Tuesday, April 29, 2008

"Cake or Death" Now online

The short story (part III of Book 09) is now online. This is the link. I'm not totally satisfied with it, but it's okay.

The Integrated Book 09 including all three parts, and some additional editing over the first posting is also on-line. The pdf version works fine. But the Word/rtf version does not want to ftp for some reason. I do not know why, but I will troubleshoot it tonight and hopefully get everything working.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Done with Book Eight Part III

Teh short story "Cake or Death" is finished and I'll post it tomorrow or Wednesday. I'm reintegrating all of Book 08 into a single volume, and taking the opportunity for some editorial clean-up. Re-reading it, there are several stretches of Johnny Rook's dialog where he does not sound like Johnny Rook at all. And I'm doing editorial clean-up here and there.

Then, I can plunge back into Book 09. I'll probably start working through the re-writes of Chapters one through four. I have been trying to find a better naming convention for the inhabitants of Gethsemane. I try to use some sort of theme with the naming of colonial characters but I haven't hit on one yet for this book.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Last Part of Hellfire Wrapping Up, Gethsemane Stuck On Stupid

Hellfire Part III should be posted in about a week or ten days. It's in clean-up right now, and it's the shortest Worlds-Apart Story Yet at around 12 pages. That finished, a combined Book 09 should be posted soon after. This also might be a good opportunity to fix the 50 or 60,000 typos and errors on the WA Main Site.

Then, I can get back to Gethsemane, where I'm still stuck with what happened to Redfire that he can't remember. While trying to figure that out (during an otherwise lovely run in the woods last night)... I got sidetracked and ended up mentally filling in some back-story to some stuff that comes in later ... around Book 11 or so. And it relates (tangentially) to Queequeg.

Before and during the Age of the Commonwealth, scientists were doing these experiments with raising the intelligence and ability to communicate of animals. In doing so, they sometimes tapped into latent abilities by accident... for example, the telepathic abilities of dolphins, and their uncanny ability to navigate in hyperspace. Enhanced dogs were found to be excellent in a number of combat roles and became important adjuncts to military operations. (And, of course, the War Rats Queequeg encountered were also part of that experimentation.) Enhanced apes were well-suited to perform a number of menial tasks in mining, manufacturing, and farming. And finally, cats, originally enhanced for companionship, were found to have a proclivity for using technology.

(It also brings up a parallel to the structure of Aurelian society, with each of four species equating to an Aurelian caste. Apes-Cups (Menial labor), Dogs-Swords (warfare), Dolphins - Pentacles (Esoteric capabilities) and Cats-Wands (Technology). )

Some scientists --- PETA types, maybe --- wanted to push the capabilities of animals further. They wanted to see if enhanced animals could create unique societies, civilizations even. They finally succeeded in creating a unique species of feline that not only had human-level intelligence, but walked upright, had opposable thumbs... all the gifts natural selection bequeathed to humanity.

They created 12 original specimens, then departed in a ship, the Astasia, for a remote planet in the Cygnus Quadrant. But, the scientists had underestimated the cunning of the felines, who took over the ship, murdered the scientists, and went off on a journey of their own.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Post #85

Hellfire Part 3 is nearing the finish-line. I expect to have it out this month. It's working out well as a claustrophobic, basically two-character zombie story. I have to road-trip this weekend, and sitting in a hotel can be a very creative time.

As Spring-like weather sort of returns, I've begun running again, which gives me time to think about where the story is going. My mind has been skipping ahead to Book 10 (even though I try to focus on Book 09 and getting Redfire off the alien spacecraft), and how some of the big changes that will happen to Pegasus will play out, including a change in the command structure. There's some potential to play with character of General Kitaen, and make him more of a cult-leader figure. There are issues of how to integrate thousands of refugees into Pegasus's crew. I rewatched Titan AE the other night, and was captivated by the scene on the Gaol planet. I might try to work in some elements of that.

It's kind of hard to discuss what's going on in my mind without giving too much away, but one of the things about Book 10 that will be different is that whereas a typical WA Book only covers a few days of history, the events in Book 10 will be spread out over perhaps a year. That year will be spent with the crew visiting a single planet.

But before I can get to that, I have to get Keeler and Alkema out of the hole they're stuck in in Hellfire 03, then I have to get Redfire off the alien ship in Gethsemane, then the crew has to fight a costly battle with trans-dimensional space demons (or maybe one great big giant space demon). Then, I can start on Book 10.