First of all, I'd like to say to whoever did the anonymous review of "The Vimana Incident" posted on its Furplanet order page, thank you for your honesty and I would love to talk to you in detail about how I might have improved it. I'm making a serious effort to improve myself as a writer and reaching out to anyone willing to call out the flaws in my work.
I know this review was a particularly honest one because these were things I was concerned about, but had a hard time fixing. This was my attempt at writing the best story I could with my current abilities but it shows that I'm still lacking.
Lt. Aksakova's backstory is one I particularly regret being stumped on how to develop more because she is an interesting character, being a female officer, the one Soviet member of the crew, and asexual. She's the odd one out in so many ways and I wanted to tell more about her, but I was struggling with pacing and was afraid it would slow the book down. A good writer should know how to fit something like that without breaking pace, though, and I'm embarrassed to say it's one of the things I still haven't figured out.
This also means I didn't quite succeed in what I set out to do, which was to write a book with all of the best qualities of a Philip K. Dick novel but none of its drawbacks. Instead, I've got ideas, and those ideas are good, but I'm hitting a wall when it comes to developing them and setting a steady pace. I've seen that exact same critique of Dick.
I don't want to be just a carbon copy of him; I want to be better and I have a clear set of objectives on how to do that. I just need someone who has actually read my work to help me with a bit of advice.
If the writer of that review is reading this, please get in touch. PM me or send me an e-mail (my first name_my last name at yahoo dot com) and let's talk writing.
Also, one major Errata I MUST acknowledge before someone calls me out on it: In the acknowledgments I described Johnathan Lethem as an "editor" when what I intended to say was "award-winning writer and one of the editors of Philip K. Dick's Exegesis" but overlooked the passage in my revisions. My sincerest apologies to Dr. Lethem, this was not intended as a slight but was an innocent oversight on my part.