Today I\’d like to talk about my new book. It\’s really still a work in progress, of course, after not even a week since I started it, but I\’m making steady progress, so I\’ll elaborate on the kind of book it will be, and some thoughts about the future.
This is going to be a Fantasy novel in a Sci-Fi setting. What does that mean? It\’s a story about a crew on board of a space ship, tasked with scouting a system that\’s been selected for colonization. The crew will find out whether it\’s fit for that or not. Said crew consists of humans and creatures from Celtic mythology, so this is, basically, \”Faeries In Space\”. Well, not exactly, but the rough setting is a planet earth that\’s suffering from runaway greenhouse effects caused by humanity, and the denizens of the Otherworld being forced to assist those stupid humans in finding new planets to ruin, because the Otherworld is intrinsically linked with the world of mankind. Celtic mythology and old, as well as modern druidism, have a strong connection with nature. The magic in this setting is what enables humanity to explore space. Where traditional SF explains tech that\’s currently impossible to even imagine, I\’ll go one step further and make it magic. Artificial gravity? Magic. FTL drives? Magic. Well, not just \”magic\”, there\’s a system behind it with rituals and procedure, for which I borrowed parts from druidism and paganism to some extent, and I\’ll explain this in depth at a later time.
Anyway, this is the base for the story, and it will be the first in a series called \”Aes Sidhe\”.
Now there\’s various ways to write a series. You have episodic series, series with an overarching plot, a shared universe with standalone stories and everything in between. Think about the design of Discworld by Terry Pratchett: various casts of characters, all in the same world, with occasional crossovers and cameos. You have the Unseen University, the witches, Death, the guards of Ankh Morpork. In Aes Sidhe, you will have the crew of the Tuatha De Danann and other casts of characters, sometimes mingling.
Why did I choose this model?
I\’m currently reading the Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan. I actually started with the story of Moiraine as Accepted of the White Tower (forgot the name of that novel, I have the omnibus edition, and this one came first), and I was already trapped in this series after the first few pages. Now, Wheel of Time has 15 BFF (big fat fantasy) tomes worth of story, and I can imagine many people thinking \”Meh, I don\’t have time to commit to a story that will bind me for a year or more\” – and who couldn\’t understand that viewpoint? Or take the Vorkosigan Saga by the brilliant Lois McMaster Bujold, similar case. Readers of either will surely agree that it\’s totally worth it to commit to these series, because they\’re just awesome. But as great as they may be, if they\’re daunting and scare off readers, it can\’t be helped – some people who\’d love these books will miss out on them. Or maybe think of the Dresden Files. Jim Butcher really cleans up with those, and while the first few were episodic and could be read in any order, this changed over time, because this series, too, has a background plot.
Discworld has none of these problems. The Discworld has no overarching plot, none of the casts has. It\’s just a world with stories about various groups of people who happen to occupy the same space and time. There\’s 41 books and 5 short stories set in the world, and they can be read out of order without any problem. So while you have the characters and the setting, and stories with all the familiar faces, known problems and so on, you\’re not forced to read them all or miss out on anything. You can read Going Postal or Color of Magic or Hogfather and be perfectly happy. And if you want more Esme Weatherwax, there\’s six books you could pick any one from. No months long commitment to a series, but if you want more, there\’s more to be had. This is an important feature for anyone who, like me, can\’t read more than one fiction book at a time.
So, this first story is the first book under the umbrella named \”Aes Sidhe\”, and it features the crew of the Tuatha De Danann on their mission to scout a planet and see if it can be colonized. Of course, there\’s things that don\’t go as planned. Else, why write about it, right?
One last word for today: Aes Sidhe is SF/F. It\’s not comedy. I\’m not as funny as Sir Terry. The only thing it has in common with the Discworld is the model. I\’m not sure there\’s even any books you could compare this to. There might, and I just didn\’t find out about them yet. Anyway, enough for today.
Next time I\’ll talk about my whelpling.