Blurbs: The Fractured Era and The Broken World

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This morning I officially started the next draft of The Fractured Era and actually the 40k I have is a solid basis. I know exactly what happens and when/how. It’s quite reassuring actually.

Oh and here’s the blurb: 

Everyone in the Union knows the name Juran Elaspe.

Everyone knows he was the father of intergalactic space travel, a polymath, an engineer and architect of the first artificial intelligence. They know the ship he created, bearing his name, was there when the waters parted and the races gathered.

No one knows how he died. Not really. Or how he lived.

Born on a planet segregated by sex, Juran is raised to believe that male, female and progenitor make family, no more, no less. He excels in school and makes important friendships which will last his entire lifetime. And one, fatal, mistake: he falls in desperate, hopeless love with the wrong person.

In an attempt to save himself, Juran buries himself in building the first interstellar ship, a vessel capable of going beyond the Sirian system and into deep space, far beyond even their greatest telescopes. In the process he will lose his mind and himself, for love, for his creation, for his species and their future.

And it won’t be enough.

There’s a lot less of The Broken World but I do know the plot. Also I know it includes a cameo from Kella, who appears in The Parting of the Waters. This book takes places maybe ten to fifteen years after the Gathering. I know Amel Denium (also of Parting and TFE) dies and it’s not in a pretty way.

He’s one of the big witnesses for the commission trying to find out exactly what the Directorate got up too. Going from ambassador to a criminal in the span of a few days. He’s also the lynchpin in the Commission’s case, one of several people, living and dead, who become figureheads for the corruption.

His daughter Kella serves, right at the end, to help Jaada come to terms with her abilities and her role in what is, by anyone’s estimation, one of the great stories of the Union, and Atridia’s, history.

Here’s the blurb:

Jaada Serani cannot forget and forgiveness is bitter on her tongue.

A talented author, her past is stained by incarceration in a madhouse where she almost lost control, creating worlds and universes from the ether. For a single moment she tasted transcendence and now it haunts her every time she picks up a pen.

Though freed, she lives in terror of losing control and is trying to live quietly, teaching others how to spin words into stories. In the aftermath of the Union’s birth, when she is asked to return home to Atridia, her first reaction is fear. She has run to the heart of the known universe and yet her species’ past continues to chase her down.

Once world-spanning, the Directorate has collapsed; it’s death-rattle echoing across known space. A century’s worth of crimes have finally laid in the bare light of day and no one is sure of what is truth and what was manufactured to suit the Directorate’s control.

Lies were told, a gender subverted and people erased from history but the Directorate did a good and thorough job. Now the past is muddied, faces obscured and countless made to disappear in the name of the greater good. 

A natural muse, sensitive to the flow of reality, only Jaada can retrace the truth path of the history the Directorate tried to alter. Only she can restore what they tried to expunge.

But doing so might just destroy her.

Sounds good, yes?

Oh and The Divided Land, I’m pretty sure that’s going to be the name of one of the novelettes or novels Jaada writes during the second book, even if it’s going to appear in the first (maybe it’ll span both). Jaada is, first and foremost, an author so framing fact as fiction is going to come more naturally to her, especially as she’s sensitive to the narrative and great stories of reality.

I’m pretty sure the second book will echo the ‘story within a story’ narrative of the first, though I’m not sure what it’s going to be called or even what the story is. I like the idea of the balance though, of current events and a fictionalised, but accurate, past.

I bought a sketch pad this morning so I can draw maps. I like having something to refer to, plus there are a couple of locations I need to work out, like Taborin, the capital city of the Directorate’s continent-spanning empire. I just need to be in the right mood to do it, and finish timelining. Just writing this post has revealed a couple of new things I didn’t know which is just exciting.

Wish me luck.

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Let’s Try This Again: The Fractured Era and The Broken World

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It has a title page, ergo it must be real!

