I need to get back into novel writing. I’ve been focusing on short stories since January but novels are my true calling. Specifically the Juran Elaspe project, The Fractured Era, my novel about an alien genius who creates his world’s first artificial intelligence as part of his work on a starship which will eventually bear his name (and features heavily in The Parting of the Waters).
The picture above popped up on my Facebook feed a couple of weeks ago and I looked at it and went: “That’s Atridia!” I eventually found it on Shutterstock and am determined this image will make it on the final cover once the story is done. I know it’s fake but it’s also beautiful and the fact that someone made it, it doesn’t stop me from loving it any more.
I’m still trying to decide on a name for this novel (though The Fractured Era is the current front runner) but I know it is set during two time periods, the main one follows Juran Elaspe as he balances his personal and professional lives in a society that has decided he has a sickness, just because he loves someone of the wrong gender. The fact that the other person refuses to admit his feelings are mutual and that his own career is more important … well, that’s the interesting bit.
Interspersed is the story of a bureaucrat who lives through the Singularity, a cataclysm which sees the power of a world change hands, heralding the beginning of a scientocracy. I’m not yet sure if this person was Juran in a previous existence or if Juran finds some record of this person while researching forbidden texts (maybe he hacks the Directorate’s servers or sneaks into their Archive of Forbidden Things). I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a box of letters found in an attic from his grandparents, some deep family connection that could—if revealed—be the final nail in Juran’s coffin.
There’s a conspiracy. Of course, there is and, sometimes, not even the determined can win. But this isn’t a story about defeating a big, bad government. It’s much simpler than that.
Though I’ve written a large amount already, I really do need to go back to the beginning and sketch things out. I have a large Moleskine in which to draw maps, to map out a timeline of events (both past and ‘current’), plus a smaller one in which I first started scribbling a few months ago.
I’m quite looking forward to getting started on this, it’ll be nice to have another long project to do. The outline is there, it’s all about getting the words down and seeing where we go with this. I do know, however, that it’s one of two stand-alone novels set in the period before the Gathering (also featured in Parting).
The second book is called The Fourth Race and focuses on the Willan diaspora and their attempts to find a cure for the plague which is sending their race to extinction. Neither are connected, except by where they’re going to end up and that’s another book I’m hoping to get written this year.
But until then, it’s time to worldbuild.