Star Wars and X-men meet The 100
That’s exactly the kind of story I set out to tell. It had to be like Star Wars, sweeping, nothing less than pan-galactic. Rich in history and lore, and deeply layered. I wanted the incredible, and semi-plausible, powers, such as found in the x-men series. No super, ultra powerful mutants who can kill nations with a puff. I liked the idea of powers though: telepathy, enhanced strength, speed, healing. There are lots of “powers” that we can actually tap into with current science, and if we extend that vector out a century, so much innovation is likely. Finally, I wanted the depth of character that had me spellbound in The 100, by Kass Morgan (Books and TV).
I suppose you could call this series: Warring Galactic Mutants with Feeling?
NOTE ON POWERS: What you’ll notice in Book 2, is that I start to explain a bit about how Abhumans power their powers, or fuel the fire. We have the energy in our bodies to do astonishing things — it’s all in the calories. Let me know what you think of that system.
Why am I writing this series? To tell a story, of course. But who’s? At first, the book was supposed to be a straightforward Science Fiction story, told equally from the points of view (POV) of a teenage boy and girl. It was their story, their yin and yang. But as I wrote, the focus of the story changed. I’d never believed this kind of thing happened – where characters would really start to assert themselves and take you in places you didn’t intend to go, but it does–it did. And so the story became about three incredible women [Cheska, Delfina, & Madchen] and the challenges they struggle to overthrow an evil theocracy. It became a story about their intertwined roles as daughter and mother, hero and villain, or mentor and protege. And not to worry, there’s lots of action gluing it all together.
I’m also going to explore a few serious subjects in these stories. Philosophical, such as free-will and morality. But also more serious, and immediate issues, such depression. Do we think a hero does all this stuff, and his emotional state is perfectly balanced? I highly doubt it. So I’m going to explore what I think might happen to heroes who’ve had to much thrust upon them.
“Real people? I thought you wrote fiction?” Yeah, I do. But I want you to feel like the story people in my books are alive–like they have needs, wants, desires–real lives. To that end, I always start character building with a picture. I start by borrowing an actor’s photo for a quick mental sketch–that nails down hair, features, height, weight, etc. In order to share my characters with you visually, I commissioned a series of character sketches, see below. Then of course I do the normal writerly things, like make sure they have lots of problems.
I admit it, I use a lot of strange words in my fiction. I borrow shamelessly from dozens of languages. One thing a few people have asked for over the years, is a pronunciation guide. And so, I put one together for The Covenant series.
Here’s Abhuman as an example:
Some also wanted a quick guide to the various Abhumans – what types of powers they have, etc. I haven’t gone into great depth, you’ll have to read the books to experience the real terror that is The Covenant.
How am I structuring this series? Great question! Abhuman started as novella that was well received by Beta readers back in 2015, and I began working it into a larger, full-length novel. But I ran into personal health issues etc, and the project got delayed. This summer (2016) I decided to continue the project, but to write more frequent installments–going back to the novella format.
These are NOT short stories- the first novella is around 37,000 words long. 50,000 is where novel territory begins. This is a similar strategy employed by many authors testing a new series – such as Wool (The Silo Saga) by Hugh Howey.
At an average of around 175 pages, these novellas are about the same size as “novels” that I used to read as a Young Adult (12-18). These days, novels have gotten fat. No two ways around it. 50k words used to be a solid novel. Now 120k+ is the norm, depending on genre.
My plan is to have three novellas represent one larger “cycle”. The first, is called the Abhuman Cycle, consisting of Books 1 to 3 in The Covenant series. Once all three novellas are in print, I’ll issue an Omnibus edition, collecting all three novellas into one larger book. That way folks can collect the smaller novellas (each with unique and stunning cover art), or buy the Omnibus edition.
My tentative plan is to finish the Metahuman Cycle in 2017, then see how you folks are enjoying the series. I have truck-loads of ideas for future installments, so if you love it, tell me! Heck, tell everyone! 😉
That’s about all my news for now.
So, I have a new project. My readers will know how much I love Space Opera (SO), and of course my main series, The Tribes of Yggdrasil, is firmly in that sub-genre.
I decided to pull together a website that collects everything related to SO in one place: Lists of movies, tv shows, books, authors, art, games, you name it!
