Being a collection of transmissions received on the E4 FTL radio emergency band, 2002-11-07 to 2002-12-07 (planetary local time).

This is a short novel (very short; 55000 words) I wrote in 31 days as a slightly late NaNoWriMo project.

Originally it was intended to be a slightly late IWriSloMo project, which doesn't have a set word count and is therefore a lot easier. However, about a third of the way through I realised that I was actually on target for the more ambitious NaNoWriMo version, and so switched.

This all started out as a writing exercise. Rule #1 of writing: the first prerequisite for writing anything is to have your fingers meet the keyboard. (Or pen, if you are so inclined.) Before this, my total output consisted of a dozen or so mostly unfinished short stories. I needed some way of drastically increasing the amount I wrote; which meant getting into the habit of writing something regularly.

The traditional way of doing this is to start a diary. But who wants to read about my life, a sessile computer programmer in Reading, the least characterful city in Britain? I needed to write someone else's diary.

Now it's all over, and I've come up with, well, rather more than I expected. I'll tell you four things I discovered: firstly, writing takes a lot of time. This took about two to three hours a day, every day. Secondly; writing is addictive. If I could have stopped before 0200 each day, trust me, I would have! Thirdly: this damned island has been swirling around in my head all month, and I'm quite glad now it's finished and both the island and I can go to sleep. Fourthly: it's a hell of a lot of fun.

Be warned that the version here is only nominally proofread. I've done some tinkering, corrected some spelling and grammar, and rewrote one scene I wasn't happy with, and that's it. Every so often someone points out another typo and I've fixed it; thank-you, all, and if anyone sees any more, please let me know! But other than that --- what you see is what I've got.

This is not great literature. In fact, it's not literature at all. But I had a lot of fun writing it, and if I can give people some pleasure in reading it, I'm happy.

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