This summer I have set “Marmalade Cat Detective,” aside for a while. The Muse is headstrong and she’s telling me to finish my new comic science fiction novel, “Ark of the Convenient.” I can’t help myself. I miss Douglas Adams. If he were alive today, I wouldn’t feel the need to write this story, but there it is. We have lost a comic genius and many years later, the lack is still felt.
Inspired by “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” Red Dwarf, Monty Python and others who delight in wordplay and subversion, my story is about a failed grant writer, embroiled in civil war between humans, cyborgs and Martian Rovers gone wild.
I had the story plotted out and started by July 4, 2012. My great anxiety is that I won’t be able to finish it before the end of summer vacation. Even if I do, at writers’ workshops popular wisdom says comic sci-fi doesn’t sell. I would be prepared to go indie with this project, if it is destined for a niche market, but in a recent Wired article, John Scalzi gives me hope. He explains that old publishing biases against comic science fiction are beginning to lift. His upcoming novel, Red Shirts, indicates growing demand for humorous SF.
Encouraged, I must get back to work. This week, my son is at camp for six precious hours a day. Time seems to speed up while I am free to write and slow down again once I am otherwise occupied. Perhaps it’s one of those quirky time-space effects Einstein never mentioned.
I hope you follow my writing updates and you excuse the delay in producing the Cat Detective podcast. Marmalade is still coming out to play, just not for a little while.