Whatever this machine is, it is merciless. Click on the picture for a larger version. Artist: Panu Vuoristo
My second revision of the Patchwork World novella Dusk and Dawn is progressing nicely thanks to my buddies in the Mellonath Hirgon writers’ group. Their input is improving my text week by week. However, I make no prediction about when the story will be complete. Anyhow, here is a teaser: the first page. In medias res — that’s my preferred way of starting a tale.
At the first glimmer of dawn, thunderclaps shattered Fennec’s sleep – the customary reveille by the enemy’s siege guns since nineteen days. The androgyne rolled out of bed and grabbed xer trousers and pistol belt. Moments later xe dashed through the citadel corridors towards the observatory staircase while servants backed into nooks and crannies to protect their breakfast trays.
When Fennec reached the top of the spiral stair, xer legs ached from exertion. The circular observatory topped by a copper hemisphere was warm and soon the rising sun would make it baking hot. There six soldiers monitored the siege with tripod-mounted telescopes that peeked through slits in the cupola. The men’s black torsos already glistened with sweat.
Towering above Fennec, the soldiers saluted perfunctorily with right fist on left collarbone: “Good morning, my domi!”
“Good morning, troopers. Any signs of a relief force?”
“No, my domi,” said the corporal in charge.
Crap, yet another lost day, Fennec thought while exhaling sharply between tense lips. Vanzan Shor’s allies apparently kept on dawdling, thereby forcing the city state to stand alone against the Commonwealth’s armed might. “As you were, men,” xe ordered.
The soldiers bent over their tubes and resumed spying at the enemies. Fennec approached the man who gazed along the outward canal going to the invaders’ realm. Nervous tingles flittered along xer spine. Have they set up any new heavy guns?
If the Soviet Union had not perished, their goal was to reach Mars.
Artist: Maciej Rebisz (link >>>). Click on the picture for a larger version.
After a long and tiresome hiatus, I have returned to the creative keyboard (unlike the mundane one at the office). Since last autumn, some beta-readers have given me a lot of constructive feedback on the Dusk and Dawn MS, a steam(ish)-punk adventure in the Patchwork World setting. So I have started doing a thorough revision, starting from chapter one. I will do a complete overhaul of the final third of the story after realizing what will be the “hero’s journey” for protagonist Fennec. I will insert an ancient human archetype in a science fiction context, emphasizing growth and responsibility. It feels so good to return to that alien multi-faceted world, the home of so many of my dreams.
The last three months have been chockfull with events, both painful and joyful. As a rule I do not touch personal matters in my blog, because it is supposed to deal with my writing projects. Even though I have updated The Dream Forge only sporadically, it has been on my mind almost every day, but there are too many others matters there with higher priorities. However, please stay tuned to this blog, because I intend to be back in full force as soon as I have got some space-time for creative writing.