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'Under the Red Sun' Has More Love

Reviewed in TiconderogaOnline, Spring, 2006:

Another excellent story is "Under the Red Sun", by Ben Peek. The setting, in a biomechanical otherworld society, is well developed in this longer story, with the world's unique religion forming an integral component of the plot structure. The morose and devoted protagonist is outstanding, his biased point of view consistent and satisfying.


Six bucks at Clarkesworld.

I'm currently writing a third Red Sun story (this is the first, the second was 'The Souls of Dead Soldiers are for Blackbirds, Not Little Boys' in Agog! Ripping Reads). The only plan for a Red Sun piece I have is for the next novel, Across the Seven Continents of the Underworld, which I'll start soon, but until then, it seems, I'm sort of getting my feel for the world by doing these novelettes. It's a strange experience, really, but I'm not going to question it hard. People like the stories, and that's all cool.

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darren_speegle
Sep. 23rd, 2006 10:46 am (UTC)
"I'm sort of getting my feel for the world by doing these novelettes. It's a strange experience, really, but I'm not going to question it hard."

This is exactly what I did with my novel Relics. Just landed another of the novelettes (the third) yesterday. Great stuff for world building.

Look forward to your piece when our contributor copies come around.
benpeek
Sep. 23rd, 2006 12:14 pm (UTC)
it makes me feel like an old school sf writer. heh. but writing them is fun--they're so different to the other shit i do, that's it's just nice to be doing some kind of weird, odd, style based, lavish thing. plus, i figure one day it'll all dry up.

anyhow, man, cool on your ownstuff, and the sales too. they were good markets, specially the one to postscripts, which i'd totally dig being in.
mattdoyle
Sep. 23rd, 2006 12:00 pm (UTC)
I have noticed a trend in my writing with novelettes too. It seems that I keep returning to the same setting, but with different stories that aren't really connected aside from the world and really not big enough to be novels. I thought about extending some of them, but I'm not sure I want to force a novel out of a novelette. Sometimes it just calls for fewer words I suppose.
benpeek
Sep. 23rd, 2006 12:16 pm (UTC)
the problem with novelettes, is that they can be really hard to sell. like, everyone seems to dig under the red sun so far, but unless i'm remembering it wrong, the editor had a few concerns in taking it due to its size. and he's not usually taking things that big--a glance through his list of stories show's mine as the longest so far.

a nice three, four thousand word short story, now they sell like chocolate.
mattdoyle
Sep. 23rd, 2006 12:21 pm (UTC)
just what exactly is a novelette anyway? i'm thinking over 7000. don't know how i came to that, just always thought that way. and then you've got novellas...them i'm not too clear on :s
benpeek
Sep. 23rd, 2006 12:26 pm (UTC)
the guide that gets thrown round is this:

flash: up to a thousand words
short: 1,000 to 7,500
novelette: 7,500 to 17,000.
novella: 17,000 to 40,000.
novels: 40,000 plus.
mattdoyle
Sep. 23rd, 2006 12:33 pm (UTC)
40 000 is a bit stingy for a novel isn't it? most of my stuff is short fiction. ever heard the thing about there being two types of (prose) fiction writers? one is the novelist, the other is the short fiction writer...i'm not a proponent of the theory myself, although i do go through..."moods." Sometimes all i write is short stories, other times, i just chip away at novels.
benpeek
Sep. 23rd, 2006 12:40 pm (UTC)
40 000 is a bit stingy for a novel isn't it?

a lot of YA stuff is sort of round that and the 50+ mark, i believe. but forty, eight, a hundred and twenty, what's the diff? you do it right and the size shouldn't matter, i guess.

i've heard the theory, but i don't pay it any attention. some folk do some forms better than others, and some people don't adapt to difference well. but in the end of the day, it's all words on a page.
mattdoyle
Sep. 23rd, 2006 12:46 pm (UTC)
agreed...i think the theory is a little simplistic anyway...what about drama? is that another class of writer altogether? i like that "just words on a page" sentiment too. ;)
benpeek
Sep. 23rd, 2006 12:52 pm (UTC)
well, words on a page is pretty simplistic, too ;)

anyhow, drama, you mean like plays and stuff? it's just a different form, i guess. different way of thinking and writing. the end product is more collaborative, and it doesn't appeal to me, but it's all writing.
mattdoyle
Sep. 23rd, 2006 12:55 pm (UTC)
yes, plays and stuff, and yes, it the statement was simplistic, but i suppose you could argue that it is profound in its simplicity. :)
benpeek
Sep. 23rd, 2006 12:58 pm (UTC)
you could argue anything is profound if you really try ;)
mattdoyle
Sep. 23rd, 2006 01:01 pm (UTC)
ok then: paris hilton

argue that that is profound!!
benpeek
Sep. 23rd, 2006 01:04 pm (UTC)
i said you could, i didn't say i was going too :)
mattdoyle
Sep. 23rd, 2006 01:10 pm (UTC)
im flattered that you have such a high (if unfounded) regard for my powers of rhetoric...but i'm afraid arguing such a thing would be beyond me...we'd need a yoda at persuasion to accomplish such a feat!
(Anonymous)
Sep. 23rd, 2006 12:26 pm (UTC)
Red sun
Hey, old school...

Maybe one day we'll all be invited to write a story in your shared world. What a great idea, huh?

:)


Lucius
benpeek
Sep. 23rd, 2006 12:29 pm (UTC)
Re: Red sun
and then i could license it for a role playing game out of and make millions!

there's nothing like sell out fantasies ;)
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