Hal Spacejock

Hal Spacejock 4 coverSimon Haynes

Edwina Harvey’s supplement to Australian SF Bullsheet #75 includes Freemantle Press’ announcement that they have released the fourth novel in Simon Haynes’ “Hal Spacejock” series. They also are giving away a free download of the first novel in the series. “Giving away a free book, especially one that is on its third reprint, is not something we would normally contemplate,” said a spokesman for the Australian publishing company. “But this is a science fiction series and overseas readers aren’t going to buy the fourth novel, Hal Spacejock: No Free Lunch, if they haven’t even read the first.” Overseas buyers can get subsidized postage when they order the other books.

I’d never heard of Hal Spacejock ’til this announcement but I’m interested now, which of course was the point. What actually decided me to blog about this, however, is that Haynes also has a lot of other great content on the Spacejock website — articles, software, etc. It was a happy discovery.

Haynes has written – and gives away! – a full-featured novel-writing program named yWriter.

I really struggled over my first novel because I wrote whole slabs of text into a great big word processor file and tried to make sense of the whole thing at once. I then tried saving each chapter to individual files with great long descriptive filenames, but moving scenes around was a nuisance and I couldn’t get an overview of the whole thing (or easily search for one word amongst 32 files)

However, as a programmer I’m used to dealing with projects broken into source files and modules, and I never lose track of my code. I decided to apply the same working method to my novels … and it was just what I needed.

The screenshots and reviews have really piqued my interest. I plan to download the software soon and check it out.