Lenten Writing

I’ve seen something for what might be my third and last installment for this Season. I didn’t like looking at it and I don’t like talking about it. But it is canonical to Machine Civilization, so there it is. This is not something I’ve written in Word and run through Grammarly; this is what I just saw and and posting. Expect errors.

My Lenten commitment was daily posting. But I hate what I’ve just seen.

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Ceres, part 1

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.

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Podcast 14: “Echoes of Family Lost”

Okay, it’s been a while; we’re not going to dwell on that.

This is another 4-excerpt dive into my second novel, a direct sequel to “The Fourth Law.” While that was about the love between friends, this explores family love and loyalty. Perhaps because it has been a certain time since my last podcast, this one is significantly longer. But it is also that much more interesting.

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Listen on Spreaker.

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Cadets, 4/4

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.

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Cadets, 3/4

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.

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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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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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