Friday, 30 May 2008

Of books and plate tectonics

I am away at my mother-in-law’s in the English Midlands this weekend so I’m writing this a couple of days early on the basis that we can set up the automated blogger system to post this on the Friday as normal.

First things first: if you read last week’s blog early you will be under the misapprehension that I was subjected to some capricious editing. Not so: the ‘mistake’ friends, was mine. Anyway please note the correction.

Word has it that copies of The Infinite Day are now out in the wild at least in the United States and so I am hoping for reviews fairly soon. Can I make a plea here that, if you are thinking of posting a review (and do post favourable ones come the summer) that you avoid spoiling the plot? I went to quite a lot of trouble to put in some twists and turns and a little bit of bluffing in the book, and would appreciate it if that went unexposed. Certainly on this blog site I reserve the right to edit, prune or delete anything that I think may spoil the enjoyment. On the Facebook fansite there is a special discussion section for those that have read the book. Gosh, that all sounds rather miserable doesn’t it?

I have been keeping an eye on and have been pleased to see my ratings briefly rise up to 6,000 or so for The Infinite Day. Of course we really need to get them down to the thousand mark but it’s progress. I saw somewhere that they reckon the average book sells 99 copies. So I guess I’m a success. Hmm.

Anyway, with it being a wet half term I have been sitting indoors either scribbling frantically or working at the computer putting together ideas for the next book series. Some of you may be fascinated to know that something of a priority has been to get my geology right. So I have been playing around with plate tectonic models to produce convincing lines of volcanoes and the right sort of coastline. Well if Tolkien could spend years tweaking his grammar then I can do the same with geology.

Incidentally, if you are at all unfamiliar with plate tectonics it really is astonishingly powerful in its ability to explain landforms and ‘the way the world is’. It is so compelling that although commonly termed the Theory of Plate Tectonics it has the much merited status of fact. I have only ever heard of a single reputable geologist who disagreed with it; and he dissented over one aspect of it. I rarely talk about creationism here; I am already suspect as far as eschatology goes. (If you really insist in pigeonholing me I am an Old Earth or Continuous Creationist.) However I cannot resist mentioning my suspicion here that the shift in focus of creationism from ‘The Flood did it all’ to Intelligent Design reflects the fact that plate tectonics makes an overwhelming case for an ancient Earth. Plates a hundred kilometres thick can hardly race around the surface of the Earth hitting each other, separating and hitting something else over a few months. It must take an awful long time: but given that the Bible talks about a long timescale for the earth (Habakkuk 3, Psalm 90:2-6, Micah 6:2) that isn’t a problem.

Anyway have a good week,