Tag: Worlds Like Dust

Is this the first unprompted story written by a computer?

An iPad
An iPad

This was created by an iPad

While on Holiday in Spain more than a year ago now, my partner’s iPad appended a story manuscript with this at the end of the file, gradually adding to it over a period of weeks:

Lopressor
Copyright © 2013 by my partner’s iPad (Serial Number on Enquiry)
All Rights Reserved

Hello again hello hello we’re just now hello hello hello how are you doing my dear Lopressor

I named it Lopressor for copyright reasons (I want to protect the iPad!).

Just look at this masterpiece of fiction, assuming it is fiction! Not only has it constructed a full sentence but it has created a name from nowhere. Lopressor is not a name used in the work of fiction in the rest of the file. This is a completely new name. Not only has the iPad created a story, but has invented a name. It’s also interesting that the name ‘Lopressor’ is almost an anagram of ‘Processor.’

I have waited almost 2 years for any additional text but this appears to be the complete work.

This is my challenge to you and anybody else out there: can anybody else produce fiction created by any computer without prompting? If you can’t, I claim this as the first fiction written unprompted by a computer. Drop me a line in the comments below if you dispute my claim!

Deluxe Boxed Set of The War for Iron: Element of Civilization Series
This is coming soon! It will include 5 full-colour illustrations:

Cutaway View of the Tracked Drive System of the MCS Mark 6
Cutaway View of the Tracked Drive System of the MCS Mark 6

1. The Mobile Command Station (MCS) Mark 6
2. The SU 401 Rebel Alliance jet fighter
3. The alien organic plasma Clover Leaf rifle
4. The X.77 Laser Carbine
5. The LC5150 Laser Carbine

Here is a sneak preview, showing of a cutaway view of the tracked drive system of the MCS Mark 6.

Lastly, the Autumn Lazlo Newsletter will go out in the next 3 weeks. It will include specific dates for 2 forthcoming books so if you haven’t yet signed up, sign up for the Newsletter here (and don’t forget you get 3 FREE THRILLERS just for joining!)

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Will Jake Nanden’s Soul Survive the Battle for Earth?

Well, the day has finally arrived. The final installment of the Iron Series is here!

Mystery picture
Mystery picture

Remember this? Now I can reveal the identity of the object. Below is the cover of Worlds Like Dust – Part 1. The ship with the yellow stripes in the background is the giant and formidably armed Ischian Battleship, the Lu-kshîa.

The climax of the series is called Worlds Like Dust and is published in 2 parts. The first part is published today:

Iron III - Worlds Like Dust - Part 1 cover
Iron III – Worlds Like Dust – Part 1 cover

 

 

Worlds Like Dust – Part 1 on Amazon
Worlds Like Dust – Part 1 on Smashwords
Worlds Like Dust – Part 1 Google Play

And the paperback will be available for the introductory price of $9.49 for just two weeks  on Amazon.

Worlds Like Dust – Part 2 will be published shortly.

Below is the book blurb for Part 1 and below that is the book trailer video. I hope you buy a copy and let me know how you like it!

Domes now cover Earth’s big cities and soon a force field will trap Earth inside!

The jackal-headed Ischians are here! When General Jake Nanden retired from the USAC, he could never have guessed that his greatest battle was still to come.

Since then, he has joined a spiritual cult called the Blue Path, trying to establish communication with a few peaceful Ischians.

But now his world has been torn apart; his wife and youngest son have been killed, probably his eldest too and the Los Angeles and Washington citizens sweat it out under inescapable alien domes.

His son, Stone, warned him of the invasion and he joined up with Gary Enquine to form a rudimentary resistance network.

Now, they must find a way to rise up and defeat the conquerors of Earth! Nanden must escape and unite the remaining human and clone forces, scattered across the Solar System.

But time is running out! Soon, a necklace of giant starships will encircle the Earth and enclose it within a giant, inescapable force field.

This tense, all-action sci-fi thriller never lets you pause for breath and the action could be compared with Starship Troopers or Star Wars.

