Archive for April, 2021

Apr 02 2021

Things to Come

Published by under T-Space,Writing

No, this isn’t about the H.G. Wells book or the ominously prescient 1939 movie made from it (well worth watching, by the way.) This is just an update on some works in progress and what I expect to release this year.

As mentioned previously, “Raven’s Rift,” a Hannibal Carson story, will be out from Baen in November. It’s already somewhere in their print queue, I turned in the final edits last December.

I’ve had two novels in progress for over a year now, Kakuloa: The Downhill Slide (second in the Kakuloa tetrology), and Delta Pavonis: Discovery which will probably be a standalone, although a sequel is possible. They have both taken longer than I expected, and to be honest, I can’t really blame it on the pandemic; it’s not like I have to leave the house to write. 😉 No, the real problem (in hindsight) was that I changed my approach, using new writing tools and working from a different kind of outline. I let the plots get away from me, especially in Downhill Slide. And yes, plots plural, in that one book. Hence the problem.

The overall arch of the Kakuloa series is the rise, fall, and rise again of Kakuloa’s economy (and indeed, that of the Alpha Centauri system as a whole). I alluded to this back in my first published T-Space story, “Stone Age” (in Analog magazine.) In that story (and in The Chara Talisman, which greatly expands on it), Stevens, the bad guy, and Carson get into a brief discussion of interstellar trade (Carson is trying to keep alien artifacts out of that trade, of course), and Stevens discounts the value of biologicals: “Look at what happened to Kakuloa: two years of a thriving trade in squidberry extract and then the bottom falls out when General Pharmaceuticals learns to synthesize it.”

The real story was more complicated than that, of course, and Stevens fudged some details, but the point is that any economy based on a single export is fragile. Kakuloa is also a frontier port, serving as a jumping off point for further interstellar exploration (such as, to Delta Pavonis). In the years between Alpha Centauri and the The Chara Talisman, there’s a lot that goes on. I made the mistake of trying to squeeze too much of that into one book.

How much is too much? Well, before some recent plot surgery, I had: a murder mystery, a drug trade, problems at the Bimini Bay mines, a spaceship rescue in Kakuloa orbit, spies, unauthorized squidberry plantations, a couple of romantic entanglements, and…but you get the idea. Worse, they’re all connected. As I said, I kind of let it get away from me.

I have ripped out over 9,000 words of the spaceship rescue and will publish that as a separate story, “Roadside Assistance.” I’m paring back the other threads, some of which will be pushed into the next book (Kakuloa: Crash and Burn), others which will either be spun of or dropped. (They may be referred to in passing, but I’m taking some of the focus off them.) The result will be a better book.

Of course, I haven’t forgotten Carson and Roberts. Their story changed but certainly did not end with The Pavonis Insurgence. I am outlining the next few books in their adventures, and we’ll be seeing more of the Kesh as Carson investigates the mysterious Pyramid Builders. There’s also an interstellar war brewing, although the battle lines haven’t finished being drawn yet. The Velkaryans and the UDT Space Force are obvious players, but what about the Kesh and Degkhidesh? Or others?

What’s your favorite part of the T-Space universe? Who or what do you want to see more stories about? I’d be interested to hear. Let me know!

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