James Aach kindly left a comment on Petrona the other day in response to my posting on the value of blogging. In his comment he referred to an essay he’s written on a science and culture website called Lablit.com. James’s comment got picked up by Books, Inq. and quite a bit of subsequent discussion about science in fiction went on over there.
I’ve now read James’s essay: it is a readable, funny and ironic article about his attempts to get his science-in-fiction novel published and his analysis of events — ending up in a rather similar place to Richard Poynder, about whom I posted a couple of days ago. James’s novel, Rad Decision, is available electronically and in downloadable form. It "tells the story of the people and machinery that make up a nuclear power plant, and the dark tale of a man who believes it is his destiny to destroy it. " Sounds good, not least from the readers’ comments on James’s site. I just hope I can find a way to obtain it that does not involve trying to read it on a screen or downloading it all myself.
To return to James’s essay. It is an object lesson in various respects. First, it tells a good story of his idea for writing his book. Second, it is a fiction-writing guide for people who are more used to the technical terminology and style of science research (which tends to be presented in a pretty boring and inaccessible manner on the whole, I can confirm, sadly). James goes on to write about how to get a novel published (not); why science-in-fiction is not popular; and why he thinks his particular novel was rejected. The piece is full of wry humour, and I highly recommend it.
I hope that James Aach gets his novel published (though he might consider changing the title). And makes a lot of money from it. He deserves to on the basis of his writing and energy so far.