Thinking about the future

When I started writing science fiction again, the first story I wrote was Greater Than The Gods Intended. It’s a fantasy piece, and contained in a fantasy anthology (BTM2), but only because the whole story is told from the point of view of a three-foot-tall lizard-man, an Isaurian, who is the direct descendent of genetically-engineered humans, as are almost all the rest of the inhabitants of the planet in question.

The next collection (BTM3) included all sort of strange stuff, but that was because I was exploring and experimenting. Two Zolnernovy stories, one Hive, and some Dieselpunk. There was also The Librarian.

When I had been writing The Librarian, I realized that I needed to build up Suvi as a character, in order to have her better organized in my head. The result of that is The Science Officer, setting up Javier and Suvi at her beginning, so I could make The Librarian her middle point.

Suddenly, I had a universe, connecting Javier, Doyle, and then Jessica as I started to write Auberon. That turned into a spreadsheet, as I began putting dates down, making sure I left enough space everywhere for stories to be tucked in and for history to happen.

I’m thinking about that now, because, right after White Crane comes out, the next Doyle Iwakuma story, Demigod, is coming at the end of July.

There really was a lot of space in which to paint.

Suvi will be “born” on March 19, 7426 CE.

Javier Aritza will be born in 7510 CE.

The Concordancy War will end definitively with the annihilation of all higher technology and most of the life forms resident on Earth in 10397 CE.

Doyle Iwakuma will be born September 17, 12263 CE.

Henri Baudin will be born in 13059 CE.

Jessica Keller will be born in 13405 CE.

Fabulous Publisher Babe™ and I have talked a number of times about how to frame the Doyle Iwakuma stories, now that I have a third one coming out. They have become a true series, sort of. Or at least they will.

A friend of mine created the corporate logo for Iwakuma Salvage Interstellar a number of years ago, as part of an RPG campaign where I first created the character of Doyle and ship, The Last Waltz.

The new story, Demigod, takes place not long after The Librarian in time, but with four novels and half a dozen novellas in that universe written by me in between. Based on the way the politics of the future work out, most people in Javier’s era count years from the founding of the Union of Worlds (see The Mind Field for more details).

With that in mind, The Librarian takes place in year 4753 of the Unification Era, which will, in turn, become Year Zero in the Ballard Era, what history will eventually call The Story Road Era, based on what happens when Ballard suddenly leapfrogs ahead centuries technologically but does not turn around and begin conquering all its neighbors militarily.

Demigod will then be set in year 4754. It is a story focused on Piper, Doyle’s niece, who is still a young woman at this point, and not the famous explorer and philanthropist she would become in another decade or so.

The coolest part for me is considering what’s coming. I have at least one Doyle Iwakuma novel in mind, that will go into much greater detail about the Concordancy War, as well as more shorter stories. Henri Baudin will get at least two more novellas. I’ve just finished the fourth Jessica Keller novel and am taking notes towards number five. (She’s insistent that there will be nine before I’m done.) There’s even another Suvi/Summer Baudin story, set two thousand years after Jessica dies, that I will get to eventually.

Javier Aritza will have a bunch of novellas before he’s done, but that’s because he’s always been episodes of a television series, with Season One being somewhere between eight and twelve shows. And then on to Season Two.

So stick with me for a while, and there will be a whole universe of entertainment around Alexandria Station.

Meanwhile, this is your reminder that White Crane is available for pre-order, and coming out in a couple of weeks. It’s the first of a trilogy for Kai Di Peng. And a whole other universe in which to play, and I will.

And I’m deep into the next project, a completely different novel from everything I’ve done so far. Watch this space for news this fall, once I get it done and off to the First Readers and Editors for publication.

And I just got back from CampCon last week. Each year, we have done an anthology (Tales from an Alien Campfire, and Horseshoes, Hand Grenades, and Magic so far.) Next year, I’m editing, and the title will be Steam. And Dragons. (Note the period in the middle.) It will come out in March 2017, give or take. There have been some lovely, silly, fun ideas bandied about, so I’m hopeful it will be successful.

Oh, and: It must be summer. I was sitting in the living room yesterday afternoon, around dinner time, when Fabulous Publisher Babe ™ looked up and squeeeeeeeed. About ten feet out the sliding glass door was a deer. No, a fawn. Three feet tall and covered with white dot camouflage. Looking at us staring back at it. Even got a picture I’ll post eventually.

Then the little bambi bolted for the bedroom side of the house, and I was able to see the rest of the family in the upper meadow.

Mama had given birth to twins again this year. The other one was hiding behind a tree peeking out at me in the window, while Mama was drinking from the horse trough I keep for her.

I know how old they were, because I happened to see a deer about two weeks ago, looking a little ragged and baggy, for lack of a better term. Kinda like she had just given birth and was recovering. So I figure two weeks old, just about.

Got to watch Mama gather them up as the rain started pissing down, two little squirts gamboling all over the place like hyper bunny rabbits as she led them down the hill to the spot where they bed down, above the pond.

It was kinda cool. I’ve never seen wild fawns before, and one was ten feet away. That’s one of the reasons I bought this particular chunk of land out in the wilderness.

Additionally, the other day, I was mowing places that should have been gotten beforehand. I was back behind the workshop, knocking down ferns and other crap. Happily, I had the mower set to the highest elevation, because I managed to run right over a nest that one of the bunnies had made, full of fur and leaves under a clump of grass.

Movement caught me out of the corner of my eye and my first thought was fieldmouse that needed to be killed. Then I saw the shape of the ears and the haunches, as this tiny little guy tried to slither away from me, panicked and shell-shocked from having just been godzillaed. I’m guessing about a week-old, short-earred rabbit. Gave him a couple of nudges with my boot to keep him moving, until he got back into the remaining tall grass and ferns I was leaving. (I have owls and hawks around here, so I figured it was my job to make sure he got someplace relatively safe, since I had just mowed his house out from over him.)

I’m guessing he did okay, because when I was mowing earlier this week, I saw a bunny about the same size, but moving like lightning now. This time, I was mowing the overgrown front yard, so he took off when I got about twenty feet away and ran across the driveway and hid over there. Thirty minutes later, I was over there mowing, and saw him zip back across, zig-zagging through the remaining tall grass until he got back to the back of the workshop.

Saw him again this morning, ducking under the blackberry bramble.

It’s kinda awesome to have wildlife around. And having deer and rabbits around lets me know that there are no big cats in the area. (I live a WAYS out.)

And been eating freshly-picked strawberries and black berries, waiting for the salmonberries and the blueberries to get done. Because of the winter and spring, I will have about three cherries this year, but the pears will make up for it with Oh-My-God happy.

As always, I welcome questions and comments. I write this blog mostly for me, but occasionally people reply, and that makes my day.


shade and sweet water


West Of The Mountains, WA