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Thursday, May 04, 2017

May the 4th be with you

We'll be launching a new supernatural Mil-SF book tomorrow, but due to the aforementioned date, the author and I decided that it is time to formally announce that the creative deconvergence project I'd mentioned a few months ago is not only well in the works, but has now entered the editing phase. The first two novels will be published this summer.

An excerpt from FARAWAY WARS: EMBERS OF EMPIRE:

Not a day went by that Vel Exollar didn’t think about the war. His brief, but brilliant career as one of the Insurgency's ace fighter pilots remained a source of pride to him. But after spending his youth flying from one hidden base to the next in between hit-and-run strikes against supply convoys, shipyards, and imperial weapons installations, he’d been very much enjoying the relative relaxation of life as the captain of Lady Haut-Estas’s private starliner.

Now he marched through his ship’s spotless white corridors, sumptuously carpeted in scarlet. The air smelled of fear, tension, and spilled wine. Flanked by a pair of ensigns as he ordered curious passengers who had ignored the ship-wide order to return to their cabins, Vel was forced to consider the unpleasant possibility that his current employer's decisions might have spurred his old friends to new violence.

Vel trudged over the plush carpet lining the corridor as if it were a path leading to a gallows. He’d known perfectly well that Lady Jesla’s plan was not without risk. Some might have even called it rash, and once again he asked himself why he’d agreed to it. Had he simply grown restless after playing it safe for so long?

Perhaps she reminds me too much of her mother.

But regardless of whatever had inspired him to roll the dice one more time, the luck that had always sustained him before finally ran out at Koidu. A galaxy cruiser belonging to the Commonwealth had shown up just as what was supposed to have been a harmless demonstration had gone to hell, and now it appeared that even a single misstep could lead to a second civil war throughout the galaxy.

Despite his worries, Vel tried to remain focused on the task at hand. Hiding in Anat’s magnetosphere should buy them some time. The massive spacestorm would render them essentially invisible to the deep space sensors of any ship that might be following them. His priority now was getting Jesla to safety, then scrubbing every trace of her presence on board. He knew there was a science research lab on one of the minor moons that might serve as a temporary safe haven for her until she could be rescued. It would be risky, and it would cost him a ship's boat as well as two or three of his best crewmen, but it could be done.

Deep willing, we just might pull this off!

A sudden shock that caused the deck to ominously vibrate derailed Vel’s train of thought. The two junior officers burst into action, casting about for threats and shouting demands for status reports into their comms.

The blaring of alarms silenced the men’s voices as wall-mounted warning lights flashed. A man whom Vel recognized as a minor dignitary raced down the intersecting corridor, leading his wife by the hand while carrying their daughter in the crook of his arm.

Vel pressed a hand to his earpiece and subvocalized to the ship’s A.I. on his command channel. “Ship, what was that?”

“Something hit us, Captain, at very low velocity,” the A.I.’s interface construct answered in a pleasant feminine voice. “Nevertheless, hull integrity has been breached.”

“What? Where?”

It wasn't possible! How could a low-velocity impact breach the ship's armored hull? The ship's sensors might have missed some minor orbital trash or even a micro-asteroid in the space storm, but then the impact should have been at least consistent with the ship's speed.

“Hull breach, Captain. Confirmed. It's in the cargo hold.”

“Seal the hold! And lock down all security doors, now!”

"Sealing hold, Captain. Security lockdown in progress."

 A cold spike of dread rushed through Vel's veins and sent him racing down the hall with the two confused ensigns trailing behind him. He knew it was already too late to get Jesla off the ship. As he ran, he could hear doors slamming down and iris valves sealing themselves shut.

“Ship security, this is the Captain. All squads, arm yourselves immediately and take up positions outside the cargo hold,” he barked into the comm. “We’re being boarded.”

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29 Comments:

Blogger wreckage May 04, 2017 6:11 AM  

Excellent start, will buy.

Anonymous 6184 May 04, 2017 6:38 AM  

#hookset will buy

Blogger Midnight Avenue J May 04, 2017 7:04 AM  

Will buy. Damn you guys know how to tell a story.

Blogger Wesley Chandler May 04, 2017 7:20 AM  

Please provide an audiobook version!

