Communion Of Dreams


Is there anybody out there?
February 18, 2007, 10:45 am
Filed under: Feedback, Promotion

So, according to the stats for the Communion of Dreams site, I’ve been getting over a thousand hits a week there, and plenty of people are downloading the files.  And I hear anecdotal comments about the book here and there from people.  Yet this blog gets little traffic, and even less feedback on the book.  It’s weird.

I know from my experience as a columnist and long-time writer in other forums just how few people will ever actually voice an opinion on the stuff you write – it’s only like one percent in most of the cases where I’ve had numbers to run.  But still, it seems so odd to me that I have heard so little response to the book, either good or bad.

So this is an invitation, once again, to comment.  Good, bad, whatever, feel free.  Be anonymous if you want – I don’t have the computer sophistication to track back your ISP and figure out who you are, and I’d respect your desire to remain anonymous, anyway.

Jim Downey


2 Comments so far
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I found the link to your novel in a daily kos comment thread, and have just finished chapter 1. As for the story, so far so good. I am intrigued by the “near future” scenarios you’ve set up though, to be honest, I find the narrative a bit heavy-handed in the exposition department. If I were to offer any advice, it would be to be patient–let the “history” reel itself out over time, rather than spoon-feeding all of your background premises in the first few pages. Trust your readers; we are capable of picking up clues about the situation and filling in the gaps as we go along. Don’t take this the wrong way; I am enjoying the story, and intend to finish it. I see a strong Arthur C. Clark and David Brin influence in your writing, and I’m also reminded of Kim Stanley Robinson. (If you haven’t read his Mars trilogy, I would highly recommend it.) Also, do I detect a hint of Neal Stephenson or maybe William Gibson on your bookshelf? I will try to check back in on your feedback thread occasionally to provide my honest opinions. As for the lack of response in your blog, I suggest you check your link from the main page. I tried everything to get the link to work, and ended up having to type the address in manually to reach this blog page.

Comment by Steerpike

Steerpike – thanks for the comments (and the info on the link; will have to check that out!)

If you look downthread you’ll see that I do acknowledge that the first couple of chapters are exposition-heavy. It’s more of a problem with near-term SF than stuff further out, and it *is* certainly possible that I didn’t strike the balance necessary as well as I could have.

That said, trust me – ALL the info I pack into those first few chapters is crucial to the development and resolution of the story. There’s nothing gratuitous left in there. As you go along, I think you’ll see this start to unfold, though like any good mystery, it doesn’t completely come to fruition until the end.

So, I’d love to hear further thoughts as you plow through it, if you have the time. CS Kendrick, as indicated in some of the first comments I got below, loved it and was so taken with the story that he read the whole thing in like 12 hours straight.

As to influences…Clark, certainly, and Sagan, as I mention on my homepage. Yes, Gibson is on my shelf, and I’ve read some of Brin’s work ages ago. I haven’t gotten to Robinson’s work, though people keep telling me that I write like I have read a lot of his stuff. Don’t recognize Stephenson, though I will confess that I couldn’t possibly name all the authors I’ve read.

Anyway, thanks again. I hope you enjoy the rest.

Jim Downey

Comment by Communion of Dreams




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