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Topics - geoffnelder

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Writer's Talk / POV poser
« on: July 28, 2021, 04:48:15 PM »
A book I am enjoying is annoying me.
The much acclaimed, best-seller “Leave the World Behind” by Rumaan Alam is published by Bloomsbury in 2020 and is a kind of mystery thriller whereby a family on holiday in a remote location discovers a news and media blackout. A mysterious loud noise is heard giving rise to all sorts of speculation of asteroid strike, terrorist strike, nuclear power station meltdown, etc.
The thing is, while the characters are strong, the plot (for me) compelling and page turning, the POV is so head hopping its driving me as crazy as the characters. Perhaps that’s the plan: to turn me into the demented beings in the book. Yes, we have an omniscient POV, but editors frown on it because, like me, the poor reader loses engagement several times a page when thoughts hop from one to another with no section breaks. It’s not just a case of an experienced author and publisher knowing and thus allowed to flout the ‘rules’. The author isn’t a novice although much of the narrative is rather naïve: such as the dialogue is often repetitive as real life is but therefore as boring as real life can be.
Is this the way of things now? Do I stop encouraging my editing clients to stick to one POV per section for novels? Do I chuck everything into the air for my own writing? The more I read of contemporary writing the more I know nothing!

Getting Published / using a curio blog to draw interest
« on: June 08, 2021, 05:29:24 PM »
Gaston is the science officer on the crashlanded ship, SUPPOSE WE. He becomes fascinated by what appears to be an alien butterfly.

There I was innocently perusing that Gaston's butterfly in my Suppose We trilogy is green when it occurred to me to wonder how? I've never seen a green butterfly but they exist. My research uncovered the revolting fact that butterfly poop (or more accurately their bile) is used to make some colours. I blogged it. Only short. You might be amused.

The Bar & Grill / training for debates
« on: May 19, 2021, 08:42:34 AM »
In the 60s I belonged to a political debating group. We’d have games where a topic was drawn from a hat & we’d talk about if for 5 mins. One of us had only one topic he could speak about – transport. He knew nothing else. When it was his turn his topic was Lyndon B Johnson’s trip to the UK. He started with, “LBJ arrived on his specially adapted 707-320B airliner with the serial number 62-26000. The rivets on the wings were quarter-inch—” We stopped him. Tell us about what LBJ said!
“LBJ said he liked the Rover P5 car that took him to the embassy, with its 115 horsepower engine and…”

Success Stories / Uncalled for acceptance
« on: April 10, 2021, 01:19:37 PM »
I hastily wrote a blog last night about something I see on our regular walks here in our new home in Manchester, England. Eammon Murphy (reviewer and editor)  liked it so much he's asked to syndicate to his Alt History Magazine! Here's the blog

Success Stories / Vengeance Island
« on: November 16, 2020, 07:39:18 PM »
Finally, the rewrite of Xaghra's Revenge has happened and was last night released as Vengeance Island as an ebook in the first instance. So if you didn't get around to acquiring Xaghra's Revenge then grab this kindle (free on Kindle Unlimited) for less than a dollar or a pound. The blurb and universal Amazon link from any country is A modern woman is descended from pirates while her lover came from their abductees? Or the other way round?
Vengeance Island is set in Malta, Gozo, France, Libya, and a harem in Constantinople.

Success Stories / The Chaos of Mokii
« on: October 03, 2020, 02:14:13 PM »
Imagine a city populated entirely by the combined imagination of its inhabitants. That's the premise of The Chaos of Mokii, an experimental, metaphysical short story.
It was published by Solstice Publishing in 2016 but when the contract ran out they activated a new policy of not publishing single short stories. So I have used Kindle Create and thrown it on there.
If you've not seen it, here it is

Success Stories / Alien Exit
« on: July 12, 2020, 06:34:55 PM »

My first science fiction novel was Exit, Pursued by a Bee published by Double Dragon in 2008. It won the P&E award and a few minor stuff but the publishing house is closing. Rather than let all those words evaporate into space, a friend persuaded me to self-publish it with Amazon KDP. There are tools to help though I have little stamina these days for small print and a million options. I suppose I could keep the same title but it might confuse because of the millions of second hand copies around (ha ha). So besides revising the text, adding acknowledgements, review quotes etc I changed the name to Alien Exit. So there it is, ebook only, less than three dollars. If you’ve not tried it before here’s the cheeky blurb:
Alien Exit is driven by a feisty female astronaut, a Palaeolithic mongrel called Kur, Glastonbury Festival chaos, steamy sex in space, a loose-cannon journalist and a mad-cap general. All to overcome time-quakes created when aliens depart Earth.
ebook only – universal Amazon link

Getting Published / Suspense landed
« on: April 27, 2020, 07:46:54 PM »
No money in it, but Scifi Lampoon accepted a daft story from me. I was struck by the image in a film of a plane suspended in mid air. Surprisingly, the film carried on without using this visual wonder, as if it was just a suspension of time for a few seconds. I wanted more, so wrote a tale of such. Scifi Lampoon is a new venture and my SUSPENSE story will be published in the summer in their 3rd edition.
As agents say, it helps with name "recognition". At my age this recognition phase will go on forever.

