Monday, 11 April 2011


WIRED's GeekDad gives a reasonable review of my book here.
It sounds like I confused GeekDad by not making it clear just who is the good guy or bad guy in the story, but it was always my intention not to. What interests me is that despite the high levels of interconnectivity in the forest, communication between species doesn't make it easier to translate. Especially when usually passive plants start being proactive and sentient at different rates. I also didn't want to make a book where every new species speaks english fluently. This leaves Uncle Silas and the kids reacting to events more than preempting them and this reflects life more honestly- adapting to change. Besides- I like making things difficult for them.

A lot of the other points that reviewers are bringing up is in part due to the size of the artwork in the book and the hangover of making it originally for newspapers.
Originally the book was meant to be A5 landscape, with a single weekly installment on each page, so the flow of the Sunday newspaper strip would be intact, and more importantly the artwork would be reproduced much larger.
As it was, halfway through me working on it DH went with a portrait dimension and stacked 2 installments per page (which makes a double page spread a whole month's worth!) which is fine and would have been great if the book was then A4 or thereabouts, but as it stands readers are missing the details I put in. There are some pages with 15 panels of action which at A5 is ridiculously busy.
Should the book go into a second printing (touch wood) I'll also add some splash page panels to really take advantage of the space, and to make clear some of the action sequences and to let some scenes breath and relax. I'll even add some extra talky panels to help readers catch up ;)

I'm taking all this experience on board for the sequel Uncle Silas: Earth, where I'll not be restricted by the Sunday newspaper format at all. I'll be able to really sink my teeth into the page layout and design and let the action really sing and fill out.