Sunday, October 31, 2010

Supper and the partition of India

Well, I took the crab bisque and added the fresh broad beans (fava beans) to it (still no rhubarb) and some cubed fillets of leatherjacket (the ideal fish for this as it doesn't fall apart if slightly overcooked) and served it to B for her 'tea' (AKA supper) with big crusty flaps of home-made Olive oil and rosemary bread. It was a delicious complex of flavours, with the slight sweetness (and the richness) of the crab contrasted by the beans (which have a 'green' and mild nutty flavour). The fish just absorbs tastes so it merely something solid that was neither bean nor bread (nor good red herring).

I'm sort of fiddling with the universe for the steampunk thing and so as India was such a major aspect of the British Empire, had Dr Biren helping me plot an alternate history breakup of the Indian subcontinent, with more of a look at how things might have fallen out had the Brits not being busy with divide and rule. Fascinating excercise (if you are an Alternate History / Science Fiction writer)

We had 40 knot gusts today - I was really glad not to be at sea. The easterly actually blew the outside rocking couch thing right over - not happened before. The sea was all the colours of yuck, and full of wild white horses


  1. Fiddling while the plot turns? Well, if it was good enough for Nero. Play a good tune, eh?

  2. heh, Mike, more like the story grows and i need to understand the motives of various major players better. So I need to know their world, even parts that do not directly impact the story.

  3. I'd avoid it like the plague whilst plotting your own stuff, but I quite enjoyed SM Stirling's The Peshawar Lancers. A nice alternate history where Europe is taken out by a meteorite and the Empire shifts it's seat to India. Vaguely steampunky too (well, it has airships).

    I always had the feeling the British (or rather the East India Company to be precise), just happened to be on the subcontinent at just the right time to move into the disintegrating power vaccuum. Crystallizing the British Raj out of a super-saturated solution of political turmoil (which actually continued until the Britih Raj was absorbed and became Indian and the partitioning occurred. And if they weren't the agents of the same sort of result, someone else would have been. Either that of it would break down into outright warlordism (as was happening with the Chinese a bit later).

    Still, I am not a historian.

  4. We're having similar gusts here, along with torrential rain. But I did see a rainbow today so that's a plus. Also, and slightly relevant to things Freer, I'm now about one third of the way through Much Fall Of Blood having done a reread of the whole series in chronological order. Its very good but I can tell I would be about to hit serious withdrawal symptoms shortly except that I seem to somehow have a draft the next one...

  5. A DRAFT !!!!!!!

    A DRAFT !!!!!!!

    sob. whimper.

    please, Dave, a draft ............. ?

    Has Gypsies progressed?


  6. Francis - don't dream of more, yet...

  7. Ian, gypsies is still hunting a buyer. Francis has read the next draft - which Eric will still change a lot of, because I need his input on it. I'm being very chary about handing out drafts of co-authored work, before the co-authors have a go.

  8. I sort of understand. Obviously I don't understand where Francis fits into the equation.

    BTW, I thought Much Fall Of Blood outstanding.

    A question you may be not able to answer for several reasons. Is the next book the final where Chernobog gets his?

    Honor Harrington has got to the point that, though I really enjoy the new releases, I just cannot re-read the entire series. I get bored by the 6th or 7th when I attempt to re-read.


  9. Gypsies,

    Way back when, I felt you needed to bring the Lieutenant more to the fore. You agreed.

    Typing time is limited, as I well understand. Nevertheless, I believe that if you wish to sell it, I strongly suggest you rewrite the existing section to provide a balance between the intelligent and the operatic idiots.

    Its like Rats etc. I could only read the first book after I'd read the second. In the first book, you were far too erudite for a plebeian like me.

    I wish to see the book published. Very Much.

    You have my admiration always, but I don't spot puns, don't know classical opera, and think you are asking too much of we readers in that regard.

    Susie's IQ is in the 140 - 150 range, mine the 115 - 120. Yet, due to our backgrounds, I often find myself explaining things to her. I would put your and Eric's brains way above these levels, but perhaps background is also operating.

    Books whose underpinning is too erudite for the average reader will not sell to the average reader. I recently read a flame war about the 1632 series and The instigator felt the 1632 spin off set of stories were no better than high school novels from wannabees. Perhaps he was right, but heck, there are a lot of people reading the on-line books and purchasing the printed "best of" paperbacks.

    So, he was wrong no matter what, because readers like them and this is the publishing industry.

    Please, re-work Gypsy and place it back on the market. Waiting is such a pain.

    Your fan,


  10. Yeah, well, my writing career is pretty well in the toilet, but Eric is the smart one, I'm the dim one. Oddly i wish all my books sold as well RBV has. Different people different tastes I guess. It looks like writing is going to be pretty curtailed and while I'd love to finish gypsies I can't as I desperately need the money from contracted work.