I should have done this a long time ago, but today I put my sf novel into the book template and started going over it.
Its working title is AD 4901, and I’ve only recently realized how bad that title sucks. Titles should ideally be clever and intriguing, and this one is not only dull, it’s pretty much dishonest. The book starts in AD 4901, but within two chapters the main character is off to Fomalhaut and it’s AD 4924. Einstein rules, you see.
Charlie Stross will tell you that STL travel makes interstellar colonies problematic. And it does, but lifetimes in my timeline approach a thousand years; a 23-year journey in stasis is just a blip in your lifetime. So humanity has spread out over 50 light years or so. There’s no way to keep all the colonies in a single state and barely an economy; instead there’s the Incatena, which can’t bend the planets to its will but can try to influence them.
Our protagonist is an Agent, a diplomat/spy who does the influencing. The problem in this case is out on Okura, a colony planet that’s reinvented the totalitarian dictatorship, and seems moreover to be collaborating with an interstellar financier who’s disappeared for freewheeling New Bharat.
Oh, and it’s a comedy.
You may know that I have a fantasy world, and a novel that’s also waiting to appear, so why am I looking to publish this one first? Well, because it’s better, I think, and a whole lot more fun.
I will probably put up some material on the universe and some sample chapters, hopefully to build interest. Feel free to ask questions and begin eagerly anticipating the release.
The immediate question is: is it as good and fun as I remembered? So far, yeah, but I’m doing a good bit of tweaking as I re-read. Some early chapters are too exposition-heavy, so some structural tinkering may be needed. And I’ve been rethinking and updating some of the tech, as well as that key sf concept, the names. In the best modern sf, you know, you can’t just take a car to the office and read the newspaper; you have to take a transpod to the ergozone while spooling out the feed. Don’t worry, I just made those terms up. But getting words to sound different yet right is something of a trick, and many of the attempts I made at the time sound terrible.