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text 2015-10-25 18:28
Cover Reveal for Hameln-13 and a Surprise Gift

My subscribers already saw the cover for my upcoming Collective SF story, Hameln-13, and yesterday at the Halloween party I had my official cover and synopsis reveal.

 

Just to give you some quick background info for those who don’t know, The Collective SF is a group of authors who write in a shared universe where slave-scribes toil tethered to a seemingly immortal entity known only as the God-Machine. Their duty is to record newly created histories and chronicle the past. Only something is horribly wrong. Instead of factual history, the God-Machine is mistaking fairy tales and lore for historical fact.

 

And this is where The Collective SF comes in. We take existing fairytales and legends and re-imagine them as historical fact. We give them science fiction settings and we inject the stories with a substantial dose of Embrosis.

 

My scribe, Wifelier Docht, is tasked with recording the legend of The Pied Piper of Hamelin, but in his augmented reality the legend is known as Hameln-13, named after the outpost planet where the events took place.

 

And here is the cover:

 

 

Xavier Granville designed the cover and I tell you, it’s an awesome thing when you plan a story and someone shows you the packaging that makes out part of your book. I love the cover because it embodies the tone I imagined for the planet Hameln-13.

 

As for the synopsis:

 

After their spacecraft tumbles from orbit, a small group of scientists, engineers, and soldiers is left stranded on a planet in a remote galaxy not yet fully mapped. With resources quickly dwindling and unable to communicate with Earth, they are forced to venture further out into the unknown alien landscape in search of alternative resources.

 

They should never have done that. Hameln-13 hides a terrible evil for underneath its surface the Murr patiently wait to feed. And they are hungry. They have not eaten in over a century.

 

Let’s call this a teaser for now. I’m still writing the story and I don’t want to spoil anything should the tale decide to go a different route. Suffice to say, I’m aiming for a Lovecraftian finish. Oh, and the “Pied Piper” in my story is a freaky alien called Decan Lude. There is some significance to my choosing this name. I bet you can’t figure it out.

 

The release date is officially scheduled for January 2016.

 

Lastly, I have one more surprise for you. If you subscribe to The Collective SF newsletter here, you’ll get access to our Starter Library–for free. The library consists of six books, including The Seals of Abgal. Yes, that is correct. You’ll get The Seals of Abgal free when you subscribe to the Collective SF’s site.

 

It’s not a bad deal at all. Damn, I’m giving all my books away and have nothing left to sell. I guess I should write more and faster.

 

Cheers!

 

Woelf

 

(Originally posted on woelfdietrich.com on 25/10/2015)

Source: woelfdietrich.com/2015/10/25/hameln-13-cover-reveal-and-a-surprise-gift
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text 2015-10-10 09:10
Halloween With The Collective SF

 

I’m busy with a novel called, Hameln-13, for The Collective SF that will come out either in December or January next year. This is another shared universe setup, but with a slight difference.

 

On The Collective SF’s blog, we have log entries from various “scribes” tethered to an entity known only as the God-Machine. Their duty is to record newly created histories and chronicle the past. Only something goes horribly wrong and instead of factual history, fairy tales and lore are mistaken for historical fact. 

 

Hameln-13 is my retelling of the Pied Piper of Hamelin legend, but in this version the setting is a remote alien planet in a star system not yet fully mapped.

 

Which brings me to the reason for today’s post: The Collective SF is hosting a pre-Halloween Halloween party. We’ll be revealing some awesome stuff, including covers for our forthcoming stories.

 

Join us!

 

Woelf

Source: www.facebook.com/events/1659831217637006
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review 2015-03-24 00:00
The Machine God
The Machine God - MeiLin Miranda

Started out quite promisingly, with an interesting protagonist and a world that someone had clearly given quite a bit of thought to in terms of world-building (loved the talking birds, though I could see how they could be quite a pain, as indeed some of them are in the book).

Then it all went a bit grisly when it came to talking about how the titular Machine God was brought to life (the last thing I read that had a similar feel to it was KJ Parker's The Belly of the Bow) but after that it kind of lost its way. The ending was a bit of an anti-climax, as was the moustache-twirling behaviour of our 'unexpected' villain. 

Sadly our protagonist also didn't really seem to survive intact and became himself a bit of a caricature, neither one thing or another. Disappointing.


