Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Cleaning out the shed

If I was a famous writer, this might be a notable discovery—but as it is, it is more just a spot of interest. While recently sorting through the accumulation of removal boxes, books and other assorted detritus of life in the shed, I found a box of papers from university days, including a hand-written first draft of some of what was to become Nemesis Train.

The pictured pages are the beginning of what was to become the “Jed” sections of the novel, written about 2000 or 2001. I initially dropped the notebook into the recycling bin but later went back and retrieved it and gave it a closer look.

Also among these papers were assignments completed for a Bachelor of Letters (Literary Studies) in 1999 and 2000. Perhaps not surprisingly, given that Nemesis Train was a major focus of the writing I was doing at the time, a couple of the assignments that offered creative writing options were adapted versions of chapters of the embryonic novel.

These were generally well-received and sparked the first “reviews” of the Nemesis Train material, including the following:

“You offer a subtle, disturbing and startlingly accurate story. . . . well written. . . . You have quite a cinematic eye.”

“A sophisticated and well sustained vignette. Excellent attention to detail and a complex narrative voice. . . . A fascinating story.”

“The story works very well. . . . Extremely well written with a sharp intonation that suits the subject matter and you demonstrate a sense of narrative pacing, and sensitivity to nuances and inflections. Very well done.”

So not only do I now have a tidier shed, I also re-visited some of the pre-history of Nemesis Train and some of its first appreciation and encouragement.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Catching Nemesis Train

A number of people have contacted me to report difficulties with ordering Nemesis Train from the publisher's website (linked to from the site). They have told me they are trying to fix the situation but in the meantime I have added an alternative link to another source—the good folks of Koorong bookstores.

I was also excited to discover Nemesis Train listed on the website of Dymocks, one of Australia's largest bookshop chains.

So if you're trying to track down the book and/or you have read it and want a purchase a copy of Nemesis Train for everyone you know for Christmas, perhaps you are now better equipped to do so.