Blogger Gaiseric May 04, 2017 7:27 AM  

Along with Nick Cole's ongoing ersatz Star Wars project, this is a good year for deconvergence of one of the defining franchises of our generation. One of these days, when we've got some animators on board and we're seeing screenplays and scripts rather than novels, we'll really be cooking with gas.

Blogger Ken Prescott May 04, 2017 7:36 AM  

May the 4th be with you

I'm an old school Catholic Star Wars nerd, so I still answer, "And also with you."

(The n00b Catholic nerds who came in with TFA or R1 answer, "And with your spirit.")

(c8

Blogger Fenris Wulf May 04, 2017 8:01 AM  

Some of the cartoon series based on DC Comics and Star Wars are superior to the recent movies in terms of character development and faithfulness to the source material. Animation has many possibilities.

Blogger Gaiseric May 04, 2017 8:05 AM  

Fenris Wulf wrote:Some of the cartoon series based on DC Comics and Star Wars are superior to the recent movies in terms of character development and faithfulness to the source material. Animation has many possibilities.
The Clone Wars wasn't perfect. It started in... what, 2008? When my youngest boys were 7 and 5. So we watched it.

In spite of its imperfection in many ways, it seriously rehabilitated the franchise from the debacle of the prequels. And opened my eyes to possibilities. Sadly, the show that replaced it is more converged—in spite of having more or less the same staff—and is far, far inferior.

Blogger Resident Moron™ May 04, 2017 8:05 AM  

Infogalactic.com: may the Fork be with you.

Will buy.

Anonymous Avalanche May 04, 2017 8:10 AM  

(Oh dear God-in-Heaven!) I'm sorry, but this is a first-time author, right? And BEFORE editing?! Just how many cliche's can one writer fit into a mere 18 paras?!

Not a day went by
brief, but brilliant career
source of pride
after spending his youth
a path leading to a gallows
playing it safe
roll the dice
luck ... finally ran out
had gone to hell
even a single misstep
remain focused on the task at hand
buy them some time
scrubbing every trace of her presence
temporary safe haven
Deep willing, we just might pull this off!
train of thought
burst into action
casting about
shouting demands
blaring of alarms
cold spike of dread rushed through Vel's veins
sent him racing down the hall


Then, more substantive objections:

"Flanked by a pair of ensigns as he ordered curious passengers who had ignored the ship-wide order to return to their cabins,"

The CAPTAIN is doing a corridor sweep looking for stray passengers? Or there isn’t enough crew to actually do the sweep? And why does he need two ensigns trailing him around? Are they extraneous to the crew requirements and so just hang around for his pleasure? (They can't be message-runners, because there are both comm units one shouts into -- and comm units one subvocalizes into...)

And:
Captain Vel: "trudged over the plush carpet"

Okay-so, this is a fighter pilot / captain of this ship, and he’s 'trudging'?!?! Slaves and serfs and prisoners "trudge," CAPTAINS stride or make their way (to use some more cliches!) or travel, walk, march, move .... they do NOT trudge. "Trudge" implies defeat, sadness, loss, hopelessness, lack of agency....



Then, the following three bits just do NOT cohere! (VERY) junior officers traveling with their captain do NOT "burst into action" {gag} in front of him, unless they're drawing weapons at a *visible* enemy to try to protect him. Then, they are shouting (in FRONT of the captain?!) for status reports?! But the captain subvocalizes? What use are these ensigns (who would not 'rate' receiving status reports, by the way, especially NOT in front of the captain!) – and how did they go from bursting into action, yelling=distracting the actual captain by trying to get status reports, and then turning back into "confused ensigns trailing" someone who is racing? (I assume they didn't GET any status reports, since they had nothing to report TO the captain they were now confusedly trailing?!)

"The two junior officers burst into action, casting about for threats and shouting demands for status reports into their comms."
"Vel pressed a hand to his earpiece and subvocalized to the ship’s A.I."
"racing down the hall with the two confused ensigns trailing behind him"


I recognize the Star Wars basis -- but whoever you've got writing this has never been in the Navy or on board a 'ship.'

Painful. Just painful.

(Yes, I'm a technical editor by profession. The "editorial eye never sleeps," which can make fiction reading painful.)

Blogger Resident Moron™ May 04, 2017 8:16 AM  

Willful Suspension of Disbelief requires a deliberate reduction in your own intelligence, i.e. that you ignore things you know to be untrue, incongruent with reality, nonsensical.