But it’s not just superficial action, there is the deeper thread of Jake Nanden’s own journey as a reconstructed replicant or clone and the struggle of the last humans in a world increasingly controlled by replicants.
An intensely and beautiful Science Fiction with a twist, if you love Phillip K. Dick, Isaac Asimov or Arthur C Clarke and Stephen Baxter, you will like this.

Tales of Lazlo Ferran, Freelance Editor. What are yours?

Some people have asked me to write about my editing experiences so here goes:

I haven’t edited a book for another writer since Amit Bobrov’s The Journals of Raymond Brooks. Editing is a marketplace starved of money but I am determined to find more work to fund my writing.

Consequently, a few days ago I joined an editing group on LinkedIn and posted a link to my editing page and asked for feedback. It was a baptism of fire! I must say that editors are a tough bunch! They didn’t hold back and told me the page was too chatty and unprofessional. If you are looking for an editor, I think you will approve of the new page. I have reduced my rates somewhat because of the tough market conditions at the moment. However, even these prices are only a guide; I am open to negotiation. So if you are looking for an editor for your new book, please contact me.

Updates
Some updates comes roughly under the heading of editing:
I am in the final edit for two books now; Escher’s Staircase (provisional title) and World Like Dust. Some of you may be interested to discover that I have completed a first draft of Ordo Lupus III (the title will remain a secret for now) but I have no planned publishing window for that as yet.

I have found that the more books I have published, the more work I have to do to maintain them and market my books. Consequently, I am way behind my schedule for releasing Worlds like Dust and Escher’s Staircase. You may think:
“Poor excuse; he’s just being lazy.”
I assure you, I am not! I am working hard to bring you these new books and to make sure they are as good as I can make them.

I have completely re-edited The Man Who Recreated Himself because it was looking very tired. There is even a new scene in it but most of the changes are just grammar and copy editing.

I have re-edited Ordo Lupus II, making only minor grammar changes.

I have completely re-edited Iron II: Unknown Place, Unknown Universe so this is actually a third edition and very different to the second. There are different chapter titles, 15000 less words and many of the alien scenes have been transposed to different parts of the book to skew the perspective slightly more towards their view of the Universe. If you were to read the new version, I think you would approve. I will also be redesigning the cover in the next few weeks and I hope you like the change.

On the subject of covers, I will probably change the covers for the following books; The Man Who Recreated Himself, Infinite Blue Heaven and the Short Stories Series to make the look of all my books more homogeneous.

I also had my first request for an autograph, using authorgraph, which was exciting.

As for anecdotes about editing, I have a few:

1. My favourite typos I have found (of my own) have been:
A group of people that were ‘leaning’ instead of ‘learning.’
‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sleep?’
‘I tied up both men using duct tape and drover the van to a nearby track.’

2. I occasionally find unintentional puns which are very funny. Here is a classic. In Too Bright the Sun, there is a character called Ish (short for Ichmael) and Jake says to him sadly:
“They’re dead Ish.”

3. Occasionally the eccentricities of software baffle even me. Today, I submitted a pdf for Iron II to the distributor website, believing it to be correct. I just happened to glance through the pdf at the last moment to check that the most critical thing, the chapter headings, were in the right place and guess what? One of them wasn’t. Since I have switched from Mac to Windows, I have never had a case where a pdf doesn’t exactly reflect the word document. But this time, it didn’t. I checked again and the culprit was a set of asterisks which, for some inexplicable reason, were jumping down to the next page in the pdf. I tried several times to fix if, first by reducing the space after, then by shortening some previous sentences to shorten the previous page. It took me an hour to get it right! Just lucky I spotted it, I guess, but what a pain!

That is all my editing tales for now. All in all, I am very busy and I sometimes wonder where I will find time to write my next book!

If you are looking for an editor for your novel, please visit my Writing and Editing Services page.

If you are an editor and have some good stories, please do drop a comment in below.

This week’s Blog – Mars Attacks!

Hot off the Press!

