Let the Gameplay Tell the Story

Words aren’t the only way to tell a story! Today, I’m talking about video games. I’ll just put it out there: I love video games. I’ve played them since I was little, from the Atari 2600 to the Commodore 64 to the original NES, up through the current console generation. PC gaming has been a constant part of the experience, too. I’ve witnessed the evolution of video games from chunky, abstract blocks and equally primitive beeps and buzzes to today’s 4K, megatextured, photorealistic, $100 million-plus blockbusters.

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#Video Games

Cyberpunk, Hopepunk, and the Future

Is science fiction trapped in a rut from which it can’t escape? Lee Konstantinou over at Slate sure thinks so. In his recent piece, he chronicles a brief history of the cyberpunk subgenre and the struggles of science fiction to find a new, forward-looking niche that packs the same punch. Many options are on offer: solarpunk, mannerpunk, sharkpunk, and a variety of others. Konstantinou argues that none of these are poised to dislodge cyberpunk as the premier science fiction subgenre–which sucks, because cyberpunk is tired.

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#Writing

Self-Promotion Sucks

I get tired of writing like a machine that generates marketing copy. _Totality: The Militiaman_ is published by a small imprint. This means there’s not really a budget for marketing or promotion. Don’t get me wrong–they are wonderful people and they do the best they can. But it’s simply not the same as having a major publishing house pushing your books. A lot of work falls on me. And you know what?

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#Writing

Divisive Characters

One of the things that surprised me when I had friends read Totality: The Militiaman was how divisive a particular character was. I hadn’t anticipated it and I had to spend time figuring out how I felt about it. That character was Linda Pearson. If you’ve read the book, you’ll know she is William Pearson’s ex-wife. (And if you haven’t, rest assured that that is no kind of spoiler!) Her inclusion in the story was always interesting to me because she didn’t tend to fit into the typical expectations of a sci-fi novel.

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Scratching That Itch

Most of us are in the middle of the so-called “holiday season.” Right now, we’re somewhere between Christmas and New Year’s Day. A lot of people are on vacation, enjoying time with family and friends, or perhaps just some peace and quiet as the year winds down. My habit for the past several years has been that when I start a new book in November, during National Novel Writing Month, I write every day.

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#Writing

How The Militiaman Got Made

It took a long time to bring this book to fruition! In all fairness, the amount of time it took was probably excessive, as novels go. The basic idea originated in 1999, the summer before I was to start college. I started writing it almost immediately after, about one chapter a week. The process, back then, was pretty simple. I would write a chapter, then give it a couple quick editing passes, then consider it ready to go.

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The Particulars of Colonization

How do you colonize another planet, anyway? The fact that settling on planets other than Earth remains science fiction should tell you a thing or two about how difficult it is. Although we’ve been sending humans to space for over half a century, our only attempts at semi-permanent habitation beyond Earth’s surface have been in the form of space stations, most notably the International Space Station. The longest period anyone has spent in space is a year and a few months–a far cry from the lengths of time that would be required for settlement of another planet.

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Building Lexin: Part 2

Did you think I was done talking about Lexin? Nope! There’s more. **Some mild spoilers for *Totality: The Militiaman* follow.** Early into this first book, it should become obvious that a lot of noir tropes are involved. The original iteration of this story was actually much less noirish–it was more akin to a police procedural, tonally. But as I revisited the story and fleshed out Lexin, a darker and grimier world took shape, and the futility of William’s fight against the mining conglomerates that dominated his world (and paid his salary) got put into stark contrast.

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Building Lexin

This is the first in a series of posts elaborating on my novel series, Totality. Today, I will go into some of the details involved in creating the first fictional world introduced in that series: Lexin. It’s worth mentioning that the Totality series was conceived a long time ago. The first drafts were worked up starting in 1999. Many of the specific details of Lexin, as a planet and a culture, originated then.

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Welcome!

Greetings! This is author and create J.D. Huffman, and on this blog I plan to consolidate my creative efforts and use this site as a one-stop shop for exploring my work. I anticipate weekly updates–more frequently if I can manage it–and will always be here to answer questions and take feedback. Thanks for stopping by!

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#News