Firstly, an apology: tomorrow’s Podcast will be delayed, likely until late Friday evening. I took notes about what I wanted to talk about and even took the laptop into the quiet corner of my basement to record… and sighed. Covering 4000 miles by plane and car over last weekend, then getting tossed into unexpected tasks at DayJob (a colleague was ill so I had to cover) meant that I’m just not up to what y’all hopefully expect of my weekly banter. Before moving on, I will leave you this: the topic is a question from a listener: “What if the [Machines] had been made in China?” I had a glib answer, but the more I thought about it, the more complicated the subject became, so look forward to my discussion later tomorrow!
In the meantime I introduce some new characters below the fold, as we get ready for this Martian Holiday.
After a very short flight, followed by a contested parking spot, Laszlo finds himself walking along the southern branch of the Neva River in St. Petersburg. I’ve never been there but have heard from many that it is a beautiful city. Someday, when my books are optioned into movies, I’ll take a chartered flight; commercial flights are more and more a dry-run for slavery.
As you will shortly see, the PM of Imperial Russia, Reina, stomps onto the stage. First among equals of tribe Mendrovovitch and possibly the most dangerous of all Machines, she also attacks my stories like kudzu: taking over and displacing everything which was already there. And from the last line below the fold, it seems she is in for most of this part of the novel. Oh, well. What can I do?
Just back from a grueling 3-day weekend: flight to St. George, Utah via Phoenix, followed by a 1944-mile drive back to central Ohio. All to retrieve Daughter #1 from her five week internship at Best Friends Animal Shelter. To her credit, she impressed them so much that they said they would hold a slot open for her next summer if she wants in. She is thinking about it. That’s my girl!
Below the fold is a short update to Prince Laszlo’s story. Knowing this would be a hard weekend, I only took a few notes and mostly watched the movies in my mind about what comes next. I think I saw about two chapters worth. This is going to be very political.
Congratulations: between DayJob and the hundred things I need to get ready to retrieve Daughter #1 from her internship in southern Utah, I’m only able to throw this at the wall and hope it sticks. Nichole 5’s first audiobook is commercially available and I am slogging my way through the raws of the second. This is the opening of that one, Foes & Rivals. As is my wont, I tell you what happens up front. You’ll just have to enjoy the ride once the rollercoaster starts.
Making a beginning at this. After much thought, there is no way, none, that Empress Faustina’s children could have anything like a “private life.” The imperium has been a going concern for a generation now and is back on its technological feet. While not as “panopticon” as the Machines can be, a demi such as Fussy, for political reasons as we saw with her nephew, Roland, would monitor her children very closely. That means that Les’, er, inclinations would be known to her, too. But, just as we read two posts ago, between Hill and Hardt, you can still keep an open secret as a secret, if it benefits all concerned. I discover that here, in the opening of part three of “Imperium’s Shadow.”
As Officer Cadet Patel explains below, that has become a reality. With my future history’s Maunder Minimum, the snow and ice are coming, putting pressure on the populations of Canada and the Russian Empire. As a nation with reactionless motors and helping to terraform Mars, the Russians have a potential escape route (besides their hegemony over the American west coast); the Canadians have no such thing, hence they occupation of the old American Midwest.
Nice to see Robert getting all “crown prince” at the end of this snippet. Which is also the end of Part II of my MS. I’m getting into part three, about Prince Laszlo, and… oh, boy. I’ve never written a character like this before. I wonder if I’ll fall afoul of the SJWs and their enforcers? The world wonders.
With so much of my time spent talking, either the new podcasts or slogging through the chapters of “Foes & Rivals” audiobook raws, I have neglected manuscript updates. Time to rectify that. With Kentucky Province now added to Faustina’s imperium, there is still a little more work for “Bob Hardt” and his intel group to do; that is, sounding points west of Frankfort. The center of gravity there is Bardstown, a going concern for nearly 300 years. Taken aside by his CO, Robert is almost but not quite called out as to just who the hell he is.
A whole thirty minutes! And this is just the barest overview! We begin with Lily & Callie, broaden to their parents and families, then off to the surviving city-states of the former US, and finally a quick look at the rest of humans on Earth.
Very ambitious, but also a good start. I could spend thirty minutes on each main character, so was pleased to keep things under control as well as I did. Machine or human, any story is about people. For reference, a stemma, or family tree, is just below.