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review 2014-03-30 12:37
SPAs? Take note.
The Machine God - MeiLin Miranda

This goes out to SPAs, or at least most of them.   The ones who don't use editors, the ones who harass their readers.   If you do use an editor, and don't bitch at, or about your readers, you can choose to read this introduction or skim through to the part where I talk about the book and not the author.*   I've never heard of MeiLin Miranda, and when I did, it was about how she had a small, but rabid following which made her Kickstarters possible when a first time author asked what she should do about editing she couldn't afford.   I saw the title The Machine God, thought it would be AI, and went, 'woot, sentient machines!'   None of the reviews said anything about this, so I asked if anyone had read this on my Booklikes page, and got the answer that after reading the Drifting Isle guide, my friend thought I would be sorely disappointed. 

 

Knowing this at least, I braced myself, and read the sample, figuring that it could be utter dreck and then I wouldn't have to be torn by that gorgeous, gorgeous cover and this nagging feeling that I'd love this book.   But, frag, the prose was gorgeous, this was clearly edited, and I was so insanely intrigued.   Oh, yeah, and I had settlement money left over.  

 

Miranda writes well, has an editor, a beautiful cover, and doesn't harass readers, at least not that I've seen.   All this compelled me to buy this book.

 

Now, this is the third stand alone novel in a shared world that the authors/co-creaters have opened up to others, with some restrictions - it has to fit the world, the characters that are already in play have to be in character, and it has to pass by their eyes first, so they know it's not all kinds of fuckery.   This seems a small price to pay for the connection to the already established brand, to be honest, and ensures that it's all in continuity. 

 

That being said, there was some concern that I would miss something.   This novel, however, stands on it's own two feet.   If there is a connection to the previous two novels, not only do I not know, I never got the sense that I was being left out of some joke.   The prose is gorgeous, the pacing is incredible, and the mythology draws from our own while being unique.   There are small details like kikois - an African garment - that a dark-skinned character uses to show he's from a different culture.   That combined with small things like the braiding of men's hair, made the main character, Oladel Adewole, very much seem like a stranger in a strange land.   And he is, and he gets to be more so as the story takes us from, literally, down under to the actual drifting isle.   

 

I also don't know about the other two stories - they don't tug at me as this one did, so I may not read them - but this one covers a pivotal historical moment, and also reveals the whys and hows.   It all stems from Oladel, or Ollie, who has lost his sister, lost his tenure at the Jerian university.   It all stems from his ability as a linguist, and his knowledge of folklore, and everything happens around him, and to him, and it all seems natural.   I didn't see the deception of one character, although the story, once fully told, made very much sense.    Everything fit, everything made sense, everything was explained.   When I got to the end, I realized how carefully Ollie, and his circumstances, had been thought through.   His temperament, his circumstances, were needed to complete this story.   

 

Also, the God Machine?   Is Al.  For those who wants pure AIs, or sentient machines, this is not for you. 

 

 

Eeee! I get to use that picture.   But the circumstances, and effects, are different and the unique setting and characters make up for me being in the middle of FMA and being really, really struck by the similarities.   

 

There are three quotes I want to share, two because they're pretty glaring errors, which is odd because the rest is so well written and edited.  The first one, though, just made me laugh, because it made me laugh, pleased at the thought behind it. 

 

"'I mean, it couldn't be natural or there'd be at least one other floating island somewhere in the world I should think.   But there isn't.'"

 

I just love that quote. 

 

"They up the Ministry building's broad stairs..."

 

Clearly there is a word missing here.

 

"The ugly music filled his ears, Alleine's desperate shrieks his mind."

 

Okay, typing this out, I realize that this isn't actually as bad an error as I thought; at worst, it's just awkward.   I had to go back a couple times, figure out what it meant, then go back and figure out that Alleine's shrieking filled his mind.   It's just not phrased optimally which detracts from the cadence of this story, which is normally excellent.   

 

Still, seeing as those two sentences, and the overuse of semicolons - properly used semicolons - are my only complaints?   I'm feeling pretty good about giving this five stars. None of this made me stop reading, and anytime I got annoyed, I got more annoyed at my brain for not focusing fully on this story. 

 

I've purchased another book by this author before I hit the halfway mark.  That's how much I loved this. 

 

*And don't call Grimlock a Decepticon.   Shoddy research like that doesn't make you look good, nor does it endear me to you or make me want to do whatever you're asking me to do.  Google.   Two seconds.   You don't even have to go to the Wikipedia page; the google page shows you the first sentence where he's called an Autobot.   

 

**I've been considering legally changing my name as of late.   Grimlock feels a lot sexier.   This has nothing to do with this book, so... I figured another starred comment.   

 

 

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text 2014-03-29 18:19
Reading progress update: I've read 50%.
The Machine God - MeiLin Miranda

"'If I am reading this correctly, it describes a machine which can house a consciousness.   The consciousness is obtained and bound to the machine with-with spells.'"

 

 

 

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