Much of Marshall Honorof‘s novel, Space and Sensibility, came to light during his commute into Manhattan. “Most people have more time in their day than they realize,” says Honorof ’09. The Long Island Rail Road provided many of the hours needed to churn out 1,700 words per day; Professor Jean McGarry, in the Writing Seminars, provided the inspiration.
While reading Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility in Narrative Design with McGarry, Honorof asked if anyone had written a sci-fi version. McGarry told him he should write it. First, he had to graduate. But after that came National Novel Writing Month, a worldwide movement to spend the month of November blitz writing a potentially bad, but complete, manuscript—what NaNoWriMo refers to as the Great Frantic Novel. (“It’s all about quantity, not quality,” note the project’s rules.) At the same time, Honorof’s employer, Barnes and Noble, issued a call-to-arms: The company was launching a self-publishing platform and needed employees to participate in the program.
At 186 pages and set partly on a space station across the solar system, Space and Sensibility exists in e-book format and can be purchased online. “I’m not making a ton of money off of this,” says Honorof. “But you buy yourself a few lunches. It was a great experience.” Next November, he’ll write another novel.
When not writing novels, Honorof plugs away as an e-book editor, embedding metadata into the texts, and writing his blog, The Chronology Nut (chronologynut.tumblr.com). A self-proclaimed “avid reader, gamer, and pop culture fan,” he blogs about long-running pop culture series—books, television shows, video games—in chronological order, instead of the order in which they were released. (Think Star Wars, which released Episodes 4, 5, and 6 before circling back to 1, 2, and 3.)
The blog seems to be gaining ground: For a long time, a Google search of “chronology nut” would display results related to a peanut products recall, but now Honorof’s blog pops up first.