So, firstly a quick introduction for those who don't follow my blog. My name is Adam Slade, and I'm an author of fantasy and humour novels. My first book, A Reaper's Tale, came out last year, and my new one, Strand, is out in early April. There, you know as much as the woman who delivers my mail. Actually, less, as she also knows my address and where my dogs are walked. On to the post...
My second book, Strand, is what sparked the idea for this post. It's a science fiction. I don't write science fiction. Well alright, I wrote one, but you know what I mean. Stop being pernickety.
I started writing Strand as an experiment to see if I was capable of writing science fiction, and I'm glad I did. At the time I was working on two or three fantasy works, and while I wouldn't say I was tiring of the genre, I was getting into a somewhat rigid mindset with regards to what I could and couldn't do within said genre. It also helps me with certain aspects of storytelling. For instance, science fiction work requires a better sense of 'place' than some other genres (in my opinion at least), so writing it helped me bring that over to my other works.
Writing in a genre different to my normal one really helped me come up with less clichéd and more interesting ideas for my work, too. Granted, my writing style remained the same, as did the level of sarcasm, but there are some things you can't change. Thankfully.
I have recently expanded again into another genre, though I'm keeping it hush-hush for now as I'm unsure as to how it will work out. Again though, it's helped to expand the way I think about my stories.
If you're like me, and tend to write solely in one genre, give it a go. Even if you aren't happy trying to get the end result published, it could help with your main genre.
(Strand will be released on April 4th, and currently has no excerpts posted anywhere. Kinda stupid, really. Better put one here, I s'pose.)
Strand set the ship down a quarter mile away from the location on the map and stood to leave via the airlock, then paused to look for something to use as a weapon. He clenched and released his hand and took a deep breath. It had taken a long time to get used to not carrying a gun, and barring a few sticky situations, he’d got along fine without one. The betraying voice in the back of his head once again chimed in to remind him that on those other occasions he hadn’t been breaking into a crime syndicate rife with armed guards.
“If the worst comes to the worst…” He closed his steel fist, releasing all four data spikes.
The secret entrance to the compound was disguised as an old grated sewer tunnel. Strand ran his fingers over the rusted metal of the hinges, causing flakes of brown metal to break off. On first inspection, he couldn’t find the terminal that the map had mentioned. He tried wrenching the gate but it didn’t budge. He stepped back a few paces to take in the surrounding area, and a glimmer of polished metal off to the right caught his eye. He walked over and brushed the cascade of ivy aside to find the terminal. He punched in the code marked on the map and winced as the grate swung open with a loud squeal. After taking one last glance around the area, he stepped into the darkness of the tunnel.
Ten paces in, the outer gate slammed shut again, casting a cross-hatch of moonlight across the floor. Silence settled again and Strand continued onward, his feet splashing in what he hoped was rainwater. Spotting a faint glow in the distance, he made his way toward it only to find a keypad mounted next to an apparent dead end. He used the light from it to check the map, but it wasn’t mentioned anywhere. If this is a trap, I'm done for. Just on the off chance, he punched in the code from the first panel, but nothing happened. He tried Terrick’s birthday and this time he got a message telling him that he had one try remaining.
Finding no access ports on the sleek metal box, he carefully eased the front panel off and glanced at the circuitry inside. A variety of multicolored cables and boards stared back at him.
“Nothing too advanced, then,” he murmured as he retrieved a stubby screwdriver from a pocket.
With painstaking care, he unscrewed what he took to be the main circuit board and moved it to one side, revealing another tangle of wires underneath. He found the two he was looking for and short circuited them. A spark lit up the area for a second, then the whir of machinery echoed along the tunnel. He turned to watch a door swing open in what he had thought was a solid wall, flooding light into the area. Shielding his eyes, he stepped through and found himself stood inside Terrick’s old office. Guess this is Phillips’s now. He noticed a familiar item on top of the desk; Terrick’s walking stick. As he tucked it into his jacket, he spotted something even more useful. A security terminal. Strand grinned and flicked a data spike out.