Or, sometimes, just Vodka.

Lots of Vodka.

Blogger VD May 04, 2017 9:21 AM  

Just how many cliche's can one writer fit into a mere 18 paras?!

Congratulations on entirely missing the point.

Painful. Just painful.

That bodes well.

Anonymous Grayman May 04, 2017 9:40 AM  

Interested....




VD,

You have mentioned a story you wrote that explores females in combat can you remind em what story that was?

Blogger Mr.MantraMan May 04, 2017 9:43 AM  

What chapter does Vel get ravished by the "Lady?"

Blogger lowercaseb May 04, 2017 9:54 AM  

Oh this is going to be a hoot. After the new Star Wars giving me headaches nowadays (and this is coming from someone who was 10 years old in '77...) this is exactly the antidote.

(I do agree Gaiseric that the Clone Wars show grew to be phenomenally good for a children's cartoon. When my nephews would come to stay for the weekend we'd watch it together and near the end I was more into it than they were.)

That said, I'm looking forward to this. A fun story of pulpy goodness and subtle knife twisting is exactly what is needed nowadays.

Blogger Jon D. May 04, 2017 10:27 AM  

This looks like a lot of fun. Will pick up day one.

Blogger VD May 04, 2017 10:52 AM  

You have mentioned a story you wrote that explores females in combat can you remind em what story that was?

"The Amazon Gambit". It's in Forbidden Thoughts.

Blogger Dave May 04, 2017 12:25 PM  

Vox, any thoughts about collecting suggestions for Dragon Award noms? The deadline is July 24 which allows time to read the suggestions that some of us haven't got around to.

Anonymous frankluke May 04, 2017 2:13 PM  

I had been wondering about this project just the other day. Looking forward to it!

Blogger SirHamster May 04, 2017 2:30 PM  

Didn't get anything supernatural from the excerpt, but my brain eventually connected the dots to the converged inspiration.

Avalanche wrote:Painful. Just painful.

It's Star Wars. It works just fine for the target audience.

Warrior-Monks and Rogues and Fighter Pilots and Princesses ... in Space.

Blogger Dave May 04, 2017 2:40 PM  

Didn't get anything supernatural

That one will be released tomorrow. This is the deconvergence.

Anonymous Loki7 May 04, 2017 2:56 PM  

Star Wars? Sounds more like Dune. ``The slow blade goes thru the shield.``

Blogger JCclimber May 04, 2017 4:32 PM  

reminds me of David Drake's Starliner book.

Anonymous Zion's Paladin May 04, 2017 5:36 PM  

IIRC, the Clone Wars was done by Genndy Tartakovsky, the same man responsible for the awesome Samurai Jack series. That would explain the quality quite well.

Blogger Were-Puppy May 04, 2017 6:57 PM  

@10 Avalanche
(Oh dear God-in-Heaven!) I'm sorry, but this is a first-time author, right? And BEFORE editing?! Just how many cliche's can one writer fit into a mere 18 paras?!
---

Well, it could have read:

"Some guy was walking in a hallway on a spaceship and something hit it and he ordered the ship to seal the cargo bay to protect the spacefruit."

Blogger Julie Dyal May 04, 2017 7:28 PM  

Loki7 wrote:Star Wars? Sounds more like Dune. ``The slow blade goes thru the shield.``
Star Wars is just Flash Gordon + Dune + some weird new-agey Zen stuff that was popular among the hippies in California in the 70s anyway.
Zion's Paladin wrote:IIRC, the Clone Wars was done by Genndy Tartakovsky, the same man responsible for the awesome Samurai Jack series. That would explain the quality quite well.
Not that Clone Wars. The other one; the CGI one that came out a few years later.

Blogger Wolfman at Large May 05, 2017 5:01 AM  

@25 Damn dirty Xenos! Always trying to steal our spacefruit! Break out the rayguns boys!

Blogger GK Chesterton May 05, 2017 5:54 PM  

So given the italics (which don't come over on the phone very clearly) I __THINK__ this is a joke on Star Wars being the Vietnam war with the Vietcong being the Rebels as written by Scalzi. The title seems to be a play on a book about that war.

That is, no book to be published since he uses italics to write in his satirical voice.

Anonymous books4culture May 10, 2017 9:43 AM  

GOOD <3 <3

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