It is most certainly a work in progress. There are lots of empty pages, but I am plugging away at the site day by day. I’m also looking for volunteers! Any authors willing to contribute an article, review etc, of at least 500 words (can be as many as you like), will get featured as the Author/Artist of the week on the site. Of course I’m also happy to take help from any fans and enthusiasts as well. Have a look at the website and e-mail me with an ideas for content you’d like to help flesh out, or create.
I will have amazon affiliate ads linking to the books, movies etc. This is not intended as a business, but I’m happy to take a few pennies to help pay for hosting etc.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Unbreakable: A Novel by W.C. Bauers www.goodreads.com/book/show/22238182
I read a book this week called Unbreakable by a new author, W.C. Bauers. It was a very good book, in the vein of Honor Harrington and Starship Troopers. What really struck me though, was that once I was about ¼ of the way in to the book …. I thought the author was writing in Weber’s Honorverse. I heard terms like: Hexapuma, BuPers, Diaspora, LAC (light attack craft), all very common verbiage in the Honor Harrington Universe. The author even has a “pull-out quote” from David Weber on the cover: “I highly recommend it.”
After some quick research I found no direct connection to Weber’s Honorverse.
Then it hit me: this is a technique called RESONANCE. David Farland wrote an excellent book on the subject: Drawing on the Power of Resonance in Writing.
The author (whether conscious or not) is using many terms that are familiar to Honorverse readers. This causes the work to resonate with them. He also uses the term “The Verse”, like in Firefly. By using resonance, these subtle cues really anchor the story in familiar territory, even though this a new author and his first book.
In addition to the warm and fuzzy feeling created by resonance, it’s a very well written book, with a decent plot, excellent character development, and lots of elements familiar to us lovers of Military Science Fiction and Space Opera.
The main character, as in David Weber’s Honorverse series, is a woman, which is a nice change. She’s no wilting violet, but what would you expect from a woman called Promise Paine?
I especially enjoyed the details on the suits of armor and weapons. A really cool feature of the Marine’s energy rifles is the concept of a ‘reserve’ – a last ditch built in backup of 30 shots – designed to be used when the shit hits the fan and you need to evac asap.
To quote David Weber, I highly recommend it!
View all my reviews
Should Space Opera (SO) be its own genre, as opposed to a sub-genre of Science Fiction? I think it should. To me, Science Fiction is Wonder Literature. Dave Farland thinks that books might better be categorized by the emotions they evoke:
…we don’t really even have “genres” in fiction. Books are sold based upon the emotion that they’re supposed to evoke. Thus, romance books evoke romance, thrillers arouse feelings associated with adventure, mysteries give us our dopamine rush, and of course we have horror. If you look science fiction and fantasy, you’ll understand why they were called “wonder” literatures as early as the 1960s. – Dave Farland
I think they would be great primary categories, but I’d still want to see more granular genres. Back to Space Opera and Science Fiction: When I think of Science Fiction, I think of new ideas, or hard-science. When I think of Space Opera, I think of drama in space, and re-packaged tropes. I’m not knocking SO, in fact, I love it, and it’s what I most enjoy reading and writing. But movies like Star Wars don’t inspire me to think of science, so why call it science fiction? It’s a Soap Opera set in space = Space Opera, right?
Many folks would say that there is already Hard Science Fiction, which is where the author tries to abide by the confirmed laws of physics and accepted theories. (Don’t get me started defending Warp Drive – Alcubierre Drive)
What do you think?
* Don’t forget to check out my latest novel: Star Viking
The third installment in the Tribes of Yggdrasil series is now ready for editing!
It’s been an intense four months writing the first draft of Star Viking, but it’s been a blast. I’m extremely proud of the quality of this story. It’s got everything that I consider essential to epic storytelling: It’s intense, it’s brimming with gritty Human emotion: like despair, love, hate, betrayal, revenge, and happiness. There’s a beautiful love story in there, as well as lots of nail-biting action scenes, and intrigue. All of those threads are woven into a vivid tapestry that I am certain fans of Science Fiction and Fantasy will love.
Alpha Readers, rev up your editing engines!
Fans, the pre-order on Amazon will be available shortly, and the book will be available world-wide, Dec 15th, 2014 – in all digital formats as well as paperback.
