MachCiv Dreams 3

Looked over some notes from a project that never worked out:  “Crosses & Doublecrosses.”  It was to be a political-espionage thriller.  I stopped writing the story after about a page and switched to notes.  After ten pages of notes, I realized that 1) this was work, not fun, and 2) I’m not cut out for this sort of story – at least, not right now.

It was to be the back-story of what happened in Texas during the Breakup.  The main character was Sylvia Fernandez, a lawyer who comes to work for Clive Barrett and his state terror organization I modeled on the Checka.  Clive Barrett is the father of the heroine of my first two novels, T4L and EFL.

Below the fold is one of the introductory scenes.  Looking at my notes, I’d forgotten that I’d cross-populated this part of the story with a character from my visual novel, OTChi Kocchi (reviewed here).  I was younger then.

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Pirate Twins 14, The Bridge at Andau, Reprised

Left DayJob an hour early.  When my boss asked why, I told her:  I’m ending the Cold War.  She really should know better than to speak to me.

There’s still a short coda I want to write, as this has been the oddest writing exercise in my life.  It began as just another escapade into Machine Civilization.  That mold broke very quickly, becoming an allegory of the Cold War, something only oldsters like me recall.

Old?  Very:  Tuesday was the 25th Anniversary of my better half and I.  Either her standards are very low, or I’m much better in bed than I realize.  Likely the former.

Once I write the coda – tomorrow – this will end up being about 18-19k words.  Who publishes ‘historical allegories’, these days?

Thanks, everyone, for reading!

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Pirate Twins 13: The Spy Who Loves Me

This was, originally, two posts:  I really wanted to get up and ahead one in case an outbreak of RealLife (TM) prevented me from finishing this no later than Friday.

But, it just didn’t work.  It was awful.  So I moved a couple of things and smoothed the transition (but I bet y’all can still see where it is) and am posting it.  Your win, my loss.  Sorta.

Continue reading “Pirate Twins 13: The Spy Who Loves Me”

-Punk

Background:  Archimedes of Syracuse, per the orders of General Marcellus, is not killed in 212 BC by a Roman legionary but is brought to Rome to walk in that general’s triumph the following year.  Paroled, he spends the last five years of his life in an insula in the Suburra, successfully completing his notes on his invention of calculus.

Those notes, and the others recovered from his workshop in Syracuse, are used by Roman civil and military engineers over the next two hundred years to accelerate the growth and stability of the Late Republic’s provinces.  By the time of Octavian’s monarchy, Germania had been a province for one generation and Parthia for two.

Around 50 BC, the observer of natural phenomenon, Varro, formerly Pompey’s biographer, invents a primitive steam engine for use in mines and agriculture.  Circa 10 AD, Hero of Alexandria creates a cooling jacket that improves the efficiency of Varro’s engine by several orders of magnitude.  The Roman Empire enters the Steam Age.

 

Story:  (c. 100 AD) Marcus Quinctilius Justus Varus Pius, Justus to his co-workers, is a mid-level clerk in the Licinius SA international trading firm.  Besides his day-to-day actuarial duties, he spends most of his time trying to not be reminded that he is the sole surviving family member of “the last general that lost a Roman Army,” his great-grandfather, some ninety years ago.  However, because of his mother’s Parthian background and his knowledge of that language, he’s tapped as an assistant to a trade mission  – sanctioned by the Emperor himself – to the far land of Sirica (what we call China).  Roman and Serican traders meet all the time in India and the isle of Taprobane, but this was something different:  find an over-land route where Roman engineers could build a road for trade.  Or invasion.

After many adventures and close-calls, Justus and his party come to the borderlands of Serica.  There, in the city of Liqian, they have their first shock:  the citizens are the descendants of legionaries captured at the battles of Carrhae and Phraapsa and forcefully relocated to the Parthian NE frontier.  After so many years, are you here to guide us home, they ask?  Close on the heels of that, Justus quite by accident stumbles upon the Sirican’s greatest military secrets, and thus a chance to redeem his family’s name:  the powder that explodes.

 

Just an idea I had.  Thoughts?  And what would you call this?  Romepunk?  Marblepunk?

“The English love an insult.” – Ben Franklin

At this point in time, it’s the only explanation in time for just how helpful people like Jordan Thornton (LLB Honours Grad; U of Portsmouth) and now the good (person/people?) at BooksChatter.  I’ve never thought of myself as a nice person, so they must be enjoying the insults….

Two years ago, with no prompting from us, a law student from southern England, Mister Thornton, sent 3-AR Studios a link to a huge TVTropes page about our flagship visual novel, OTChi Kocchi.  All his initiative, all his time.  We’re still getting sales as a result of folks stumbling across his page.

Two years later, not only is BooksChatter, of the UK, hosting my first traditional novel for a day, they’ve hotlinks throughout it, images pulled from half a dozen sources, and even put together a YouTube playlist, for heaven’s sake!  That’s a lot of work!

My family’s been in the US since before it was the US; it’s entirely likely that, 240 years ago, my ancestors were shooting at theirs.  Why are these good people being so nice to me now?