Elgin First Draft is Done and Posted

Cover

The wait is over, at least for the unedited version.  So when the 24th of Nov hit it was 58K words.  It is now 122K and you may not believe this but it’s the shortest book and by far the shortest draft I’ve ever managed.  I think it works, I hope you like Elgin and his world.  It’s probably not everyone’s cup of tea, it rises through a series of peaks to a crescendo then slips into the end.  

Download, enjoy, especially if you’ve downloaded, read and enjoyed the first parts.

And remember that the finished Moon Dreams and Under Siege are available.

Writing Update

My first published novel Moon Dreams, published through Smashwords and available for Nook, iBooks, Sony Reader as well as Smashwords and other eTailers (for FREE!!!) is still available and is seems to be doing reasonably well.  It gets 5 stars by those who read it.  Its classic Sci Fi, how a new invention might be used and how it affects the world, it has it all, invention, a nutty scientist, hero, heroine, space battles, a reasonably happy ending etc.

Cover for Moon Dreams, created by Mark Harris
Cover Art

My second book, Under Siege is on sale for $1.99 on the same web sites, and is I think (I should) is well worth the price.  Its a far future Sci Fi in a rather different tradition than Moon Dreams, talking about the human condition and the tides of civilization using the tapestry of a decadent empire.  

My latest published book

Far Future Adventure, Intrigue and Battle

The third book (or the first half of it) currently available just on Smashwords and not published yet is Elgin.  The story of a modern day cowboy who finds himself in a completely different role as the avatar of an ancient guardian sent to earth to protect it from the predation of other interstellar species and to protect humanity from itself, in a world where Magic, absent since before the height of the Roman empire, is returning.

Cover

Cover

NaNoWriMo Post something or other: Five and the Base

Five opened here eyes and looked at the base spread out across the grays and browns of the asteroidal body it had been planted in.  She didn’t know which base it was, she was fairly certain that it was one she hadn’t seen before.

“We are shedding the kids Commander.” Mother said in Five’s head. A glance showed the twenty roughly similar pieces of rubble that had trailed behind the slightly ovoid blob that was Watcher Sixty five thousand, five hundred and sixty-five were diverging and forming up to make their way into the repair and update bay.

Five looked back at the base. she was looking into the side, though at first glance it was like a city of tall skyscrapers seen from directly above, all sharp edges and spires poking out of the asteroidal body.  The gravity generator spikes speared  ‘down’  from the asteroid.  Mother and Five continued towards the ‘sky scrapers.’  as Five wondered where the word skyscraper had come from, it tasted familiar, but it elicited no definition tag from the tac glossary. 

Mother’s target was now very obviously the ‘bottom’ of the structure, dark blocks with massive lattice structures between above and around them.  That was the BlankBank, like every BlankBank in every other base.  There Five would find her sisters and be able to exercise, eat maybe, think, even sleep, “Perchance to Dream?” a voice not her own or Mother’s seemed to whisper.

“Uh, Mother?””

“Yes dear?”

“Uh did you, hear something?”

“No dear.” 

They were both silent during final approach.  From what Five could see there were at least ten other Watchers docked.  That seemed a lot and if each of the Banks had the same number that would be a Hundred at this base alone, and several thousand more out on their long looping patrol orbits.  Seven minutes later Mother entered a bay and docking arms reached out to snag the camouflaged fighter. Continue reading

NaNoWriMo the Countdown

So the daughter likes the one about the swordmaid and the old mage, sounds like a bad joke in a MMOG. The good thing is that this story is based in the universe of a novel I’ve been working on for a year or more and ‘know’ pretty well.  It could be pretty interesting to work at developing that universe more, with its multiple parallel worlds with different levels and types of magic and different though related inhabitants. 

It’s what one might call a QuantFunk universe where magic works because of differences in the ‘Quantum fabric’ of the universe.  All of my Fantasy is of this type, not because I have a philosophical thing against supernatural magic, but because I cannot come up with a supernatural magic ‘system’ that makes sense to me.  I’ve read plenty of good novels where the author creates good ones, but I just have a mind block, comes from being an engineer I guess.

I had been working on the Five concept, have some settings, characters and plot elements laid out.  All of which Fiona and her Mage lack but that’s not stopped me in the past.

