Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Wiki is go!

Well, that's done! It's taken a while but the Caliban's End wiki is going public! http://calibansend.pbwiki.com/

What is it? It's a website of sorts containing the whole project. Basically, if wikipedia and my books had a drunken night of fun, the Caliban's End wiki would be their love-child. It contains a lot of backstory, a lot of geographical, historical, biographical and cultural details that are alluded to in the books, but more than anything, it's where my imagination ran rampart, creating things in more weird detail than even the books would allow. The wiki was the primordial ooze from which creatures such as sandkytes, mockworms, durnodaws and friggu came to life.

Now if you peruse the pages of the wiki, you will come across a lot of pages that contain people, places and creatures that aren't in What Lies Beneath (the first book). It should be noted, such things weren't just created for the wiki. You'll probably find them hiding in the pages of Akin to Pity (the second book).

So is the wiki an appendix? In a way, it is. I wanted to add another layer. The wiki provides quite a few twists on what happens in the novels. For example, there's a scene on a ship where one of the main characters trips a sailor so he falls overboard. It's a mildly amusing scene in the book. In the wiki you discover this character can't actually swim. So the wiki adds a twist here and there. I have tried hard to avoid spoilers, but if you read the wiki comprehensively, you may work out some things that are a bit more cryptic in the books.

However, no-one is going to read the wiki from start to finish - it currently numbers 742 pages!

Now I must add, even though the wiki is accessible, it's not complete. The beauty of it is I can easily add pages and fix errors with a few quick clicks. If you see any obvious mistakes, please let me know.

So what now?

I'm going to take a breather. Watch some trashy TV, play some Gears of War and read some things I didn't write.

Unfortunately, my frustrations with Lulu.com have continued. Although they conceded the recent printing alignment issues were their fault and the problem was being fixed, I received the latest proof last Friday and as you can see by the picture below, it isn't the result I was hoping for. Sadly, I'll probably take the whole project elsewhere. The book is available to buy from Lulu.com at the moment but I'm not encouraging anyone spend their money on something that's NQR.

Monday, November 10, 2008

'What Lies Beneath': MIA?

The past couple of weeks have seen some friends and family ask one question about the book - where is it?

Hopefully it will be in my mailbox tomorrow.  Now the Lulu.com problem with page thickness has been fixed, I'm just awaiting my copy.  If it's okay (i.e. cover on the right way, page numbers where they should be etc.) I'll flick the switch and anyone who is interested has the opportunity to purchase the book.

When you go to Lulu.com you are given the Prologue and Chapter One to preview.  This only amounts to a handful of pages so it makes sense to offer another chapter here.  This was a suggestion made to me by a reader of this blog and it's a good one as it gives people the chance to check out whether the book will appeal to them before they lay their hard-earned down.

Originally, it was my intention that the wiki (http://calibansend.pbwiki.com/) would serve this purpose, but it has been a colossal undertaking and is still a week or so away from being finished. Basically every character, place, ship, institution and concept gets its own page on the wiki, even a dead pet fish.  The fish features for a sentence in the book but in the wiki it gets its own page.

Today's preview chapter occurs about two thirds of the way through the book but it has some minor spoilers (i.e. nothing that will totally ruin the story but please take heed - it does throw some light on some events that could be considered spoilerific).

Why this chapter?  It's one of the most self-contained ones and may be easier to read as a result.  Also, thematically and stylistically it's fairly representative of the novel and lastly, it has Sir Edgar in it who is one of my favourite characters.

Hopefully, I'll be putting out another blog post this week saying the wiki and/or the book is ready.