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Sava Gromov on the scene

You may wonder who the heck is the unknown Mr. Gromov?  To put it bluntly, he is the main character of Sovereign, the new emerging spa...

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Frank Herbert vs J.R.R. Tolkien?




One cannot compare these two, not even remotely. From a purely literary point of view, Tolkien would probably win over Herbert in each aspect. On the other hand, Herbert's strength comes with the psychology of characters and the philosophical system. His style is unique, even today.
If you need to compare Herbert to someone, choose his sci-fi peers from the same time period. Compared to Herbert, their works were terribly sterile and typically Anglo-Saxon. And yes, I would vouch for Herbert anytime.
Tolkien is the classical story-teller, experimenting with new worlds rather than with literature itself. Common reader cannot dismiss him lightly, since Tolkien is not your typical wannabe writer; his education and career helped him to create work, lying beyond usual criticism.
Approaching Tolkien requires modesty. One can dislike Tolkien's books, yet should not jump to false assumptions. Let me wildly guess why you formulated the question this way.
For demonstration, I will use my web novel Sovereign. Its style is probably much closer to Herbert’s than to Tolkien’s. I am more focused on the present scene, not teasing reader's patience with long descriptions and unnecessary information. Why do I do that? Because I dislike classical narrative? No, it is because the literature and its consumers have evolved since Tolkien’s time. Authors have less time to catch their fishes … er, readers.
Thus, judging from that perspective, Tolkien may feel heavier and more cumbersome because Herbert offers a more modern and "sensational" flow of events. Even to drink a cup of water might bear plenty of meanings and facets in Herbert's Dune. Just remember the very first scene, in which Paul eavesdrops his mother and the old witch. No sentence is wasted on banalities. Never.
Tolkien builds the tension slowly. With a shorter attention span of present readers, they might have problems to enjoy the Lord of the rings. But this is not a question of being better or worse.


Friday, September 13, 2019

What do successful and smart people read?

To quote Plautus: "Multum, non multa."
Loosely translated, one is supposed to read a lot, picking one's books wisely.
First of all, we should make intersection between sets of the smart and the successful. Allow me to define such people as result-oriented thinkers.
The result-oriented part brings the crucial element here. For instance, to become an expert in programming, one will hardly obtain useful knowledge by consuming red library, thus, the first criterion should be the area, in which one plans to succeed.
Even though humans may excel in more than one discipline, one hardly can expect them to prevail in all, meaning their focus usually lies in well-explored areas, which may overlap, but never cover all human knowledge and skills.
From elementary schools, we know what the basic curriculum comprises sciences (such as math, physics, chemistry, history), mother and foreign languages, literature, history, and skills like drawing, cooking, and so on.
The basic curriculum combined with one's area of interest is the minimalistic (well, not so minimalistic) core of what one needs to read. That part makes people smart.
The next step is to understand and practice what one learns from these books. Simply put, one needs to apply skills to become successful. This is the border one has to cross when planning to transform from smart to successful. The sad truth is that one cannot learn tenacity and willpower from reading. Quite the contrary, the reading itself can be viewed as procrastination habit, distracting one from one's goals.
To sum it up: "Multum, non multa."

Are publishers hiding something?

Standing in bookstore, have you ever wondered whether the book is first, second or n-th part of series?
I noticed the same trend in my country. I suspect publishers to hide deliberately the fact that a book belongs to series. They probably (correctly) believe that people would never buy the second installment of series when they had not read the first one.
Even in blurb, they are omitting this info. On the other hand, modern series are often written in a way, which doesn't require readers to know previous development.
As I can feel some sympathy for poor publishers, I still feel scammed being a reader. The situation needs amendment. The easiest one would be pretending there is no series, just book belonging to the world of BLANK.

What do you think?

