Another one of my ambient music compositions is available via the download widget on the sidebar. “Ambient Etude 7” was a rather spontaneous creation, an eerie floating soundscape recorded within a few hours mostly using sounds created with some of the marvellous ambient softsynths by programmer H. G. Fortune (I’m about to write an article about his creations – keep an eye on my homepage if you’re interested).
In recent months I posted a number of articles about the craft of writing in the writer workshop section of scifinet.org, one of the leading German science fiction discussion forums (hosting, among others, the Nova and InterNova forums). These articles are rather sketchy and cursory but may contain some useful hints especially for aspiring writers. And, dear fellows, unless one happens to be Thomas Pynchon or Richard Powers or David Mitchell, aren’t we all, to a varying degree, just aspiring writers?
The latest article about dialogue writing, characterization and common redundancies can be read here (in German).
Well, folks, this is a year of higlights in fast succession. One of the next will take place in Parkhaus Meiderich in Duisburg on July 7th, starting at 13:00. This time the writer community Brennende Buchstaben, that invited me to a number of Second Life events, will invade the real world. In collaboration with the literary club Bitterschlag e.V. it will present the production of engaged German small publishers. A number of their writers will read poetry, mystery and science fiction, among them myself and my sf fellows Frederic Brake, Frank Hebben, Olaf Kemmler and Thorsten Küper.
Further news will be posted here soon. Have also a look at the home pages of the organizers and on Thorsten Küper’s blog.
It has been, without a doubt, a great evening. To a limited degree we even reached our goal to attract an international audience in Second Life. There were visitors from Spain, France and Poland and a cross-section of the regular German audience of Kafé Kruemelkram present. And still, as our hosts Thorsten Küper and Kirsten Riehl remarked in their blogs, we have reasons not to be completely satisfied. About twenty listeners in the course of the night was far less than we thought we could expect for such an historic event. Apart from a small but very attentative and persistent audience my fellow writers may take it as their reward that they took part in a pioneering endeavour. Further efforts and more events like this, I’m sure, will with time attract a larger audience that the writers and organizers deserve.
Those who missed the event have reasons to envy our audience and to admire the efforts that the participants put into it. Some occurences during the night are worth to be told our grandchildren twenty years from now. Three of my fellow writers were completely new in Second Life and Thorsten Küper had to struggle the whole day and even during the reading to care for stable connections and an acceptable audio quality. I didn’t manage to completely finish my story “The Spirits” and some of the sections I read had been written just a few hours before it was my turn. While I was reading, Jonathan Elorm Dotse (Ghana) was still not present. He had problems with his Internet connection at home, cruised through Accra to find a bar with an Internet link and came in ten minutes before I was finished (providing the additional benefit of authentic African background noise when he read). Some audio blips occured during Guy Hasson‘s (Israel) reading but this didn’t diminish the fun the audience had with a section of his novel Tickling Butterflies. When Ahmed A. Khan (Canada) first came in there was an anoying buzz that made it hard to hear him but he and Thorsten solved this problem in time. It was almost a wonder that there were no problems with Gustavo Bondoni‘s (Argentina) connection and we heard him clearly when he read his short gripping space story.
I’m honoured to have been part of such a fine selection of writers and I hope we’ll meet again in the virtual world (and sooner or later in the real one) for further events like this.
All those without a Second Life account who are nonetheless interested to follow this event, please note: The Five Continent Reading in Kafé Kruemelkram will also be streamed and can be listened with any standard media player on any operating system. The address of the stream is http://126.96.36.199:14168/
For further up-to-date information please refer to Thorsten Küper’s blog.
The five writers are already excitedly looking forward to our Five Contient Reading that will take place in Thorsten Küper’s and Kirsten Riehl’s steampunk location Kafé Kruemelkram on Saturday, starting with Guy Hasson (Israel) at 23:00 local time (14:00 PDT) who will read from his novel Tickling Butterflies “which is made out of 128 fairy tales that are actually one big story”. Jonathan Elorm Dotse (Ghana) and myself will follow at 0:00 local time (15:00 PDT). Jonathan will read his short story “Virus” which is part of a novel in progress. I will read some sections of my novelette “The Spirits” (which is actually my second fictional work written in English). Gustavo Bondoni (Argentina) and Ahmed A. Khan (Canada) will start at 1:00 local time (16:00 PDT). They will read some of their short stories.
Although this will surely be not only a fun and interesting but also a demanding event for both listeners and writers I hope that at 2:00 local time most of the visitors and, if possible, all of the writers will still be around to have a little chat. An occasion like this may not come so soon again. Or maybe it will – considering Thorsten’s and Kirsten’s untiring enthusiasm.