures In Sci-Fi Publishing http://www.adventuresinscifipublishing.com/ This podcast has taught me a lot about how to approach some of the aspects of writing and how to go about publishing.  There are some fine interviews with various writers, editors and people within the writing community.  Shaun Farrell, Moses Siregar III and Brent Bowen are a fine team and very easy to listen to, although I do miss Sam Wynns.  I especially like the segments with Lou Anders (editor at Pyr  http://www.pyrsf.com/ ) and Tobias S. Buckell, http://www.tobiasbuckell.com/.

Since I’ve started blogging more frequently I’ve met some amazing people through blogging that I’ve got some very good support from and I’ve taken a lot from their own blogs.  It’s such a strong and supportive community which is fantastically insightful as well.  Keep an eye on my Twitter feed for fascinating posts from other bloggers.

Now I am looking forward to next year and what I intend to achieve in the twelve months we are about to go into.  Christmas is upon us and New Years Eve I think will be one to remember, but next year, I want that to be an entire year that I look back on and think ‘2012 was really something special’

Book Review : Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky

In this book we follow the journey of A young man called Artyom as he travels to the heart of the Moscow Metro system where mankind has taken refuge after A nuclear war.  Artyom is given A mission by the mysterious Hunter to tell the authorities in Polis, at the heart of the Metro, of A new threat that is creeping down into the Metro from the radiation covered city above them.

I found this A really fascinating read.  It showed me A world that I had never encountered before.  I am still a relative novice when it comes to reading and this is the first novel that I have read which has not been written by someone who is U.K. or U.S. based.  I got sucked in by how Glukhovsky pulled this world that he has created together.  He explains A lot very clearly, but also very subtly.  There are no times during the novel that I felt that I was having background information shoved down my throat.  There is little of why mankind has had to surrender the surface of the planet.  Glukhovsky drip feeds very little about the nuclear war and I did find that A little frustrating.  I want to know why the bombs fell, what were the triggers and so on.  But I appreciate that it is not needed for the story that is being told.

Everything we see of this world is through the eyes of the young Artyom.  He has never really ventured to far from his home station, VDNKh, which is near the edges of the Metro system and A little isolated.  So we as readers get introduced to much of this world through the eyes of someone who has only experienced life from his own small part of the Metro.  There were A few moments where I felt he was A little easily led, and there are others times where he makes A stand in the face of oppression.  There are more than A few times where his life is hanging by a thread.

His journey could not have been made without the aid of the people that he encounters throughout the book.  Most help him but some just try to draw him into what will benefit them and give no consideration for Artyom’s mission.  Some of these people try to make him part of their religion, or need him to find some artifact.  Glukhovsky breaks society down very nicely in places.  There are obviously those who are religious, others who are communist, a Fourth Reich exists underneath Moscow in this world.  Along with the Hansa group these, as I recall, are the most prevalent communities that Artyom encounters.  There was only one group of people within this world that I was not totally convinced by, but It is a good example of how mankind will accept anything that we are told just to be accepted and have some of our freedom removed.

I have always been found of the lack of information of A horror.  In Ridley Scott’s film ‘Alien’ we do not encounter the beast until we are a fair way into the movie, and when we do we don’t really see the creature in all its glory.  So I was chuffed to find that this novel did not give us readers much to see when it came to the mutants. In the early stages of the book there is little to no given details of these creatures.  It is not until Artyom gets to the centre of the Metro that he comes face to face with these bogey men that haunt the inhabitants of the subterranean Moscow.   I feared for our hero at many stages during the book, even when I had a fair chunk of the novel to read I found I was worried that Artyom would not survive.


This whole story could easily become reality.  Not only are the characters very real but the world that they live in could become real in a blink of an eye.  As I said Glukhovsky never really explains why mankind pushed the button that led to the missiles flying through the skies to rain down not only death of mankind but also A crippling aftermath that mother earth will take more years than we can count to recover from.  This world that has crawled underground after this apocalypse sucked me deep down into it, I lost myself when I was reading and was able to truly escape into it.

I did not see the ending coming, and I found it especially spectacular in its own way.  I have so many questions that have not been answered but that did not leave me feeling unsatisfied.  The ending worked amazingly well.

I cant wait to read Metro 2034.

What I’m Reading

Just a quick little post about the fiction that I am currently reading.

I have just finished reading Scott Sigler’s ‘The Starter.’ This is the second in the Galactic Football League series and rolls on nicely from the First ‘The Rookie.’ We are following Quentin Barnes through his journey from a Rookie to where ever Sigler wants to take us on this ride. Someone (no idea who) described this as “Any Given Sunday” meets “The Godfather” meets “Star Wars” Its set in a HUGE universe with a number of different species. Most of which have fought massive wars with each other, but there is a species ‘The Creterakians’ who have pretty much overrun the entire known galaxy through sheer numbers are able to keep all the species at peace with each other, but as a way of uniting the species they endorse the future version of american football. One part of the galactic football game that Sigler has here that is my favourite is that a player can kill another player on the field of play, which is okay as long as it is a legal tackle.

The world that Sigler has created here is huge and I cannot do it justice here because it has a massive scope for endless stories. “The Crypt” is another Sigler work which is set in this universe. Please check out the Authors website:


I have mentioned Scott Sigler here before and he still stands as one of my favourite authors. I loved this book and how the story has progressed and I am eagerly looking forward to the third instalment “The All-Pro.”

I’ve now started reading “Metro 2033” by Dmitry Glukhovsky. I found this in Waterstones and was drawn in by the title and once I read the blurb I thought ‘Hell yeah!’ and brought it there and then. I’m really looking forward to reading this and I’ll let you know what I think once I’ve finished it.