Some people have been surprised to hear that I have “beta” readers. Beta readers are not unlike software beta testers, They are early adopters who try your software/manuscript out and give you feedback on how they liked it. (They also point out errors!) I have about 25 beta readers and I’ve enjoyed getting their feedback. In fact, as a result of the feedback, in addition to many updates, I’ve added one more chapter! (and yes that means one more song on the playlist) Here’s a picture from where this chapter is based. Can you guess what country or the specific location this photo was taken?
Oh, and The Quantum Contingent playlist is now updated on Spotify at: https://spoti.fi/3CBPE06. I actually used one of the songs that was already in the playlist for the new chapter. (because the title of the song appeared in the new chapter!) So, used a new song for the old chapter I stole the song from! The new song’s title has also been incorporated into the old chapter. The new song is Adventure of a Lifetime, by Coldplay. Can you guess what song that was already on the playlist is now associated with the new chapter?
I listened to a First Line Frenzy stream today by @RFaithEditorial in conjunction with Reedsy. In first line frenzy, an editor, Rebecca Faith, quickly critiques the opening line in a long list of novels, It's an interesting way to pick up some good tips to consider when working on your book. Anyway, I thought I'd try it with you, my blog audience. Here's the opening line to The Quantum Contingent:
Thud! The wood beside Jack’s ear splintered as the carbon blade dug into the old willow tree next to him. In a split second, Jack swiveled, crouched, and launched himself across the lane like a mountain lion bounding after its prey.
Frenzy away! You are the editor. Give me your critique in the comments or on twitter/linkedin or wherever you saw this blog post!
Thanks and talk to you next week!
I am back from vacation. I took a week off from the blog last week and am now rejuvenated and ready to push this book across the finish line. I have about twenty beta readers reading my draft manuscript and continue to make edits and updates. I was just adding some additional detail about rockets to the novel, so I thought I'd talk about some of the SpaceX technology referenced in the book. Remember, all technology is advanced by about seven years in the book, but it is also based on reality. I sometimes wonder if I am too conservative with my estimates. I feel a need to get the book out before the advances I articulate in technology are already here. The rate of change of new technology continues to accelerate!
The Quantum Contingent features many SpaceX advancements including Falcon rockets, the Dragon capsule, and even the
upcoming StarHopper rocket ship and its deep sea landing platform, Phobos. If you follow SpaceX, you’ve been treated to some amazing videos of their launches, their landings and even some dramatic exploding failures, all in the name of rapidly advancing the state of the art. Reusable rockets dramatically reduce the cost of space travel. Elon Musk views SpaceX as a chance to make humans a multi-planetary species by building colonies on Mars and in order to succeed, you need to be able to reuse rockets, and produce them in mass quantities. SpaceX has demonstrated reusability with the Falcon 9 and are now producing Raptor rocket engines at the rate of about one every two days! The Starship will use twenty-nine rocket engines, and be fully reusable. Starship is huge. It is ~390 feet tall, and designed to carry up to 100 people. It is taller than the Saturn V rocket that took US astronauts to the moon. (The Saturn V is ~363 feet tall). SpaceX has also purchased two deep water oil platforms to repurpose as StarShip launch and landing platforms. The platforms are fully operational in The Quantum Contingent. They should be ready next year. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SpaceX_Starship_offshore_platform
Of course, SpaceX already has "drone" barges that serve as autonomous landing platforms for the Falcon 9 rocket. One thing that is hard to grasp from the pictures and videos of the Falcon landing is its scale. Even though the Falcon 9 is not has tall as the Starship, it is no small rocket, standing at ~290 feet tall! I try to keep the science accurate as I project it into the future, so you'll see sizes and descriptions in the novel that are based on either today's reality or future projections of today's realities.
So, as you may have guessed by now, there are places in The Quantum Contingent that I haven't travelled to, outer space being one of them. So please join me on the journey and learn more about up and coming technologies from the comfort of my upcoming spy novel, The Quantum Contingent.
Thanks for reading the blog, soon the book!
Greg's blog will cover some of the things he learned as well as some of the tech and locations he used in his new novel, The Quantum Contingent.