Yeah, more. It’s pretty much my primary project at the moment and will likely remain so until it’s finished, especially given that I’m in the final push of it. But given that, I want to take a second before I shove more of it at you to talk about what’s actually going on in it.
So what’s Harbinger?
It’s a story about the future. It’s not a nice future. It’s standard dystopian stuff when it comes to the geography of American urban centers and the gap between the uber-rich and the very poor. It isn’t especially groundbreaking in that respect, but I’m not really trying to be; I think there should be space to play within tropes without always having to be doing something new with them. One particular idea I’m exploring is what us politicalish sociologists refer to as the “stickiness” of institutions – the way these things tend to lock themselves in and hold out – and what happens when they continue to function long after they’re no longer really functional in any meaningful way.
It’s about bodies. It’s about what bodies mean, how they change, how they retain memory and how they aid in forgetting. In that sense it’s also about memory; I sort of feel like a story that’s about bodies is also necessarily going to be about memories and vice-versa.
It’s about doing the right thing, or not doing the right thing, and how we get ideas of what the right thing even means, and what we do to let ourselves of the hook of actually doing it. And then how the choices we make end up sweeping us along anyway, into places we didn’t want and don’t even totally understand.
It’s about family, about what you can leave behind and what you really can’t.
And it’s about angels. Or is it?
So here’s some more of it.
I definitely want to pick up the Muse Monday thing I used to do wherein I would write about writing, but I’m not quite there in my head yet, and I have a feeling I’ll have a chance to do a lot more of that as promo for Line and Orbit heats up. So for now have some delicious treats.
- This is seriously the month of Publisher’s Weekly for me; three anthologies that I’ve had the privilege to be involved with have garnered positive reviews (one starred!):
- Scheherazade’s Facade: Fantastical Tales of Gender Bending, Cross-dressing, and Transformation – “Gender is flexible and surprising in 12 stories of characters transformed by the trappings of a different sex…each one is guaranteed to make the reader question the roles and qualities often assigned to gender and sex.”
- Fantastic Erotica: The Best of Circlet Press 2008 – 2012 – “This brilliantly imaginative compilation of short, steamy tales of contemporary and period fantasy, fairytale, future dystopia, and space opera, chosen from Circlet’s e-book anthologies by a popular vote of readers, succeeds both as speculative fiction and as erotica.”
- Heiresses of Russ 2012: The Year’s Best Lesbian Speculative Fiction – “Showcasing a mix of authors, from superstars like Nalo Hopkinson to promising newcomers like S.L. Knapp, this solid, well-chosen collection will be enjoyed by genre fans of all genders and orientations.”
- Author Nathan Bransford with the publishing process depicted in gifs. To it I say: accurate. Much. Except I can’t even speak with firsthand experience about the agent thing (hopefully only yet). That’s the thing: what Bransford is showing is the best case scenario.
Line and Orbit is getting a happy ending and it’s still taken two years and change and a shit-ton of angst from the date of completion to get it published.
- Harbinger is still not finished. It’s close. I have an awful feeling that it might remain “close” for a couple more weeks. At least.
- I’m teaching Introduction to Sociology this semester with a heavy SFnal component. For those interested in one person’s take on this, I offer my syllabus.
We got the final cover art for Line and Orbit. FEAST YOUR EYES
Now that I have imagery to work with, I’m starting Big Gay Space Opera Promofest 2012. Yeah, I’m going to be annoying about this. It’s my precious baby and I’m one of those irritating Facebook moms. Sorry I’m not sorry.
To that end, let me kick things off with some info.
A few months ago I started something that, given my hatred of thinking up titles, I then took to referring to as The Dystopian Cyborg Angel Novel – or any number of different arrangements of those words.
A few months later I’m close – I think and hope and pray – to being done with the first draft of it, which will probably clock in between 80k and 90k words. I’m very back and forth on whether it’s any good, but at least it’s going to be done, which is about all a writer can hope for some days. It also has a title – Harbinger – and I definitely don’t hate that, at least. I don’t know yet what’s going to happen to it or where it’s going to be sent, but for the moment I’m not worrying too much about that.
I’ve been posting little snippets of it as it’s been written and I mentioned last week that I was going to post another one, so here it is.
A little background: My two protagonists, Samir Ghani and Michael, have attempted to make contact with a terrorist organization known as Phoenix, which Samir hopes might help his sister Ashmita (who has gotten herself uncomfortably mixed up in a theft). The meet has gone sour and the private security agency that has essentially replaced the government has attempted to arrest them. But Michael is possessed of terrifying powers that neither he nor Samir entirely understands, and he has unleashed them in an attempt to allow both Samir and Phoenix’s representatives to escape into some disused subway tunnels.
Excerpt under the cut.
So that reemergence of which I spoke in the last post was kind of a lie. Still not much in the way of regular blogging from me. But! Don’t think for a moment that I haven’t been busy anyway.
Line and Orbit is in its final editing stages, and we have preliminary cover art. It’s delicious and filling but I unfortunately can’t share it until it’s for-real finalized, which should hopefully be soon. It’s been great going through this process and watching my Big Gay Space Opera becoming an actual book that people will actually be able to buy.
I’m going to be doing a variety of promotional activities once I have cover art to promote it with and finalized text, but here’s a sneak peek at one of the things I’m planning on:
I make jewelry in my spare time sometimes – nothing that can hold a candle to the output of a lot of people I know, but I enjoy it – and I’ve made eight bracelets inspired by eight of the characters in the book. I’ll be giving them away in the weeks leading up to the release date, so watch for info on how you can enter in the upcoming months.
As for other work, the cyborg angel novel – now called Harbinger – is in the closing stretch. I’ll be posting a taste of it next week. I have no idea what I think of it at this point; I’m in the middle of Novel Fatigue and it’s a bad idea to make any quality judgments in that space. Right now I’m just focused on keeping my head down and finishing the thing. And trying desperately to not become too distracted by the idea I’ve been mulling over for the next big project (ooh cryptic).
Finally, let me point you toward a post my alter ego has done over at Cyborgology on writing about technology in both SF and contemporary fiction. Normally I don’t cross the streams, but this seemed relevant.
And I’m off to Denver for ASA tomorrow. Woo.