A Bolshevik I work with at DayJob – so long as we stay off politics we get along fine – is cruising along through “Crosses & Doublecrosses,” calling it “a page-turner.” We had a few minutes before the IV batch ran and I sat down and told him that from my, author’s standpoint, C&DC was harder to write than my romance/horror, “Cursed Hearts.” As I put it, sure: a psychic vampire sucking the life out of some guy until there’s nothing left but flakes of skin and bone powder is awful. But the worse depravities humans accomplish are done in meeting rooms. As said commie, he got that.
In that vein, we have Empress Faustina calming telling two young members of her family about her plan for the next twelve hours. A plan with a six-figure death toll at the end of it.
As she get older, Faustina is becoming a harder person. Her exploits in the old Deep South had that area fall to her with only limited opposition. While I have only heard rumor of it, her campaign to destroy the forces around the old imperial capital of DC had her angry enough she had to talked out of leveling the city and sowing the ground with salt. It is likely that memory which her son Laszlo and niece Aurelia just ran up against.
I know how this all ends as it is discussed in my forthcoming novel. But, to be in the same room as this decision is made is haunting.
We learn the nature of who the imperium is fighting and why. And, I just learned that little Aurie has some ability to see the future. I wonder why God gave her such a terrible gift?
With today off from DayJob, a friend asked me to write a personal primer for one or many – I don’t know – who are about to embark on NaNoWriMo. I sent it to him just before posting this. If he likes it, I’ll add it here, too. If you’ve been following me for any time, it’s mostly old material about the creative writing process.
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…
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…
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 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?
A short introduction as to why so many countries in the future are monarchal in nature. Is it that I hate democracy or republicanism? No. I am just honest enough to understand that those forms of government do not scale up past the level of a city or county.
And that it is best for a government to look to its children and grandchildren, not the next election.
Reina continues to evolve, startling all of us. And, as Roland alluded to in Part II, Henge and her children are not exactly demi-human. I’d long suspected that about Aurelia, who, off-screen, has led an army from old Virginia to the Northern Alliance (Maine-New Hampshire). That young woman, niece of the Empress, bears watching.
I had much to do this morning in meatspace and pan fried a steak and mushrooms for lunch, washing it down with gin. Rather than recording audio today (I am a terrible person) I think to write a little more. Kira’s change of status – demi-human – is, I think, working on Laszlo’s unconscious mind in several ways, and I want to see that reel.
August! I swear yesterday was March. I’ve written ahead a bit and hope to keep these MS sketches updates coming. As it is, what remains of my family is off on another vacation in northern Louisiana so I shall devote my time off to try to complete the raw audio for “Foes and Rivals.” Speaking of which, I got my first customer review of “Friend and Ally.” I was, honestly, expecting at best three stars; after all, I am not a professional voice actor and my audio editing skills are that of a novice. So this was a surprise!
Back to the royals in space: not wanting to give the book an ADULT rating, I gloss over Laszlo’s and Nikita’s “moment.” Of more interest, as Les sees, is that now light-minutes away from Earth, android-Reina breaks contact with her greater self. But, as machines think so much faster than humans, her portable form is already… changing. I really wonder what shall become of her.