What I'm writing

This is a non-chronological list of what I’m working on as of 6 April 2023. These are incomplete novel-sized works except where noted. The titles are also a work in progress and far from final.

This Ascension – science fiction. This is the working title for the 85000 word challenge. On the back-burner.

The attack – fantasy. Another working title, and an admittedly poor one at that. Set in a world where there are eight chosen races, with a secret ninth one, and the main characters battle to save the ninth race from becoming extinct. Update: I’m using this basic theme in a different story which I’ve imaginatively titled the Grand Fantasy. You can read the prelude to this story here.

On a Hot World – science fiction. This one is complete. The idea for this book came to me in the mid to late 90s and it’s evolved over the years. I’m almost done with it – I just need to write maybe three more chapters, expand on a couple of others and then I’m done. Estimated size: about 100K. What is it about? A 30-something couple move to a research colony on a distant world, ostensibly to earn big money, but in reality it’s a last ditch effort to save their marriage. Of course things go awry, and I can assure the reader they go awry deliciously. Probably the most serious work of fiction I’ve written. It’s not “hard” SF by any means. The characters are the big things here, not the science or anything else.

Sabosei – sequel to the above. Based on a mining colony where an engineer has set up a one man empire/utopia. Features a couple of the characters from On a Hot World.

The King of the High Plains – fantasy. This one is complete. I’ve been working on varying versions of this story for a few years now and they have gone through a number of “iterations”. I’m done with the version I want to get out there, and I’m extremely happy with it. What is about? It’s set in Aesedra like the Aexa tale below, and like that story it features a young woman as a protagonist, though they are much different in character. It’s an adventure story in essence, though it’s an adventure I imagine few people would want to have. Let’s leave it at that.

Vilnia sequel – fantasy. Sequel to the above. I’m about 30k words into it, and like its parent, it has gone through a number of revisions and story changes. I haven’t given a proper title yet, though I originally called it Velvet Chains which was an entirely different story.

Conal – fantasy. This story is set on the Felsian island of Marnopyre. It’s character driven with many, many people. Set in the same milieu as my Thenson story (see below) but staged many millennia previously.

Majestic – hard to classify. Pseudo-historical romance maybe. There we go, we’ll leave it at that. It’s about 60% complete at 120K and when done, it’ll be a big one, around 180K. Divided into three sections each chronicling a period in the protagonist’s life, ten years apart. I started this one for the 2009 NaNoWriMo and I’ve been pecking at it ever since. It’s an experiment for me, as I’ve never written a story quite like it. And what is it about? The chronicle of a young man growing up in an isolated farming community, and his experiences with marriage, children, death, betrayal and so on. Written from his point of view, and it gives me an opportunity to try out the “unreliable narrator” technique.

Post – post-apocalyptic science fiction. Very much a working title. Sydney gets wiped out by some devastating agency, leaving behind a motley gaggle of survivors. The protagonist, a 20-something security guard, escorts three sisters and others through their destroyed world. It’s my take on books like Earth Abides or On The Beach. It’s 40K in size and I estimate it’ll be around 90K or so when done. Wrote it for the 2010 NaNoWriMo, and then pruned it back some 15K, getting rid of a lot of dud material. It’s a theme I’d like to explore in detail, as the idea of a post-apocalyptic world appeals to me. Fear not, it’ll be no cosy catastrophe! Post is a tentative title. I’ll think of something more fitting in the future.

Aexa – erotic fantasy. This book is set in the world of Aesedra and is one of a number of stories set there. In a nutshell, Aexa is my attempt at erotic fantasy and so far, I think it’s going well. Current size is 30K, estimated end size about 90K. The protagonist Aexa, is an Aesedran woman who gets shipwrecked in a strange, harsh and regimented land. In my Aesedra canon, I’ve established Aexa as a folk hero of yore, a doughty young woman who overcame many obstacles to find her high place in the world.

Eloi – science fiction. A sequel to The Time Machine. A second attempt. My first attempt at writing fiction was a sequel to this masterpiece (which happens to be my favourite work) I started sometime in the mid 80s. Yes, it was terrible, but all journeys start with a single step, as the cliche goes. This time around, I’ve had thirty more years experience in writing. I’ve not tried to ape Wells’ style, not at all, in fact my story is a closer examination of the Eloi world Wells would not have been keen to describe. It sits at around 20K and I know where I want to take it.

Kicking Concrete – science fiction. Another story that’s almost done though I keep rearranging it. This one has been floating around in one form or another for twelve years. Current size is 80K, end size to be about 90K. When I had this book on the now-defunct Authonomy site, it got a lot of praise. What’s it about? In five words: A policewoman investigates a series of murders while questioning her own place in society. There’s a lot more to it than that, not the least of which is the setting of the book.

Tila – fantasy. Another Aesedra work. About 60K so far. Not sure how big I want to make it. Tila is a young woman who wakes up in an alchemist’s laboratory, with no knowledge of who she is or who she was. She has been “re-invented”, physically and mentally changed from who she once was. Logically, she sets out to find out why. This story also got a bit of praise on Authonomy. A lot weirder than what I normally write, and it ties in my Fels milieu with that of Aesedra. It has a lot of promise and I’ll get back to it one day. Edit: I’ve used the name Tila for a character in another story.

Maxim – fantasy. Working title. Ultra-high and weird fantasy at that. This is my latest go at writing a story in Fels and I’m currently up to 35K with it, estimated end size about 140K. What’s it about? A number of things. There’s a lot going on in here, but in essence: an artefact has been stolen out of the tomb of Alais Gera, and this event threatens to undo the world. There’s also a romance, a lot of skulduggery, derring-do, high villainy and so on. Edit: I’ve discontinued this one, and have cannibalised it for short stories, which can be read on this site.

Another story I haven’t mentioned is Thenson which is a fantasy tale set on Fels. It takes place about 500 years prior to events in Maxim. It’s about 80K in length and I have no real plans to work on it. If my Fels and/or Aesedra books take off then yes, I’ll finish it with a vigour, but at the moment it serves as resource material for other works.

And there’s another story I’ve written the intro to, which is about a generation starship colonising a planet orbiting the star HD 44594. Very serious science fiction I’ll get to eventually but for the moment you can read what I’ve done so far by following this link.

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