Daily Archives: Wednesday, April 18, 2012

REDSHIRTS by John Scalzi

Ensign Andrew Dahl looked out the window of Earth Dock, the Universal Union’s space station above the planet Earth, and gazed at his next ship.

He gazed at the Intrepid.

“Beautiful, isn’t she?” said a voice.

Dahl turned to see a young woman, dressed in a starship ensign’s uniform, also looking out toward the ship.

“She is,” Dahl agreed.

“The Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid,” the young woman said. “Built in 2453 at the Mars Dock. Flagship of the Universal Union since 2456. First captain, Genevieve Shan. Lucius Abernathy, captain since 2462.”

“Are you the Intrepid’s tour guide?” Dahl asked, smiling.

“Are you a tourist?” the young woman asked, smiling back.

“No,” Dahl said, and held out his hand. “Andrew Dahl. I’ve been assigned to the Intrepid. I’m just waiting on the 1500 shuttle.”

The young woman took his hand. “Maia Duvall,” she said. “Also assigned to the Intrepid. Also waiting on the 1500 shuttle.”

“What a coincidence,” Dahl said.

Despite being somewhat unsatisfied with Scalzi’s recent novels, I still look forward to his yearly releases, and Redshirts is no different. For those looking forward to the novel, or those curious about Scalzi’s work, Tor.com is hosting a five-chapter excerpt from Redshirts, which is set for release on June 5th, 2012.

NIGHTS OF VILLJAMUR by Mark Charan NewtonCITY OF RUIN by Mark Charan Newton

I’m fairly certain that Newton and the art team at Tor UK are just trolling me at this point. An old geezer and a melancholy Dashboard Confessional fan who doesn’t even know how to properly wear a bag with a shoulder strap? Le sigh. I’m far more interested in the fact that Newton spent some time combing through the first volume, Nights of Villjamur, and smoothing out some of the wrinkles:

There’s more, though: I’ve actually made quite a few (over a hundred) changes to Nights of Villjamur. Call it the ambitions of a first-time author, call it crap writing, but there were a few points of the text in this book that I believed caused a clunky experience. I’ve managed to iron many, many of these out, thankfully. It’s only a word or two here, a line there – not a complete re-edit, mind you, but enough to give me peace of mind that the most ridiculous of the excesses have now been removed.

This sort of thing happens all the time when authors are given a chance to tinker with their own work (David Anthony Durham recently mentioned that he’s done the same thing to the first volume of his Acacia trilogy). Nevertheless, it would be interesting to compare the revision.