COVER COMING SOON – image below is a placeholder.
Evan Curry, author of the upcoming book, Out of the Black, from his popular Odyssey One series, discusses the idea of an Alien invasion on earth.
The words invoke imagery from a hundred movies and books, from War of the Worlds to Independence Day and beyond. In the Odyssey series I play with the common tropes of the genre, twisting some and just enjoying others, but the common question has a tendency to remain… Even if we accept the central premise, is any of it really possible? Why would aliens bother with us anyway? More importantly, for a military science fiction writer like myself at least, could we beat them back? Could we win?
Better minds than mine have given it a lot of through, including the US Military if rumors hold some truth to them, but it always seems to boil down to us poor humans having something the big scary aliens want. Alright, that makes sense on the surface, so what could we have? Air? Water? Gold or other precious metals?
No, none of those make sense. Any space faring culture would more easily acquire those in space at any asteroid belt, out in the Oort Cloud, or any of a thousand other possibilities. So why invade? Two possibilities make sense, a lot of sense.
First, Aliens may want or need our Biosphere. Air, Water, even food can easily be manufactured…. READ MORE ON KINDLE POST
Check out more of Evan’s Books on his AUTHOR PAGE
For my readers who appreciate a romantic arc, here are a few scenes from “Star Fury – The Tribes of Yggdrasil: Book 2”
Eva checked her watch as she stirred one of the several pots on her stove.
“Merde!” she said, and dashed to her bedroom. She returned with a small blue packet, the size of a pack of sugar, which she opened, and poured into a glass with an amber bubbling liquid. There were two glasses on a silver tray.
The doorbell rang and Eva yelped, dropping the packet. She bent down and picked it up hurriedly.
“You ok in there?” came Hal’s voice from outside the door.
“Oui, un minute.” She stirred the contents of the packet into the champagne with her finger, then pocketed the packet. Her heart was pounding and her chest was heaving. I must get myself under control, she thought. He cares for me, I know it. It will be fine.
“Coming,” she said, opening the door. Hal stood with a bouquet of roses, and sporting his seductive smile.
My Gods, does he know what he does to me, Eva wondered. That smile made Eva weak in the knees, every time she saw it.
Eva’s hands crossed her chest. “Ils sont adorables!”
“Not as lovely as you.” Hal leaned forward and kissed her on the cheek.
Eva took the flowers and ushered him in. “Come in, Hal. Sit down. I’m just finishing dinner. It will be…maybe five minutes. Ok?”
“I have some lovely champagne for us.” Eva walked back to the couch and offered him the glass.
“You don’t know how bad I need that right now,” Hal said, taking the glass and immediately downing its entire contents.
“Bad doesn’t even begin to describe it. I got the President fired today.”
“I’m serious. I attended the General Assembly meeting in Copenhagen this morning and proposed an idea for added security – just an idea, and Delegate Franklin took it and twisted it around and made Rukundo look like she was negligent. Which is complete bullshit! She’s done an amazing job under extraordinary conditions. That prick was biding his time, and today he got it. She’s not fired, exactly, but when they hold a vote of no-confidence it will make it impossible for her to govern, which means in a few months she’ll likely be replaced. Unless she resigns first.”
“My poor, Haldor. Well, it wasn’t your fault. You can’t be responsible for what others may do.” Eva sat beside him, champagne glass in one hand, and the other stroking the hair at his temples. “Let’s forget all about it tonight, ok? I made your favorite dinner!” She beamed.
Hal’s face and eyes went wide. “Lutefisk!” He laughed.
Eva slapped his leg. “Non! I’ll have none of that stinky mess in my kitchen. Duck a l’Orange, of course.”
He offered a placating smile. “I know, I’m only teasing.”
Eva got up from the couch. “Let me stir the sauce. You sit, relax, ok?”
“I hope there’s more champagne,” Hal said, upending his already spent glass.
Hal eyed the now empty dinner plate in front of him. “That was fantastic. I really missed that. Nobody does duck like you.”
She blinked her eyes adding a shrug and a smile. “I know. It was always my secret weapon with you, non?”
Hal nodded with a wicked grin. “Among other things…”
“Well, I hope you didn’t stay with me just for my duck.”
Hal closed his eyes. “Wow, that champagne is really hitting me hard. I needed it though.”
