I’m enjoying how this is turning out so far. I think I’ll have Faustina in hospital recollect everything right up until the rod dropped and she was badly injured. Things will all be real-time after that. And I have a suspicion where – one of the world’s functioning fusion reactors – she and this story might be headed. Two parts? Three? We shall see; I always knew she would get her own novel!
Ever since I met her in “Worlds Without End,” I knew that Faustina, Gary Hartmann’s slightly younger sister, would have her own novel.
I just didn’t expect to have her showing me things so soon.
Like all of my stories, as I learned from Jerry Pournelle, this is starting in the middle: set maybe five or eight years after WWE, Faustina has led her personal army from Knoxville over the mountains and down the river to take the important port city of Savannah. At great cost to herself.
I confess that, as always, I’ve no idea at all where this is going and am interested as you are…
Let’s start with a graph…
And end with a quote from my novel, Friend & Ally (emphasis mine):
Hakane took another drag off his cigarette in Somi Corporation’s breakroom, laughing at his colleague’s comment. It wasn’t so much their company discouraged smoking as that they wished to make sure their products were not contaminated. Given the delicacy of some of the prototypes, all respected this rule.
“Can you believe it, Atazaki?” he asked, flourishing his newspaper. “The US economy imploding like this? I’m an engineer, not at economist, but how in the world…”
“Call it belief; call it faith. Lose it, and your world ends,” his friend replied, looking at a domestic part of his own newspaper.
“What’s that?” What Hakane knew of politics could fit into a sake cup.
“Since the war,” for a Japanese, that meant only one thing, “the world economy had the US dollar as its reserve currency, backed, not by gold or silver, but by the faith – mind you – that the US will always be there!”
Atazaki glanced at the clock over the inner door and decided one more cigarette was in order.
“So now we find,” he said, pointing at Hakane’s paper with his lighter, “that as the American President is being removed via extra-Constitutional means, the Russians, Chinese, and Indians are rolling out a new currency… what’s it called?”
“The ria,” Hakane managed.
“Whatever. Backed by the gold they’ve been buying up for a generation, and indexed to oil. At that point, US dollars became valueless.”
Hakane was still confused. But why…
“Why is there rioting in the US? And getting worse so fast?”
Atazaki blew a blue-grey cloud toward the ceiling’s scrubbers.
“It’s a replay of what almost happened back in 2008: credit dries up, the velocity of money drops to zero.”
Atazaki realized his friend didn’t get a single word. He tried again.
“Credit cards stop working; all the zeros and ones in banks are gone, and, for the Americans,” he took another drag, “their food-welfare cards, whatever they’re called, stopped working.”
He exhaled again and sat back.
“All cities in the US are starving right now. And there is nothing… nothing at all, to stop it.”
Atazaki took another drag while looking out the window at bustling Osaka.
“They’re done for.” Quieter. “God help us; we’re all alone.”
I went almost two weeks without writing more than a paragraph. I needed at least one more short story for my January collection and thought to tell a story about Henge and her and Gary’s daughter, Aurelia. One paragraph and some notes.
Admittedly things were hectic at DayJob and much time was spent formatting “Worlds Without End” into a format acceptable to Smashwords, but I would sit at my laptop and wait to see what they would show me… which was precisely nothing.
A week ago a fellow I work with asked how the writing was coming. I replied the technical side was fine but I was currently stuck. Still stuck a few days later, I recalled his question. I based the coder Dmitri, Reina’s father, on him, I thought. There are no such things as coincidences… he was meant to ask that question! And that means…
I saw Reina standing in the snow. Twelve hours later I heard her talking to a visitor. I wrote this in four hours. What these people do with me sometimes…
I wanted a short story that involved Gary Hartmann, the protagonist of my latest novel “Worlds Without End,” piloting an airplane, as I mention that in the story. I lay down about half of this yesterday but was at a total standstill for most of today. Finally saw what happened to John Carell and wrote the rest down.
Going into a lovely early Fall weekend with little to do? Need something to while away time with the cool breeze and falling leaves? If you have not yet, download and read “The Fourth Law” and “Echoes of Family Lost” FOR FREE (while you can!) then go on to read the latest addition to my future history of Machine Civilization just now released! Cheers!