Don’t worry ma, it’s only science fiction

I’ve now reached the ‘Aha, so it is SF after all’ stage of Consorts of Heaven.  Actually I’m hoping the reader will have spotted it’s SF long before this, even if the truth still isn’t yet obvious to most of the characters.

Although I am an SF writer (despite being dubbed one of the ‘Three Princesses of Fantasy’ by a fellow Gollancz author in his blog – I think he meant it as a compliment), I admit my technology does tend to wander over the Clarke horizon when I’m not looking. I’m less interested in why a bit of tech works than I am in why it exists in the first place. The shiny stuff is there to serve the story – and characters – not vice-versa.

The current tech of interest in CoH is that used to lock and unlock doors. Given that most of the doors the characters have so-far encountered have been of the wood-with-optional-bar variety, this is quite a big deal. It becomes an even bigger deal than they first thought after someone rather foolishly destroys a hi-tech lock.

Writing the current section has been challenging but fun; I started in the viewpoint of a lo-tech character who is observing this strange shiny beepy stuff, though now I’m in the viewpoint of the only character who does understand tech, and he’s got a rather different take on things. It’s made me realise how careful I have to be in my word choices; though a lo-tech character won’t have a name for a piece of hi-tech, I need to describe it in such a way that the reader can work out what I’m on about.

I’m hoping to finish the book by next weekend, during my annual trip to Portmeirion, though this means that my ‘holiday’ will actually involve a lot of hard work. But then, writing is the kind of hard work I’m always happy to do. Given the lack of internet access (good in some ways), and the need to press on and get to the end, it may be a while before I next post to this blog.

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@JaineFenn

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