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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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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Midwife

For long time readers, crises do not last long in my stories; part of my terse style or maybe I just want people talking again? Kira lives and once getting herself back in mind lays out to her family and friend where things are going next. Her brother and sister are, I think, taken aback by this and there will likely be a huge argument in coming installments. Laszlo? Between being a demi and under his mother’s thumb I suspect a broad and deep streak of fatalism which could only be described as “Russian.”

I like nurse Green’s little throw-away line about “Viscount Breazeale is my lord.” Something even I struggle with in stories set so far in the future is feudalism. While both RealWorld sides of my family are older than the American Republic, arriving around 1766 and 1739, respectively, they were obviously a cantankerous lot very bloody-minded about setting up a new home away from aristocratic interference. Now, nearly 300 years later, that is discarded for the personal loyalty of a neo-feudal system to demi-humans and machines tasks my imagination sometimes.

I am hoping Les’s concluding words will be the segue to my next podcast – about religion – coming out late Friday or early Saturday. Please everyone have a good weekend!

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Aqua

At long last we meet this Machine. I think his construct is what he thinks Mars will look like once the terraforming project is complete. As to what he wants with Princess Kira? I’ve no idea, but things start to move fast.

As we’ve learned, Kirry is a demi and it seems their contact was brief, so I do not think this will be a major emergency. However, even a small medical crisis can become a major one when in – or on – a hostile environment.

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Boots on ground

At long last our travelers make it to the Martian surface. Things inside Princess Kira’s head continue to develop. Funny to see that even in an experimental station on another world, people just go about their business as best they can. Seems things are settling down a little, so there’s no reason not to think that Laszlo and Kira won’t be able to… what’s that light in the sky?… a plot point?

After my abject failure with no podcast last week, I have been able to record and edit this Friday’s. Further, as I have DayJob this weekend, I plan to record next week’s ‘cast this Friday. I always wanted to get at least 1-2 episodes ahead but to-date have not had a chance. Will try to rectify that.

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“Free Fallin'”; and podcast delay

As expected, my good notes about sex and religion stayed right there on the page, not moving to my mouth and thence into the microphone. I was able to load two cars of stuff for Daughter #1’s return to college tomorrow AM… the 98F and 100% humidity of central Ohio. Between their summer and shoveling snow in the winter, Ohio was made to give middle-aged people like me heart attacks.

So, just to throw some content out there, the royals are docked with Martian Control and get a briefing. With a hint of a surprise guest. Additionally, Kira tries out the Void for the first time, now she begins to understand what she is.

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