Monday, December 7, 2015

Cin, Siss, and the Pirates of Temtre

Cin, Siss, and the Pirates of Temtre is the first episode in the planned companion volume for The Bright Black Sea, tentatively titled The Lost Star's Sea. It will chronicle the (mis)adventures of Captain Wil Litang in the Archipelago of the Tenth Star. The Bright Black Sea took something like four years to write and I don't anticipate that The Lost Star's Sea, likely just as long, will be written any faster. As of now I'm 65 years old, and can't count on tomorrow, much less four years from now, so I'm planning to release the beta versions of each episode as I produce them. I use the terms "alpha" and "beta" rather than first and final drafts because I haven't a clue as to where the story will end up, and I may well need to go back and make minor alterations in an episode or two to make things come out the way they should in the end. Thus, the individual episodes should be considered somewhat tentative until they are rolled into The Lost Star's Sea. 70,000 years and uncounted lightyears away make transcribing Wil Litang's account a sometimes iffy venture.

Cin, Siss, and the Pirates of Temtre, is a short novel length, 60,000+ word, episode that serves as a bridge between this new novel and The Bright Black Sea. The Bright Black Sea was written as an ode to the golden and pulp age writers of science fiction. In The Lost Star's Sea I'm setting out to write a fond tribute to only one of them – Edgar Rice Burroughs. In the Archipelago of the Tenth Star I have a vast stage filled with strange and wild creatures, savage and advance peoples, swords and sails, mysteries and dangers at every turn that must be faced and if not conquered, survived. I intend, to give those old stories some new twists – I rather doubt any damsels in these tales will need rescuing. Litang, on the other hand... Well, as I indicated, I really don't know where the story will lead us. I have plot elements hanging from The Bright Black Sea to work with, and have tossed in other possibilities as well in this episode, but where they'll lead is anyone's guess. I have ideas where Litang will end up in the next two episodes, but after that, well, I'll just have to wait and see what develops.

I may tinker with this alpha version over the next two weeks, but I plan to put it away until April or May 2016. By then I should be able to approach it bright eyed and bushy tailed, and with the story down, devote myself to crafting the words to make the story as entertaining as I can. Revisions are always more fun than getting the story down the first time, so the heavy lifting is done. If all goes well, I'll release the episode sometime late May or June 2016.

In the meanwhile, I'm hoping to at least get a start on a completely new novel, a fantasy set not in some medieval world, but in a sort of Edwardian age. Motor cars, trains, and the arcane arts of a lost age. We'll see if I can get that to lift.


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