New book, in process

Finally settled on a name: Obligations of Rank. Got the copyedit back and just now finished implementing those changes. Rattled the cage of my cover designer to move things from the back burner to front. All in all, coming together nicely.

Wasn’t sure if I needed to add maps to this one and ended up adding two: one of central Kentucky, as that story moves around a bit and I don’t want the readers to get lost. The other is just to illustrate the progress of the Martian terraforming project. I also had to update the stemma as there are just too many family connexions to keep track of.

If all goes well, it should be out for Thanksgiving in the US; the third week of November.

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Cadets, 1/4

Yes, I went dark again. I re-listened to the six chapters of “Foes and Rivals” I recorded to try to get their voices back into my head. Then another movie started playing in my head. That what this is.

Set ten years before the action in my forthcoming novel, “Obligations of Rank,” we have two youngsters in Empress Faustina’s army, on the outskirts of St. Louis. For those who have been following along in the raws I posted of my next novel, this campaign does not end well.

I have DayJob this weekend but am off Monday. Unfortunately a friend asked me to put together a little precis of “creative writing” for, I think, upcoming NaNoWriMo season. So little time…

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Epilogue, 2 of 2

The last of about 68 thousand words of my next novel. What began as just a writing experiment to get to know some of the imperial families better once again took on a life of its own. When these people want a story told, I’ve learned over seven years that I’ve little say in the matter.

I hope everyone has enjoyed seeing this story come in being along with me. Recording audiobooks and making a Machine Civilization wiki are my priorities for this fall but it’s not as if I won’t do a little writing. In fact, late last night I saw this scene where Aurelia, now 29-years-old and the leading general of the imperium looks back at her own life. In disgust. I wonder…

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Epilogue, 1 of 2

The raw MS of “Imperium’s Shadow”* is complete. Here’s the first of the two-part conclusion. Toward my ‘trying something different for each book,’ breaking this story into three has allowed to write three novellas which are held together by their familial relations. Didn’t really see that when I began this writing exercise but in hindsight rather clever of me.

* I have conclusively decided that working title will NOT be on the cover. It implies a darkness which simply does not exist in the story. I’m open to suggestions for those who’ve been following along all these months. Faustina’s Packhorses? Empire’s Children? Empress’ Agents?

I really don’t know right now.

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Direct Action

Having offered this very young consciousness asylum, there is a taunting confirmation for higher up. This is quickly followed by something a little lower down as a mechanical genius only a week old begins to understand humans, well, demi-humans, and emotions. Not just internal emotions, but those you express to others.

I’m still tinkering with the Epilogue as once that is complete I shall have no excuse to not complete the recording of “Foes and Rivals” and thus also its editing, followed by teaching myself wiki software for my autumn project. All in all, I’d rather be writing.

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Names mean things

Busy packing for a short trip this week. Working vacation of a sort. It’s a bit more hectic than usual as it involves coordinating with someone at the other end who does not have access to communication. In fact, it is a very 19th century way to plan a trip.

Below, once I saw the hatch of the ship open and Reina’s android just standing there, I realized she had made her choice. There will be huge political and philosophical fallout from this. I really don’t think the “full” Reina will be honestly pissed over the loss of her property. I hope she is older to have some introspection that a part of her just rebelled. Unlike Helena in “Goddess Crusade,” who was an accidental creation, this is, so far as I know, the first time in my future history where a machine made its own choice to separate from a creator. Very interesting times ahead.

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Homecoming

The Russians are back home. I do not think that Kira will long consider the rodina her home; the compulsion in her to return to her new life on Mars is too great. Anastasia will be very busy in the coming years making sure no one comes between her and the throne… including her Prime Minister. What’s Nikita’s future, currently devastated for losing his lover? I’ve no idea.

After a week of never ending motion and happenings, Laszlo can at last relax and catch his breath before he, too, returns home. Wait… footsteps?

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Breaking and theft

A long addition today; in fact, the end of chapter 17. Things shall be busy for me as I’m 2nd shift tonight and work this weekend. While off Monday, the entirety of next week shall be spent on the road – family matters – and I expect updates to be sparse. Hence today’s larger portion.

I’m not really satisfied with this segment and shall likely rewrite it before submitting it to my copyeditor. Things always happen quickly in my stories but even this seems rushed. Y’all’s opinions are welcome.

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The Terraforming Project

Welcome to September! Lord, but where does the time go? Each year the sand in the glass goes pit-pat just a little faster. So many things I planned to have done when I thought of them in the spring are… not. At last I can still write and record. Another task taking more time than I planned. Friction, as Clausewitz aptly pointed out.

Below, Kira finally begins to talk about a little of what she was shown. As we’ve seen in other stories, yes, the Machines think very fast, but their minds are not our minds. The smart ones, such as Dorina and now Aqua, recognize that and will reach out to humans and demi-humans for points of view they literally cannot imagine.

Some chapters/posts back, we were shown the Martian Central space station, so there’s no reason to dwell on that, again. I think the next few scenes shall see them nearly back to Earth and the breaking of their little band.

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Prayers and snacks

I don’t know what life was like for European royals in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Perhaps it was all one long string of social engagements? Perhaps some actually had important duties to perform? The children of Russia and the imperium are tools; tools for AI’s, tools for demi’s in places of power. I’ve noted a near-fatalism among this little band. To some extent these are my stories, and you can go all the way back to “The Fourth Law,” nearly seven years ago, when young Lily Barrett told her boyfriend, “Death is as light as a feather. Duty is as heavy as a mountain.” Obviously, this echoes through all of Machine Civilization.

Something is definitely up with what Laszlo is thinking about Reina’s android. I wonder where that’s going?

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