Hot of the press replaces previous ‘Excerpts’. It will be excerpts that I have just written; little tasters of what I am up to, but not too much. I think I can just about manage this final one from Iron III: Worlds Like Dust.

Worlds Like Dust

Copyright © 2011 by Lazlo Ferran

All right Reserved

“Good thinking, Caron. However that still doesn’t help much. I don’t think any of us would get far … wearing a suit outside the port is gonna look pretty strange … And I don’t even speak Ischian!” After half hour deliberating they still had no decent plan. “Anyways, I am gonna get some kip. Bryant, you are on watch. Wake me in one hour. I’ll sleep on it!”

When they drifted cautiously into Dock 422 in Mars Space Port, they still had no plan beyond the inchoate one suggested by Caron.

Built in the late 21st Century Mars Space Port, also known as Port Brutus, named after the first man to set foot on Mars, was still very impressive. Built from the then-cheap black seribdenum alloy, the matt surfaces on the ten mile long aisles and shorter piers appeared blacker than black. Only the twinkling pot lights highlighted its profiles and gave an almost sickening perspective to it.

Ischian cruisers were larger than human ones and the docks could barely hold them so McNeill had to use every bit of skill to dock without damaging the ship. They knew they would be scrutinized, and probably reported if they made an error. They didn’t need the attention. McNeil was sweating when the cruiser finally came to rest and the docking clamps juddered into position. Osei, in the Ischian suit, used a translator to respond by keyboard to the Port’s new controller while keeping the others off the comms viewing screen. A stern looking Ischian Commander demanded an explanation several times for the suit and the lack of vocal communication.

‘Were involved in a skirmish with a stolen cruiser, Commander,’ Osei typed. ‘In Earth’s vicinity. We sustained damage to our recyclers and comms equipment.’

“But I can see no sign of damage to your ship, Captain!”

‘They had Ischian cruiser, Commander. That means they had disrupter. They may be poor shots but they were lucky.’

“Yes, I know. We have been told a confirmed damaged cruiser is possibly heading this way. I presume that was the skirmish you were involved with?”

‘Yes.’

“I see. You need a Repair Crew? I can’t spare one until tomorrow …”
‘We barely made it here, sir. Need to contact our Commander and request a brief for a new mission.’

“Hm. Your unit is near the Earth’s Moon, subduing Rebels, I believe. He won’t have time for that. What’s his name? I might be able to get a message through …”

“Wait. Our old Commander was killed yesterday. We have a new one but I forgot the name.” Osei broke the link. “Quick! Somebody get me a name … From the logs; from a bunk; the suits … I don’t care!” There was chaos as the three grunts turned the deck upside down. Caron found a tag in one of the suits.

“Kreikos …? Something like that, I think. My Ischian’s not so good …”

Osei reconnected with the Dock Control. ‘Kreikos,’ he typed in.

“Right.” I’ll get in touch. You report to me directly you get port-side. Understood?”

‘Yes, sir.’

***

Other News

It looks like editing on The Journals Of Raymond Brooks, Second Edition is complete so I look forward to seeing that published on Amazon soon. The new cover of Ordo Lupus and the Temple Gate seems to be working for me; I have sold 11 copies in the first week. I really hope to finish Worlds Like Dust in the next two weeks so that I can move on to stories which have languished too long in a half finished state. I am also starting work with Omri Koresh on the new cover for Ordo Lupus II: The Devil’s Own Dice, so look for that in August or September.

Elsewhere

Just a quick word about the Shopper Discount Scam. A close friend of mine was angry to find they had been paying £10 per month to a company they had never heard of the other day. It turns out that thousands of people have been caught by the same scam: you pay for something on a reputable website like Argos.co.uk or Prontaprint.co.uk and unwitting find yourself becoming a member of the shopper discount service. They do offer a voucher for £15 (or something like that) off your next purchase but proceed to debit your credit card account by £10 per month indefinitely. it is quite difficult to stop them and neither the banks nor the website companies (ie Argos) seem interested in helping you. It does smell  badly of bad practice at the least and I am amazed something like this is allowed to go on in the consumer-conscious 21st Century.