One of y’all raised the salient point of “why is the king so interested all this?” That gets addressed here. Historically, Russia is either contracting or expanding. Their stasis from 1991-2020 was an aberration. With Thinking Machine Reina calling the shots, they are back in expansion mode; they have to be. With the Maunder Minimum bringing the ice and snow south just as they have turned around their demographic implosion, they need somewhere for their people to live. So, Alaska and now British Columbia are now passing to their hegemony. Rhun is not an idiot and can read a map: his kingdom will be next.Continue reading “Tillamook, part 15”
Given the current political climate of the so-called US and much of Europe, this could be an extremely unpopular short story. In my future history the Russian Empire is remade and forms one of the four spokes of the Polar Alliance (Japan, Habsburgs, Russia, imperium; Australia has observer status). Some of the AIs of tribe Mendrovovitch, coded in St. Petersburg, while having no Laws, were imbued with the patriotism of their coders. First among equals of that tribe, Reina, seizes power, finds some distant, suitable Romanov heirs (yes, they exist) to be Tsar and Tsarina, but holds all real power to herself, with her primary objective of turning around their demographic implosion. Being Russian, when the US imploded in the Breakup, it was natural for them to advance into a power vacuum, as you will read below the fold.
This is not commentary on the current stupidity – on all sides – going on now in eastern Europe.
So, read on as things get, as Gil says, “spicy,” very quickly.Continue reading “Tillamook, part 2”
While Minerva is off tending to those biologic parts of herself, and yes, I’ll get to that later, Laszlo reflects upon how they arrived were they are. As this is nothing more than a quick but total summary of Part III of “Obligations of Rank,” double-plus spoiler warning.
Personally, I seem to have contracted what is becoming my annual February bad cold. My wife came back from Galveston around 0100 Monday, so it is likely that the recirculating air on the plane carried something onto her which she was kind enough to pass onto me. Growing up, I was a sickly kid but grew out of it around puberty. Now 55.5, and drinking too much (hey, gotta keep these stories coming for y’all!), perhaps those days are returning. I hope not.
So, enjoy the flashback below the fold. More coming soon!Continue reading “Ceres, part 2”
I got caught up in research about crab boats vs. fishing trawlers for the Tillamook story, so this next short is what I started writing first. This is about Crown Prince Laszlo Hartmann of Faustina’s imperium not quite alone on high-speed space ship. Not quite alone? The android Minerva is with him. Ordered by his mother, the Empress, their first scouting mission is to the asteroid belt, to assess not only mining possibilities but also colonization.
Because this takes place seven weeks after then conclusion of “Obligations of Rank,” spoilers are unavoidable. Unless you think it will be some months before you get around to reading that book – and you will – and might have forgotten this, go listen to one of my podcasts or something if you don’t want to be spoiled.
Again borrowing an idea from another writer, in this case Michael Chricton, I’m taking two very, very different people, packing them into a sardine can, and sending them somewhere they cannot escape from.Continue reading “Ceres, part 1”
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…Continue reading “Epilogue, 2 of 2”
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.Continue reading “Direct Action”
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.Continue reading “Names mean things”
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?Continue reading “Homecoming”
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.Continue reading “Breaking and theft”
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?Continue reading “Prayers and snacks”