I spent 2017 trying to outline various novels after The Dragon Tower, the sequel to The Dragon Round, was turned (justifiably, really) by S&S. This proved more difficult that I figured. The first outline for what I’ve been calling the Dragonkin novel I tossed out because it lacked true heroes, and in the age of Trump, as Wonder Woman proved, people want them. When the world is grim, grim is out.
So I tried my hand at an SF novel about guy who finds a time machine in his neighbor’s garage and uses it to escape to the future. That went well until I discovered just how hard it is to figure out what people will be wearing 600 years from now. The philosophy behind the story, the Laws of Humanix, a take of the Laws of Robotics, is interesting, though. I’ll get back to it.
Back to the Dragonkin. I outlined 3 of 5 parts, 18 of 30 chapters, each with four subchapters. Then, after several false starts, I figured where to begin the Dragonkin novel and, more importantly, how to tell it. (For me, a story needs an interesting setting, a want and a technical challenge.) I’ve drafted the first three chapters, and already a ship is on fire, so I think I’m finally on my way.
Meanwhile, I only wrote a couple of decent stories. I did publish several that had been around from previous years, but my output was low. Stories are distracting, I have to say, because they are so immediately rewarding. Here’s the update I put on my short fiction page:
Forthcoming in 2018
The Paper Dragon, Daily Science Fiction. This will be my sixth story there. Written for a Codex contest and inspired by Japan’s “balloon bombs.”
The Changeling, Unnerving Magazine. I get to be first on the masthead! Everyone probably has a “baby can’t sleep” story. I hope this one sets itself apart from the others by just being more messed up. You’ll want to shave before you read it.
The First Time They Murder Billy, The Arcanist. This story was fun to write, which I did for a Codex contest. Tin Can Audio is making an audio version. I heard the rough draft, and it is amazing.
A Feast for the Minotaur, The Worlds of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Volume III. I wrote this story for a contest on Mythic Scribes. It did well in the voting, but I got dinged for the “something secret” prompt not being made prominent enough.
The Other Face of Medusa, The Martian Wave. This is my response to Arthur C. Clarke’s “A Meeting with Medusa.” A template for how I’ve written dialogue ever since.
Now back to rooting hard for the Jaguars.