Monday, March 23, 2009

The End of BSG, and The End of WA

Ok, I watched The Grand Finally (you read that right) of BSG this weekend, and re-watched it. First of all, it was pretty formulaic for the genre. The "Huge Battle Followed by Epilogue to Explain what happened to the characters" formula was used in Deep Space Nine, Babylon 5, Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis. Probably some other shows, too. And, WA Book 12 will be set up along those lines. There will be a battle. There will be an epiloque, of sorts. The epilogue I've already written.

But I'm not going in for any of that frakkin' hippy "Let's give up our technology, so we can get back to nature, and live in harmony, and that will free us from the cycle of violence." Bull. Crap. Don't *even* get me started on the futility of agriculture 150,000 years ago. Pretty much everyone in the fleet would be dead of disease and starvation within five months. If they give up the technology, if they give up the knowledge, the give up the lesson. The theme of BSG was all about "All of this has happened before, all of this will happen again." And I think, WA is more like, "None of this has ever happened before, everything we learn, we take with us."

So, the survivors of the aforementioned battle in Book 12 are not going to be turning their backs on technology, knowledge, religion or history, but will see them as the building blocks of the next human civilization. Because the hippies are just wrong when they imagine primitive, pre-industrial life as a sort of idyll.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Updates on Book 10

I have been working on the "12th Night" and "Macbeth" chapters of Book 10. So far, in the 12th Night chapter, Keeler and Alkema have been bystanders to the action, and I have to integrate them more into the story. The "12th Night" chapter so far follows Shakespeare's original very closely. Whereas the Macbeth chapter is a big departure. I had kind of envisioned it as an Agatha-Christie-type drawing room mystery, Keeler trying to solve the murder of Banquo. It is fun having Keeler play off the language of Shakespeare. And unlike past books, coming up with names for the planet's inhabitants is not hard.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Outline of Book 10

Sorry this has taken so long. I've had a lot of crap going on. I don't think there are any spoilers here because I kept key plot points deliberately vague. Also, my books tend to change a lot between outline and final form:

Book 10 Outline:

Chapter 01: Two years have passed since the events in Book 09. As Pegasus enters the Eventide System, Alkema gives Keeler a tour of the ship and they discuss the many changes that have taken place.

Chapter 02: The Kariad are met at least, and are found to be interfering with the colonists on Eventide. (A small planet with only ~20 million inhabitants). The Kariad report that the colony of Eventide has a problem of gross social and economic inequalities. Keeler catalogs the devastating impact of Kariad on colonies they have interfered with and makes a wager with the Kariad that if he can fix the social problems of the Eventidians without technological interference, the Kariad must stop interfering with human colonies.

Chapter 03: Keeler secures a sailing ship with the purpose of conducting trade with the inhabitants. He intends to secure food and other supplies for Pegasus by trading for them, while simultaneously learning about the planet’s culture in order to solve the problems and win his wager. Keeler also makes an enemy in the form of the Mariner Captain Othello, who vows to kill him. (This will be a partial parody of Wm. Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice.)

Chapter 04: Keeler arrives at the island of Pyramus. They try to market their wares but to no success. The planet’s economy is based on “Anything Boxes” controlled by 13 Royal families that produce most any product the public needs. Outside the exchange of Anything Box-produced good, there is very little trade on the island. To try and endear himself to the Duke of Pyramus, Keeler attends a play. (This will be a partial parody of Wm. Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.)

Chapter 05: Keeler and crew arrive at the Island of Dawn Mark, where they encounter an insane young prince who is suicidal over the death of his father and usurpation of his father’s throne. They arrange to get him some therapy. Meanwhile, they attempt to fix their commercial misfortunes by selling rare artifacts from other colonies. (This will be a partial parody of Wm. Shakespeare’s Hamlet.)

Chapter 06: Unexpectedly, the crew’s accidental marketing of certain Auroran sex aids has created a sort of “Tulip Mania,” and the crew finds itself suddenly and unexpectedly wealthy. But the dispersal of these artifacts is causing cultural disruption, and Keeler finds that Captain Othello has put a price on his head. Hiding in a cave, he discovers a valuable resource. (This will be a partial parody of Wm. Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.)

Chapter 07: Fleeing from Captain Othello’s Fleet, Keeler arrives at the island of New Altair, the smallest of the thirteen islands. The Duke of Altair agrees to exchange his entire island for one copy of a particularly rare artifact. Keeler agrees. (This will be a partial parody of Wm. Shakespeare’s The Tempest.)

Chapter 08: Keeler enacts massive economic reforms on the island of New Altair. Alkem figures out how the Altairian Anything Box works.

Chapter 09: The sudden prosperity of the island of New Altair, coupled with its lack of a Royal Leader attracts an invasion fleet led by Keeler’s Arch-Rival, Captain Othello. They prepare to conquer the island as Keeler organizes a resistance among the farmers and peasants. (This will be a partial parody of Wm. Shakespeare’s Henry V.)

Chapter 10: Loose ends are tied up, and the stage is set for Pegasus’s next journey.