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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Nevermind the Aeon's War and Slash Music

So for the past few weeks I've been compelled to work on Oh Well, Whatever, Nevermind. The story's been pulling me in, in a big way. The story's not connected to The Omniverse in any way, shape or form; in fact, it's a one-off, and the only non-genre story I've ever written.

Of course the drawback to working on Nevermind is that it pulls me away - as the title of this post suggests - from working on The Aeon's War, the third installment in The Omniverse series. And as much as I wish I could flit between the two projects, the truth is that doing so hurts the writing. So while at any given time I have at least a couple of works going at the same time, I can only ever focus on one at a time. And much like children in need of attention, it is the stories themselves that dictate which gets worked on.

I've talked a lot about this story over the years, but I don't think I've ever really gone into great detail. Well, as I'm planning on launching it in the coming months, perhaps it's best that I do so. So starting this week and off and on leading up to its launch, I'll be using this space to talk about Oh Well, Whatever, Nevermind a little more.

I first started work on Nevermind in 2002, though I'd had the idea kicking around for a couple of years already, by that point. I wanted to tell a story set in and around college life in the early 1990s, and my goal really was to see if I could write something outside of the fantasy/science fiction genre.

My focus shifted back to The Omniverse when I landed the original publishing deal for The Unearthing, and Nevermind sort of languished as I concentrated on writing Through Darkness and Stars and reviewing the outline for the subsequent volumes of the story, including the aforementioned Aeon's War, which, I promise I will work on again soon!

For Nevermind, I came up with six characters, all of whom began to "speak" to me in the first person. This led to the concept that each chapter should be told from a different character's point of view, relating their own experiences and opinions as the story progressed. In one form or another I've been writing and rewriting it ever since; chapters from the earliest version of the novel appeared online at, where they were quite popular. Though the site seems unavailable now, those chapters are likely still out there, somewhere, if you can find them.

What started as a writing exercise and thought experiment (Nevermind was written without a traditional story arc or plotline, creating a more fluid, character-driven piece) became a story I obsessed over, feeling the characters' lives as if they were the lives of friends and loved ones.

I think that, despite its setting in the early 1990s, that the story, situation and characters have a universal appeal, and if not, there's plenty of frank depictions of sex and drug use to drive up marketability. In any case, Nevermind remains one of my favorite stories to have worked on.

Next time, I'll talk about the enormous musical playlist that, for me, is associated with the story.

Now, onto our regular weekly music review feature:


Two years ago we were treated to the trainwreck of Axl Rose’s hubris, when he released ‘Chinese Democracy’ under the band-name of Guns N’ Roses. Ironic that, at that time, Axl Rose was the only original member left of GNR. What ‘Chinese Democracy’ was, besides horrible, was essentially the washed-up has-been Axl Rose without Guns N’ Roses.

Well, after that godawful album it was kind of interesting to hear that Slash was putting out an album of his own, collaborating with Izzy Stradlin, Duff McKagan and Steven Adler. Essentially, this is Guns N’ Roses without Axl Rose. Slash’s self-titled debut, ‘Slash’

I’ll give you three guesses as to which of the albums is better, and the first two don’t count.

Slash pulls a bit of a Carlos Santana on this one, collaborating with a slew of big-talent Rock and Metal vocal talents to put this one together, including Ozzy Osbourne on “Crucify the Dead”, Wolfmother’s Andrew Stockdale on “By The Sword” Kid Rock on “I Hold On” and Adam Levine of Maroon 5 on “Gotten”. Of course, the song that everyone is talking about is the cover of GNR classic “Paradise City”, featuring Fergie and Cypress Hill. It is worth hunting down and paying extra for any version (there are a few) of the album that features this song, a bloody brilliant rendition of the quintessential Guns N’ Roses tune. The song also serves as a last “Fuck You” jab at Axl Rose, a last, derisive laugh at the expense of the failed GNR Frontman.

‘Slash’ feels more like a compilation than an album, simply because Slash changes styles as often as he changes vocalists here, tailoring each song for the voice singing it and displaying an incredible versatility. This one is nevertheless a fantastic listen, and the rightful heir to the Guns N’ Roses name.

Slash: Slash
Steve’s Rating: 10/10


Anonymous said...

Steve - Just finished "Through Darkness and Stars"...FANTASTIC novel bud. Your grasp of the technical and your story telling is a beautiful mix. Thanks for making this work available. I'll be donating soon. Just downloaded "The Unearthing" to enjoy the "prequel".