Monday, August 19, 2019

Sava Gromov on the scene

You may wonder who the heck is the unknown Mr. Gromov?  To put it bluntly, he is the main character of Sovereign, the new emerging space opera written by me.
You can visit the official page here

Allow me to clarify something. I decided to write an English web novel for several reasons. First, English, though it is not my native language, provides a better chance to reach a wider audience. Second, format of web novel allows me to publish short subchapters, day by day, in a slight hope there will be any feedback. Third, RoyalRoad.com, where is the novel located, offers a dedicated number of readers.
As for the genre, I have no ambition to write sci-fi since the science part seems rather restricting to me. Who am I to preach about physics in the endless space? Thus, I present the work of fiction, which happens to be in an unspecified solar system, populated by people, who speak English and look like Earthlings. There are no monstrous aliens with the acid in the veins, no picturesque furry balls, or figures with hideous trunk instead of nose.
As said before, I plan to update the story on daily basis, adding rather small installments, following the tradition of serial novels. The work may seem a bit rough as I adhere to the principle of Release Early, Release Often.
All feedback is welcome.

In case you like it, don't forget to share the link
(You can share it even if you don't like it, but seriously, I feel I am asking too much.)

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Gone wild with fat girls

The famous quote from Death Note “This world is rotten!” shall be written to a stone, placed on a space probe, and sent into the deep Universe as a fair warning for unfortunate aliens, coming in peace.

My recent blog post about Twitter parrots changed nothing, so I have no reason to think this one will perform otherwise. With all respect to my colleagues, who desperately beg for attention, while spamming the virtual space by tons of memes, shout-outs, and half-decent promotion, with all respect I have to ask: Is this necessary?


Recently, I’ve stumbled upon this tweet:





Before I dissect this message, I would like to state I bear no grudge against the author, fat girls, public areas, or insecurity. The tweet from above is just an example, one of many foul tweets, which plague cyberspace.

You may think: “Ouch! What is wrong with that? I do it all the time.”

“Nothing really.”

“But you said…”

Exactly so. My insignificant person does not appreciate nonsenses. I am old, grumpy, bitter, and I hate novelties. The only novelty I appreciate is the word “procrastinate”. Back in my times, they would have called me lazy, but now I procrastinate and waste my existence on Twitter.

Anyway, even under a constant attack of the sloth, I cannot throw away my precious minutes by reading the tweets of no importance. Women and girls spending ample mental capacity by pondering their appearance, this is a well-known occurrence, but honestly, even people obsessed by their mortal shells have to go outside eventually, don’t they?

The tweet sounds like the “fat girl” was locked inside, peeking occasionally at the world of healthy and slim people, while feasting on an enormous amount of sweets. Just imagine a morbidly obese Disney’s princess, waiting for a rescue by a prince who is riding a warhorse and dragging a crane. 
The final happy end would show our hooked heroine floating down like a snowball. After the act of a kiss, the fat layer dissolves into a brand-new maiden with gentle eyes and a skinny stature. The overweighted audience bursts into applause, having their dreams come true.

I guess this is not the picture the author had in mind writing this tweet. But she seems genuinely excited, almost like a prisoner released after twenty long years. So many exclamation marks! She explained to me later that taking a crop top was an act of bravery.

Unfortunately for her, my imagination has gone wild again. Abandoning  the innocent world of Disney, my main character tiptoed from her house wearing crop-top. She is not going to lie (NGL in her abbreviated language) she is scared, but for the sake of humanity, she left the safety of her shelter. Now it is her turn to save the prince charming, apparently.

By the way, you can admire how I jumped from gender inappropriate fairy tale, in which the heroine waits passively for the rescuer, to the more modern gender inappropriate dystopian sci-fi, in which a clueless man waits for omni-potent heroin in crop top.

Did I say a dystopian sci-fi? Of course, the future where the police forces hunt oversized women, perhaps because they consume too much of food resources, so they are supposed to be a threat for humanity. Such circumstances would explain why the author of the tweet felt scared and insecure.

You see now?

The morbid creativity, entangled in an innocent tweet, will bring a hell of picturesque suffering to its owner. I beg you, stay decent in your public speeches. You’ll never know who is listening. Or you will end up as a target of an impertinent jester who have nothing better to do than to analyze word by word what should be a private sign of inner insecurity.