Opening up my timeline file got the juices flowing, I’m not sure if I’m ready to actually start yet but I have ideas. I’m basically planning to write The Fractured Era and The Broken World together. However there’s also another component to this called The Divided Land, I’m not sure if it’s a novella or a story within a story (probably in TBW as Jaada, the protagonist is an author) but I do know it focuses on a war between north and south and the creation of a manufactured disease. Oh and the creation of the Atridians’ third gender, the Ubani, as well as the religion which elevated them to the state of ‘mortal gods’.

Timelining is allowing me to fill in gaps I didn’t even realise were there, wonderful spoilerific bits and pieces which allow me to answer questions I did have. Names mentioned in passing have back story, purpose and a reason for being remembered. I knew, for example, the Directorate had staged some kind of coup but had no idea why or how. Similarly, I knew the Ubani were a recent addition to the Atridian species, looked upon with derision and blamed for the near extinction of their race, but didn’t know why.

TFE and TBW are easier, both have plots revolving around the secret history of their own civilisation, a sanitised history a la 1984. Except, by the point Jaada gets involved in the second book, the dying Directorate has done such a thorough job no one has any idea what’s truth and what’s their version of history. Juran, on the other hand, is torn between his work and his curiosity about the Ubani, the worst thing anyone can develop an obsession on during the period in which he lives. That and falling in love with your best same-sex friend. Except Juran never thinks of himself as gay, he’s just in life-long love with his closest friend, something which transcends friendship and isn’t necessarily reciprocated to the same degree.

Juran, on the other hand, is torn between his work and his curiosity about the Ubani, the worst thing anyone can develop an obsession on during the period in which he lives. That and falling in love with your best same-sex friend. Except Juran never thinks of himself as gay, he’s just in life-long love with his closest friend, something which transcends friendship and isn’t necessarily reciprocated to the same degree. Juran’s story was never going to end well. Especially not as his name lives on, longer than he does, in the form of the first Atridian starship which is given his name in memorium of his work on it.

Jaada is straight but has been burned by love. Her boyfriend turned jealous and burned her books, seeing her committed to a mental hospital for the crime of loving writing more than she loved him. By the time of TBW, she’s free of him and the Hall of the Mind but the scars run deep. Now officially a resident in a city on another planet, it’s only when the newly-elected representative of her homeworld seeks her out and asks for help, recognising what Jaada is, and how she can help Atridia account for its sins in order to deal with a shiny new future.

I’m planning on posting excerpts (usually out of order) on my Patreon under the $20 tier. I’m not doing this to restrict access but I do want people to want to see this stuff. Plus the money will help me write the books, covering my expenses while I work but also giving me an audience, which is the most important part. I work better knowing people are there, that they want to read the books.

I’m looking forward to getting started, properly, on this project. I have so much rough work that now I have a stable outline, it’s going to see much scrapped but that’s not a bad thing. The story is there, it just needs transcribing and polishing.

 

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Giving Patreon a Second Chance

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I wanted a chance to really interact with my small but growing fanbase. I also wanted a place to put random short stories, pieces of short fiction and detail my novel writing process. I’m about, once my mood lifts, to start The Fractured Era and The Broken World, the Atridia Duology. I’m not normally a fan of paywalls but I also want to try a longer term form of crowdfunding, with videos and all the secrets of how I write.

Even a dollar helps so please do check out my Patreon page now. Pledges go out on the first day of the month but I’m asking for monthly amounts so a single pledge will get you a lot of content, plus having people who want to read my stuff, it keeps me motivated. Right now that can only be a good thing.

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Research Trip: London (May 2016)

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On Monday, I finally got to go back to London. My friend Shannon lives down there and it’s been nearly six months since we last caught up. Plus Uni adores her (like top one percent of her Favourite Humans List) and it’s always hilarious when my dog goes nuts in a public place in full gear, behaving like she’s off-harness. Oh and Shannon is an adopted pack member; if we meet up and Shannon leaves her line of sight, Uni will whine/go find her.

Yeah, my guide dog loves her more than me.

Seriously she goes bonkers.