So to Fiona’s universe:

  • I happen to have loved Victorian times long before they became tres chic with CyberPunk, so think of: dress, furniture, buildings, towns, politics and much else as ‘looking’ Victorian.
  • Fiona’s home world is essentially similar to Earth as it might have been if  the tectonic plates had moved slightly differently.
  • In general this is a world where males and females are more equal than not. Sexual dimorphism in size & strength is less pronounced in a world of magic (don’t make me explain why, I can probably do it) Equalitarian systems exist but Patriarchies are common and there are some matriarchies.
  • The world is ruled by the King of Kings, an Elven warrior. The Elves come from a parallel universe. Thousands of years ago they lifted Man up from barbarism but have often regretted it since. The Elves find themselves constantly having to get between factions of Men who want to kill off each other.
  • There is a large faction of Elves who want the KoK to just leave Men to kill themselves off. There are several small political factions of Men who want to exterminate the Elves.
  • There are also Trolls, Goblins and Dwarves. They kind of play the roles you’d expect. With some differences, Dwarves aren’t that small and are engineers and scientists as well as sorcerers and fighters. The Trolls are not only big and mean they can also be brilliant scientists and powerful sorcerers. The Goblins come in two types, one aligned with the Trolls, the other essentially unaligned. While Goblins can be pretty frightening to a human, they can be extremely attractive.
  • All of the races, Elves, Men, Trolls, Goblins, Dwarves are genetically related and can interbreed but its not terribly common.
  • Even with the King of Kings there is no ‘World’ gov’t as such. The KoK tries to control at the international level have a basic rule of law, human rights and fair trade.
  • Local gov’t varies from place to place, from Democracies to Despotisms and the KofK does not interfere unless its egregious and or he is asked for help by the subjects.
  • Firearms never evolved because all forms of gunpowder are too easily triggered by sorcery. 
  • Swords and knives are the standard personal weapons, with ‘carry’ laws varying from country to country.
  • Bows not crossbows are used again because a crossbows too easily messed with. 
  • They have heavy weapons that compress air into glowing ‘meteors’ that can be tossed around but they are relatively slow firing and slow moving, the weapons are electrically powered. 
  • They use kerosene (essence) that is converted in directly to electricity plus H2O and CO2′ in a form of fuel cell for powering most of their technology. 
  • They have essence / electric horseless carriages though they are fairly rare. 
  • Their aircraft are lifted by a form on contra gravity and propelled by fans powered by essence fueled generators, they are mostly wooden and lightly built but can be hundreds of feet long.  Aluminum and other light metals are not commonly available due to lack of industrial infrastructure.

So enough for tonight, more thinking to be done.

 

Aliens in the Belfry

In Sci Fi aliens serve a myriad purposes, but most often as humans in bad makeup.  One reason for this is so that the author can tell an allegory without having to worry about being considered racist, or misogynistic, anti immigrant, anti american, etc. Also, if they act/react like humans but are described as ‘Other’ the reader has a much easier time relating, we can understand their motivations and like, or dislike, them.  This makes telling a complex story much easier and makes it more enjoyable to read.  

They also make better class of zombie, vampire, elf (don’t tell me Spock’s not an elf), gods (small g), etc.  In other words they let us retell stories again and again just changing the protagonists and antagonists, the setting and the point of view, creating an endless array of potential stories to tell ourselves. 

As a dilettante in the sciences my current expectation is that life at least at the level of microbes is fairly to extremely common, but life at the level of complexity/sophisticated seen on Earth is rare, possibly to the point of singularity.  My expectation is that if life will probably come in many forms but from a terrestrial world you will get terrestrial looking creatures that, to the citified might just be one other weird ass racoon, or chicken, etc, they are unlikely to look like Predators etc.  Would an intelligent dinosaur or wolf be horrific? Leaving aside the potential they’d consider us good eating or a lower class of pest that is.

And while a Non – Terrestrial world’s environment could easily produce creatures we have a hard time relating to (maybe they’d even be horrific in appearance.) They’re unlikely to want to interact with us except on a purely business matters since its unlikely we’d be of much interest to them.  Though again empire builders might not care about having to live in domed cities while the locals mine the tar pits.

So having wandered all over the topic, what is my point you ask?

I don’t really have one I guess, I was thinking about the Post a Day challenge and then decided to post about what I would write if I take up the NaNoWriMo challenge and wandered off from there.  Am I going to write Sci Fi again, I think so.  Will it have aliens, again I think so, though perhaps not obviously.  Am I going to try to do NaNoWriMo…who knows…if a big job hits at work then certainly not, 1,700 words a day and 80 hour work weeks do not mix. But the aether appears clear at this time. So Maybe.