“It’s ok, the ship doesn’t leave until tomorrow afternoon. So relax, enjoy it. Besides, you’re the Captain. They can’t leave without you…or your amazing science officer.” She giggled
Eva threw her leg over Hal’s waist, straddling him. She looked deep into his eyes for a long moment, exploring his face with her hands, then began kissing him longingly. Their tongues joined in a slow dance.
Gods she felt incredible, and that scent, Hal thought. She was more potent than any champagne. He couldn’t resist her, didn’t want to resist her. He burned for her. His hands re-acquainted themselves with her body, recalling every curve he’d explored years past. She returned his gentle touching.
Hal awoke with a mild headache, and rubbed the sleep out of his eyes. He lifted his up head and looked down his body; there was a sleek, naked leg, draped lazily over his. He turned to the left, and there was Eva’s long, soft hair, framing her tranquil features. Parts of her covered with a sheet, but with just enough skin exposed to remind him of their time last night.
He’d come to dinner with a plan to leave platonically. But something came over him last night. Fuck it, he thought. What’s done is done. It was amazing, and he enjoyed every second of it. He’d tried so hard to maintain his mourning for Siobhan, but without her and Ailan, what was left to live for? Revenge alone? He needed something more than that.There was no dishonor here. Eva was a wonderful woman, and he cared for her, even loved her once; maybe he could again?
His mind weaved it’s way to shipboard complications. But there were no regulations prohibiting relationships, unless there was a clear case of sex for favoritism, which wasn’t the case here. The government knew, or rather learned, that sexual relations among military or civilian personnel on long missions, was healthy. Decades ago, laws to the contrary had relaxed, and in most cases been stricken from the books. So what was his problem?
Eva’s eyes opened a little. “Morning,” she whispered, kissing his shoulder. She gave a little satisfied purr. “That was so nice last night.”
He rolled over and kissed her long on the mouth. “Yes, it was,” he said quietly.
“You look worried,” she said with a concerned look.
“About me?” she nipped his shoulder.
“Hey, easy now! And yes, I was thinking about you, us.”
“I just want to make sure you’ll be ok when we’re back on the Sleipnir.”
Eva frowned. “What do you think? I’m going to stalk you when we get on the ship?” She rolled up on one elbow. “ Hey, I’m a big girl. But that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy each others company when needed, non?”
“I just can’t commit to anything, Eva. I want to be clear about that right now. I’m a mess right now. I care about you, so I want to be upfront, ok?”
She nodded silently.
He shot her a mischievous glance. “But since we’re here…”
Eva squealed and giggled as Hal threw her on her back, and pinned her arms, kissing her.
Want to read more? (Of course you do!)http://www.amazon.com/Star-Fury-Tribes-Yggdrasil-Book-ebook/dp/B00L3KKCU4/
And if you missed book 1, Star Wolves, it’s on sale for $0.99 to help promote book 2
Thanks for stopping by! I’ve been writing for many years, but mostly non-fiction. I’ve even won two literary awards! I have to toot my own horn…I’m my own publicist ; My interests in fiction are varied. I started off as a young fellow reading Fantasy, such as Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit. I later went on to read science fiction and general genre fiction. I have to be honest, I’ve never been a fan of literary fiction. I’ve heard Genre Fiction described as “Ordinary people doing extraordinary things” and Literary fiction described as “Extraordinary people doing ordinary things”. I like a good plot and action. I don’t have anything against good characterization, but I don’t want that to be the core of books I read or write. Over the next few months I’ll be working on short stories as well as grinding away at a full length novel. I’m done with all my non-fiction commitments for the year ( just finished Northern Plant Lore), so for at least the next 6 months I’ll be focused on my fiction full time. I have a really cool short story on Amazon right now for Kindle, it’s called the Yggdrasil Codex, and is only .99¢ In this life there are a great many profound questions that have yet to be answered: Are we the first intelligent life in the universe? Why are we here? Man continues to ask these questions, apparently to deaf heavens. But what if someone, or something,did answer? In the short story The Yggdrasil Codex, two University researchers stumble upon an incredible secret encoded on ancient Scandinavian runestones. Their discovery leads them into the world of modern code-breakers and ultimately leads to a revelation with galactic consequences! * Author update: This short story became an Amazon Best Seller!