The first time I'd ever heard of Scott Sigler, I was reading my October edition of The Writer Magazine. He had published an article about how he had given away his first couple of books at the dawn of Podcasting, after failing to secure a publisher. The outcome was phenomenal, he soon amassed a fairly large following and drew the attention of a publishing company. He continues to give away his novels via podcasts and sells the hard copies to his loyal fans and anyone else who might stumble across them.
An interesting idea, I thought. This could be an option for me as well, but once I start writing novels, well, I'm not sure I would want to take the time to sit and read each one into a microphone and then spend hours editing for quality... it might be fun to try, but I'm not sure I could stick to it and still write at the capacity I'd like. I decided to file away the idea as a viable option further down the road.
Then an interesting thing happened. I bought my iPod the night before leaving for New Jersey for work. I had a few chapters of Brisingr to listen to but I knew that wouldn't last me through the trip. I didn't have time to find and purchase another audiobook, so I opened up iTunes and searched for audiobook in the free section. I found Ancestor. My expectations weren't high. First of all, it was a free audiobook. I had forgotten about Scott's article by this time and the first impression I got was that this was most likely an audiobook by someone trying to break into the business. Now, I've read some really crappy bestsellers in my time, so I'm not trying to say that getting published automatically makes you good. And on the flip side of that, I'm not saying that authors who have yet to be published aren't worth looking into. I suppose an accurate representation of my inclination was that I figured I would be listening to an audiobook by a "green" (read: inexperienced) author; one who has yet to be tried and tested and perhaps lacks the mettle it takes to create a good read. If I still sound like a pompous ass, I don't mean to.
What I found instead, was a very interesting novel. The podcast is labeled as Explicit for violence, language and some sexual content. If the following bothers you: "Fuck a duck, duck fucker!" then this probably isn't something you would enjoy listening to. I didn't have a problem with it at all, and I found the entire audiobook very pleasing. Hell, I spent six years in the military. I can deal with foul language. The only thing that bothered me was the excessive science at certain parts of the story, and even then it was only a minor irritation. I only say that because it was a pretty good book and science in a novel can start to take away from the movement of the storyline if overused. Though, I appreciated the understanding of the process after-the-fact.
Ancestor is a book about genetic experiments and corporate greed. The characters are very easy to identify with as Scott uses different voice inflections for each speaking part. Magnus was very easy to picture with the aid of his slower and deeper tone. ("Thank you, thank you.") I highly recommend this to anyone. Please stop by Scott's site or look him up on iTunes.
Here is a link to this book on Scotts web page.
Creative Writing Prompt: