Thursday, July 8, 2010

Odds and Ends

1. Bale Star.  I am writing up a proposal for a fifth Firestar book.  I am leaning toward Bale Star as a title, suggested by a couple of folks.  Captain Rosario will feature.  So will Chase Coughlin's son.  So will Sojourner Truth.  Some chapter titles come to mind:
The Search for Truth
In Panic Town on the Backward Moon

Who knows what they might discover there on Mars or Phobos?  Should it be a short focus on Rosario and young Coughlin?  Or cover more years, extending further into the future, bringing in Tiki Ferrer and young Genie Satterwaithe and Moth Ratline?  Mental wrasslin' at work here. 

2. The Mean Streets of Old Alexandria.  I finished reading Maria Dzielska's book Hypatia of Alexandria.  Made curious, I found copies of Socrates Scholasticus, Sozomen, the Suda, Rufinius, and Marcellinus and tried to put together a chronology and background to the murder of the famous Neoplatonist philosopher.  It wound up running to 26 pages.  I have titled it "The Mean Streets of Old Alexandria."  Perhaps I will post it here in small, bite-sized chunks.

3. In the Lion's Mouth.  Donovan finally gets to make his hajj in "The Grand Hajj of Donovan buigh," the latest chapter In the Lion's Mouth.  For those who crave such things, here are the chapters so far.  Figure on another five after these and then, finis.
Those of Name   
Map of the Core District of the Confederacy   
First Canto: Ravn Olafsdottrs Saga   
I. Riftward: The First Counter-Argument   
Cengjam Gaafe: The First Interrogatory   
II. Riftward: The Frog Prince   
Cengjam Gaafe: The Second Interrogatory   
III. Henrietta: The Dream of Agamemnon   
Cengjam Gaafe: The Third Interrogatory   
IV.  Henrietta: The Second Counter-Argument   
Cengjam Gaafe: The Fourth Interrogatory   
V.  Ashbanal: A Gathering of Shadows   
Cengjam Gaafe: The Fifth Interrogatory  
VI.  Toward Yuts’ga: The Third Counter-Argument  
Cengjam Gaafe: The Sixth Interrogatory  
VII.  Yuts’ga: A Role, in the Hay  
Cengjam Gaafe: The Seventh Interrogatory  
VIII.  Yuts’ga: Jacques, in a Box  
Cengjam Gaafe: The Eighth Interrogatory  
IX.  Yuts’ga: The Main Argument  
Sīdáo Zhwì: The Final Interrogatory 
Second Canto: Donovan buighs Saga  
I.  Toward Terra: The Synthesis  
II.  Dangchao Waypoint: Doggedness  
III.  Terra: The Pasdarm at the Iron Bridge 
IV. Henrietta: And Did She Teach You Three Things?  
V. Terra: The Grand Hajj of Donovan buigh  

4.  Any Suggestions?  There will be a second ebook.  In addition to The Forest of Time &al there will be an as-yet-unnamed collection that features the three related stories: Melodies of the Heart, Captive Dreams, and Remember'd Kisses.  The first appears also in FoT and the third was in Nanotech Chronicles; but the other has never appeared outside its original ANALOG appearance.  The conceit that connects the three is that the main characters of each story live on the same block and encounter one another peripherally.  Since SingerLabs makes an appearance in Melodies and in Kisses, these stories are part of the Nanotech series, even the ones that don't involve tiny little things.  Therefore, when the contract says "and other stories to be selected" it would seem logical to cannibalize Soul of the City and The Washer at the Ford from Nanotech (although this would scuttle any future Nanotech reissue) and Great, Sweet Mother from FofT. 

OTOH, perhaps there are other stories that should be selected, with no regard to whether they fit into the SingerLab universe.  Any suggestions? 

5. The Shipwrecks of Time.  In a fit of weariness and as a diversion, I looked aside to another book I had had in mind: The Shipwrecks of Time.  Idly, I began to scribble - well, type - and soon I had a couple pages written, just like that.  Maybe I can work this in parallel.  The story has nothing whatever to do with the Spiral Arm series or the Firestar series and so may be a welcome change of pace.  It does however, I have decided, have something to do peripherally with the Irish Pub stories.  Here are the first three paragraphs, actually written earlier, from a prologue set a few centuries before the action: 

The Freiburg-in-the-Breisgau was then at that suspended point when a stone thrown upward pauses before, its levity expended, its gravity drives it to the earth.  The silver boom was fading and the heady rush of settlers and adventurers and runaway serfs had eddied into comfortable, mercantile lives.  Burgher industry tapped and clinked and scraped from scores of guild halls, and the catastrophes to come were as yet only implicit in the covetously pursed lips of barons, in the grumbles of peasants, and in a few dead rodents on the far-off steppes. 
It was a city of strangers, of tradesmen and merchants, of comings and goings, in the midst of which Henricius of Regensburg was but one more anonymous face, a stranger fleeing through the narrow, cobblestoned streets.  Henricius, too, was poised at that exquisite point where ascent falters and the plummet begins. 
The streets pinched the wind so that it blew with special impetus between the close-set blocks of houses, bearing with it the taste of impending rain.  It had rained yesterday, too, and the remnants dripped from eaves and overhangs.  Henricius splashed through the dank puddles, scholar’s robes flapping, half his attention on the glowering sky, half on the manuscript tucked in his bosom, and another half on the shadowy street behind him.  That was half again too much attention and, in consequence, he collided with the draper’s cart in the roadway, causing the horse to shy and the driver to curse scholar and beast alike.  The apprentices unloading Flemish woolens from the cart laughed at this panicked stranger’s discomfiture, assuming an untimely husband behind it all. 


  1. IN THE LION'S MOUTH was excellent, thank you. Looking forward to Act 3.

    I have a question about the stellar map. Where should Yuts'Ga be?

    Stephen Newberg


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