Success Stories / Cotard
« on: March 28, 2020, 02:22:43 PM »
I only discovered after publication that the editor had made me the featured writer for the April issue of The Horrozine with my Cotard story. Cotard is a real syndrome where the sufferer believes they are already dead. Perfect topic for a horror story. It's not a blood and gore one but hopefully imbued with the landscape around the Venetian lagoons and a nunnery. If you like you can read it for free here

Writer's Talk / Library talk - oh heck
« on: December 11, 2019, 05:48:54 PM »
A Nottingham library book club have asked me to talk to them about my historical novel, Xaghra's Revenge. It's not until March so I've plenty of time to worry about it. I've done the talk with a Chester library club of about 6 people and one in Malta with only 4. The Nottingham librarian said there will likely be around 30 people waiting to trip me up and snarl at my subjunctive clauses.

Getting Published / FREE to read Failsafe
« on: October 25, 2019, 03:56:08 PM »
If you have a quiet moment you could do worse than pop over to another planet and see if Lithic Ash (protagonist named after geology) remembers something critical in his mission.
It's a free short science fiction story published this month by Aphelion. Please click on the link below.
 It will help the site's editor to see if anyone clicks on my story ;) Leave a comment there if you like it.


Getting Published / Falling Up
« on: June 25, 2019, 07:03:28 PM »
I've written the last chapter of Falling Up which is the sequel to Suppose We. I won't send it to the publisher yet until my critique group has read and commented on it. They're really good at finding typos. It should be out by November.

Success Stories / Suppose We
« on: May 14, 2019, 11:59:46 PM »
Is there anything special about May 20th?
Yes! Five important events occurred on that day:
1498 Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama discovers the sea route to India.
1609 Shakespeare’s sonnets are published for the first time.
1932 Amelia Earhart is the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic.
1972 Gaynor Smith marries Geoff Nelder in Latchford Methodist Chapel tucked in between the Mersey and the Manchester Ship Canal. Yes 47 years ago!
2019 SUPPOSE WE is published – the first surreal science fiction novella in the Flying Crooked series.
When a ship crashlands on a faraway planet the crew needs local help. Unfortunately, the natives are a million years ahead of us. Ignored, the crew has to find a way to get attention.
Bringing back a sense of discovery and wonder to science fiction.
Magdelena Ball at Compulsive Reader: There’s always an element of action, a hint of steamy romance, and Nelder’s trademark twist.
John F Keane there is great sensory engagement here and many great phrases and descriptions. A masterclass in those, in fact.
It’s not May 20th yet but you can preorder the Kindle on Amazon already at
The image on the cover is from this strange planet in the Keplerian 20 system and so is the butterfly. It’s alien. It’s not a real butterfly yet wondrous.
Published with great foresight by the indie publisher LL-Publications.

The Bar & Grill / A film that teased
« on: January 31, 2019, 02:56:04 PM »
I watched a DVD last night entitled The Ice Breaker. It's about a Russian icebreaker ship in Antarctic waters in the 1980s. It nearly did a Titanic by coming too close to a huge iceberg. The interest to me is that when the ship sailed away, the iceberg followed it! What a brilliant science-fantasy idea. Sure enough when the ship stalled in thick ice the iceberg caught up. However, the bulk of the story was about the way such a community of sailors, scientists and KGB battled minds and sometimes bodies when they were stranded for over 100 days. Sadly, nothing came of why the iceberg followed them. I just hoped somehow the iceberg had developed sentience and... well, you know me.
I dug a bit deeper into the films development and discovered to my shock that it's based on a real event! The ship had really encountered a glacier that followed it and the crew endured being stranded for 133 days. No fantasy involved at all.
Or was there? The iceberg eventually broke up. Had the alien / giant squid / sentient ocean current given up?
A few details here

Have you ever watched a movie that seemed to offer one concept but it turned out to be different?

Ask a Question / Opinions wanted on a cover art
« on: December 02, 2018, 02:14:07 PM »
Honest opinions please. My upcoming science fiction novella is being edited by the publishers (LL-Publications) as we speak. Here is a draft of the coverart. We are experimenting with the font and like its boldness but is it readable for you? The story involves human astronauts on another planet. There is an alien butterfly involved. (you know me so it isn't really a butterfly). It's the font - what do you think please?
I don't know how to show photos here now that photobucket is a pain.

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