CS-405 begins…

<Spoiler Alert>

Well, not really, but if you don’t want spoilers from the end of St. Legier (WHAT? You haven’t already CONSUMED it? Heathen! Heh), you should probably skip this post and go read the rest of the Jessica Keller books to get caught up. Start with Auberon.

So we have reached the end of First Severnaya Zemlya and have flow back into the darkness, battered and hurt, but ultimately successful in Jessica’s war against hearts and minds. (“They must fear me more than they do their god.”)

And something goes wrong.

When I was writing earlier books in the series, I had a plan. I’ve known almost word for word what Two Bottles of Wine With a War God would be like, almost from that scene in Queen of the Pirates where writer-brain first told me about this place that would eventually turn into Buran.

But the CS-405 trilogy was still a surprise as I got all the way up to actually writing the second half of St. Legier. I knew I wanted to do something along those lines story-wise, but I had originally wondered if I would end up having to write ten Jessica novels to cover everything. When you count up the trilogy (Queen Anne’s Revenge, Packmule, and Persephone), it comes in at about 140,000 words, or another long Jessica novel that would have made Winterhome #9 instead.

But those are Jessica’s stories. As I was wrapping up Petron, it became clear that I had to simply leave parts out that I had always intended to write, because they would distract and subtract from emotional arc of bringing Jessica Keller to a close. And that was how it had to end: wrapping up Jessica’s story.

But here, by splitting CS-405 off into its own trilogy, I could do something new and fun. I could look at the same sorts of settings and places from a wholly new set of eyes. I could ask questions that Jessica would never really care about. And I could introduce a new cast of goof-balls and let them have their SAG cards, which makes me happy.

A side note: When I name characters, I have a couple of tools I use. Random 1d4 for gender (the other website has 4 options). Random 2d63 for culture, picking two. Hop over and generate a name at fully-random. Maybe I don’t like the first hit, and take a second or third, especially if it is too close to someone else. Then I look up what the names mean and let that help give them a personality.

Didn’t do that with the boss of CS-405. Or the XO.

There are very few of you who will know where I got the name Phil Kosnett from. (And if you do without having to look it up, let me know, ’cause you’re my tribe.) His back story was fun, because I’ve gotten to use him as a foil before. But now he’s the central protagonist. He has help, and luck, and skill (He is The Professor, after all).

And I got to come up with a whole crew of RAN sailors. His XO is loosely based on a former co-worker who was one of my favoritest people in the world when we worked together. The rest came to me randomly, and we ran with it.

“How would a Scout Corvette, with four Type-1-Pulse and a pair of sensor arrays turn pirate?”

Ya gotta be damned sneaky to pull it off. Those of you who’ve already accidentally read Queen Anne’s Revenge can attest to that. It keeps going, because Phil Kosnett’s not about to back down. In book two, Packmule, an even better question comes up, and let me take advantage of all that college I did in the way-back machine days.

For those of you unaware (which is most of you, I’m guessing), I double majored in undergrad. Political Science (specialized in Military Theory, but never served) and Philosophy (specialized in Epistemology, or Theories of Knowledge). Grad work was in International Political Economics. I love building whole star-spanning cultures, because everything that humans can understand has pretty much been tried by now, somewhere, so I have notes and ideas as to how successful it might be.

When you have a deathless god in charge, you can run a very interesting culture. But you also have a very specific set of problems, when said god must deal with the barbarians of the galaxy.

Packmule and Persephone explore that in greater detail.

In a few hours, Queen Anne’s Revenge officially goes on sale, and I’m expecting a number of you to log in and give me nice reviews everywhere, after all the notes you left on Two Bottles when it came out (sort of). Once we got the issues sorted out, the response to the book itself was good.

I think you’ll like all three, and then be ready for Winterhome to come out in May. And then Petron to wrap it all up in December.

Because today, CS-405 begins.

One thought on “CS-405 begins…

  1. thomas Monaghan

    Blaze my only complain about the CS-405 series is they are somewhat short for what I paid since I buy in paper. I wish you had a large trade paperback combining them at a large price.

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