Pulp and Sundry

driscollI do like to write quickly and to be able to report vast thousands of words written, but as I think I mentioned, for me at least that may not be the best way to approach drafting. At least not novels. I had SO MANY revision passes and revisits on the last book that I’m just trying to take my time with this new one. I suppose I’ll find out soon from my alpha reader if going slowly means fewer revision passes will be required. I think it might. If not, I may start losing more hair.

My short story outlining project went far better than I expected. I’ve already got outlines or thumbnail outlines for all but the final tale in the proposed new Dabir and Asim collection, and I do have a solid idea for that final one — I just have to write it down. After that I’ll convert all of them into detailed outlines and then, as time permits, I’ll start turning those into short stories.

Over the week I finally finished the last few stories in The Mammoth Book of Private Eye Stories, and Hocking and I have begun the exchanges that will eventually be transformed into an article. I also read an excellent short story collection by Australian writer Peter Corliss, and I’m sure Hocking and I will be talking about him eventually as well.

Finally, I started on a pretty cool “American mercenary in exotic places” novel, one of the paperbacks Hocking sent me, Driscoll’s Diamonds. So far I’m really digging it. He warned me it’s kind of a popcorn read, but sometimes you want some really well made popcorn. Tasty, not too buttery or too salty. I’ll have a full (well, likely thumbnail) review when I’m done.

(And speaking of popcorn, I didn’t get to see Guardians of the Galaxy 2 this weekend — when we decided whilst out to try and get in to view it, it was sold out, both at the closest theatre and the two across town! Alas.)

AgricolaThis Sunday I broke open Agricola: Master of Britain. Nice looking map, tactical board, and counters, which have a good solid heft to them, like counters from White Dog Games or the laser printed counters from Victory Point Games.

The rules were easy to digest, and the game play was fantastic… although I had my butt handed to me! There’s a lot of subtlety going on in this game. I lost three times, and it finally started to click that I can’t play it as though I’m just out to conquer by martial forces alone, because that makes the other tribes unfriendly — and I suppose that’s really more realistic. If your tribe heard that the other tribes down south were getting conquered, would they sit around waiting for the Romans to come for them, or would they start getting suspicious and unfriendly? Fortunately, there are other ways to win over the tribes. Really looking forward to playing again next Sunday morning.

It’s a new kind of design for me, very different from others I’ve played, and so far I’m really impressed. I’ll write a proper review on the Black Gate web site after I’ve played it some more. So far — highly recommended.

3 Comments on “Pulp and Sundry

  1. I have Driscoll’s Diamonds, and it’s a solid pulp adventure read. I think Ian MacAlistar has a few more out there like it. If you like this stuff, I strongly recommend the works of Desmond Bagley. Often overlooked by fans of Alistair MacLean and Jack Higgins, Bagley wrote many high quality spy and adventure thrillers in the 70’s that were set in various exotic locals all over the world. He was very meticulous in his background research, and generally visited and explored the locations he used in his novels. His attention to detail and vigorous pacing make his books excellent reading.

    • I finished it earlier this morning and ended up liking it quite a lot. I’m definitely going to seek out some more from MacAlistair — which I recall is a pseudonym although I forget for whom.

      I’ll have to check out your Bagley recommendation! Is there one you especially liked?

      • Running Blind (Iceland), High Citadel ( Andes), The Tightrope Men (Spy thriller starts in Oslo) and Landslide (adventure thriller set in British Columbia involving high stakes forestry industry). I have not read one book by Bagley that I found boring.

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