Plus we had plans. Shannon let me know there was a Leonardo Da Vinci exhibition at the Science Museum (one of my favourite places) and it was too good an opportunity to pass up. I’ve been researching computers and space travel for “When the Stars Fade” and The Fractured Era (which, while we’re on the subject is apparently the first book in a duology. The second book is currently titled The Broken World). I got to see a replica of Sputnik and the beauty above. Seeing a space capsule to scale, well it really hammered home how much claustrophobia and space travel do not play nicely when put next to each other.

Now normally, on account of my escalator phobic/untrained guide dog, London is freaking stressful. However I discovered that the TfL site now has accessibility options on their journey planner which includes the beautiful words ‘stairs, not escalator’. This meant I could easily plan trips to and from the Science Museum and we walked part-way, from the South Kensington tube station, in glorious sunshine and the beginnings of the hottest day of the year.

Now, though it takes my brain some time to engage in ‘summer mode’, Uni and I are pretty good at dealing with it. I carry cold water and douse her in it periodically, I carry a bandana which I can use to cool the blood flowing through the back of her neck (wet it with cold water then tie it = cooler dog). I  also carry an uchiwa fan from Nara which helps and is easier to use than the usual kind of fan. We needed it in the un-air-conditioned basement of the museum, even the staff were overheating.

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I admit I was a bit disappointed with the exhibition, it was a bit small and had some replicas but not the well known inventions. But it was a fun way to spend an hour. We then got the bus to Piccadilly (surprisingly easy and free for me as my bus pass works in London) which gave us time for a late lunch at Shoryu, a trip to the Japan Centre (which I could actually access). I got myself a couple of kitchen bits plus an awesome pair of zori, heeled tatami flipflops which are super-comfy, if expensive. They also give me an inch in height, which always helps when you’re five foot one-ish.

We ended up walking into Leicester Square via Chinatown which was just nice. The day was gorgeous and I got to see my first durian fruit (the ones which stink to high heaven) and ponder over how many fruit use the character for dream (夢) in their names. Oh and something called a Thai jackfruit (also massive). I love Chinatown from the dual-linguistics on the signs to the stone dragons that I can never tell apart (Shannon, who lived in China for a while, pop quizzes me on their genders and I always get it wrong).

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We ended a glorious day sitting in The Moon Under Water in Leicester Square, enjoying a frosty pint (I now drink once in a blue moon, which is awesome). I used to go there when I was a uni student and it’s, surprisingly, hard to spot given it’s next to the Odeon. Shannon had no idea it was there and it was far too hot to sit outside, especially when my medication means I’m light sensitive (from both a visual and an ‘I burn like paper’ perspective).

The downside was that Leicester Square’s tube station isn’t accessible so I had to get a cab back to Liverpool Street. I’d factored this in (it costs £20) because it’s a route I used to do a lot, though from Piccadilly Circus rather than Leicester Square. I’m not made of money but there was no way I was going to walk all the way to County Hall and Westminster in London heat and super sore feet.

I ended the day as I began it, sitting in first class watching Game of Thrones and bemoaning how much time it took to watch Sailor Moon Crystal. Even better the train had been upgraded with lovely new seats and, joy of infinite joys, power points! Seriously, I’ve been traveling that route for two decades and it’s taken that long for the train companies who run the route to realise that power is just as important as WiFi. Oh and air conditioning.

Oh and air conditioning.

On a scale of one to Hell, this was also one of the most stress-free trips I’ve done in ages. We got back into Norwich with plenty of time to spare, allowing me a leisurely hobble (I’d walked six miles over the course of the day) to catch my bus. Uni was a star everywhere we went, from sitting quietly under the table in Shoryu to snoozling in the wheelchair space while I wrote on the way home.

It was an exhausting day but it’s so nice to be able to escape to the capital and do stuff. I’m already planning another trip, both Shannon and I want to go to the British Museum to see the Sunken Cities exhibit opening later this month. Plus I will never ever skip a chance to eat proper ramen.

Nom.

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