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Posts tagged “channelzilch

Angry Robot News: Scraping Myself off the Ceiling

The Angry Robot reader gave a big thumbs up to Channel Zilch:

Hi Doug,

I hope this makes your day – I will be putting Channel Zilch through to Marc and Lee [heads of Angry Robot]. It’s certainly one of the most unique styles and voices that I’ve read in a story! I do think it’s a very Marmite way of writing, so either people will love it or hate it. I loved it, the boys may not, but we can only try.

From here on in it goes into a standard submission procedure. Don’t expect to hear anything for at least 8-10 weeks, if not longer. Both Marc and Lee will read the novel and both have to give agreement before it goes in front of the Osprey/Angry Robot marketing board, who also have to give agreement. There are still many hurdles to jump but you’ve cleared the first.


[An Angry Robot reader with exquisite literary taste]


2011-05-01 Myrna's 2011 Birthday Treasure Hunt 150

Random Picture of Doug looking happy. Cap'n Jack Sparrow follows my fashion innovations slavishly.

I love her description of my writing style as Marmite: strongly flavored; you either love it or hate it.

CZ still has major hurdles as listed above, but this is another indication that it’s not complete crap ;^)

A much-needed boost! My health continues to scrape bottom. Just had to cancel a trip to Philly for my Mom’s 80th because I’m too sick right now. I doubt that I will accomplish much on Castle Rising this month.

Another small step on my arduous but inevitable journey to the Nobel Prize for Literachewer!

Next step: Write the MarmiteStyle Manifesto.

Thanks to All who Lived and Died for the Dream of Space

Goodbye Shuttle program. It was a long expensive detour on the road to space. Thanks for giving me shuttle Enterprise to star in Channel Zilch. Thanks to all who worked hard on the program. All honor to those who gave their lives in Challenger and Columbia and in accidents on the ground.

This following tribute to the heroes of space travel is a chapter from Channel Zilch that I had to cut from the book. I’ve excised some plot passages. The narrator is Mick Oolfson, ex-NASA-astronaut, who is planning to steal prototype space shuttle Enterprise and launch it with a Russian booster.

The Columbia crash nearly stops Channel Zilch before it starts.

February 1st. I hear the news. A shuttle died. How can we think to launch Enterprise now?

Seven astronauts died. I knew two of them.

They would have wanted us to keep going – a truth that keeps the whole world from grinding to a halt with grief every time one of us dies.

I’ve said and I’ll say a few unkind things about NASA in this book. Let me put things straight right here and now: NASA covered my back every second of my eighteen days in space. Show me an organization that has more dedicated, skilled, and passionate people than NASA.

It’s a miracle every time a rocket makes it into space. A million interworking components riding a howling flame. Every launch is a triumph for every one of those who makes it happen.

Over one hundred successful launches. Two lost crews. A 98+% success rate at the hardest feat on earth. Never good enough, especially to all the people on the ground who worked to get us up and back.

Thanks to those who gave their lives. Thanks to those who put their lives in peril. Thanks to those thousands who gave years of their lives to build The Dream.

Apollo 1 – Jan. 27, 1967
Virgil Grissom
Roger Chaffee
Edward White

Soyuz 1 – April 24, 1967
Vladimir Komarov

X-15 – November 15, 1967
Michael J. Adams

Salyut 1 – June 30, 1971
Georgi Dobrovolsky
Viktor Patsayev
Vladislav Volkov

Challenger – Jan. 28, 1986
Gregory B. Jarvis
Christa McAuliffe
Ronald E. McNair
Ellison S. Onizuka
Judith A. Resnik
Francis R. Scobee
Michael J. Smith

Columbia – Feb 1, 2003
Michael P. Anderson
David M. Brown
Kalpana Chawla
Laurel B. Clark
Rick D. Husband
William C. McCool
Ilan Ramon

I can’t list every person who gave their life to lift us into space. Astronauts die but risking our neck is part of the job description. Our deaths are news and millions mourn.

No one knows how many died on the ground building, maintaining, supporting, training. I’ll let these two stand for all those unsung heroes:
Columbia – March 19, 1981
John Gerald Bjornstad
Forrest Cole

They died while prepping the first space shuttle launch: Columbia’s STS-1 mission. They suffocated inside Columbia’s engine compartment.

Remember those who gave it all.

Work like hell to build The Dream.

The last shuttle landing. “Space shuttle Atlantis STS-135 lands at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida July 21, 2011.”

Big News: I Changed My Desktop Wallpaper!!!

This picture has been my laptop wallpaper for the last many years as I worked on Channel Zilch:

Doug Touching Shuttle Wheel

I am touching a space-flown Space Shuttle wheel on a shuttle replica at The Cape. I made sure that in Channel Zilch the protagonist, Mick Oolfson, touches the tire of Shuttle Enterprise when he first sees it.

That picture worked its charm and now I can retire it because I’ve finished Channel Zilch. It’s on to Castle Rising, my medieval-kids-vs.-alien-armada book, so I changed my wallpaper to inspire me with views of the homes of the four protagonists:

Castle Rising - Homes of Protagonists

Upper left is Castle Rising in Norfolk, England, the home of Will the apprentice scribe. Lower left is Angkor Wat, home of Visel the reluctant martial art student. Lower Right is the Far View Site at Mesa Verde in Colorado, home of Avis the hunter. Upper right is the Hill Complex of the castles of Great Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe, home of Shenkasi the prince.

Now to write Castle Rising!

End of a Long Winter

This winter has been by far the longest and snowiest since I moved to The Pad 7 years ago. Last year I was canoeing by March 19th – Martel Lake is still iced tight.

2011-02-08 Casey snowshoe hike with Brook and Stephanie 0032011-02-09 Casey snowshoe hike with Brook and Stephanie 003

It was a social winter. Casey Muratori flew out from Seattle and survived a subzero week. We had some great snowshoeing expeditions. I taught him how to make coffee and bake bread and he diagnosed my broken desktop computer (fritzed monitor) and set up an Amiga.

2011-02-08 Hiking with Casey 003
Casey as the Ice Ninja
2011-02-08 Hiking with Casey 005

Ice Ninja stalker

2011-02-09 Casey snowshoe hike with Brook and Stephanie 013

Casey displays his mutant power: Growing tiny glass beads on his unibrow

We spent a couple of raucous evenings celebrating my 59th birthday with Brook and Stephanie at their lovely home.

2011-02-09 Casey snowshoe hike with Brook and Stephanie 0582011-02-09 Casey snowshoe hike with Brook and Stephanie 057

Myrna Mae Berg came to The Pad to celebrate my birthday and to take pictures for my itsu jitsu moogy-woogy album, Boogafoo Music.

2011-02-19 Myrna Boogafoo Album Art Photography 0102011-02-19 Myrna Boogafoo Album Art Photography 0092011-02-19 Myrna Boogafoo Album Art Photography 100

I got some great Channel Zilch news. Angry Robot Books opened for unagented submissions in March and so I sent them the first 15k words of CZ. A few days later I got email:

Dear Doug,

Thank you for submitting a sample from Channel Zilch. I enjoyed what I read, and would like to read more. Please send the full novel to in Word, RTF or PDF format.

WOOHOO! I spent a few days editing the manuscript and sent it to Angry Robot. Checking my email is rather thrilling as I await their response.