Well, the contest is over, the winners announced. Good for them, but alas, I learned about it too late to make full use of the time available.

But we move right along. I deleted the old previews, replacing them with their full versions, and included chapter 1 in its entirety as well. Everything is now in order, so I hope everyone enjoys slightly under 1/3rd of the entire book now available.

As you may have guessed by now, the formatting is much more like a non-linear collection of short stories than it is a standard, linear novel. However, the ending does indeed tie everything together, if in a strange way. The remaining chapters get progressively smaller, save for one of the bulkiest chapters- the last chapter, right before the epilogue.

Hopefully everyone enjoys the additional content, and please don’t forget to spread the word!

Cam00323 Matthew Gladwin · Author · added over 2 years ago
today’s preview comes from Joyce’s perspective. Ahhh, Joyce. I had fun writing her, as stressful as her life is. Her name was hard to create at first, but thankfully, it’s full length is only mentioned a handful of times. Still, I wanted someone who was both young and really experienced with high society, and the scenes from her perspective really wrote themselves. Despite what happens to her later in the book, I enjoyed writing her introduction chapter the most.

So about Magitek. Magitek, for those of you who don’t know, is a type of technology that runs or includes forms of magic into its functions. The setting for her society comes partially from on of the granddaddies of the Magitek concept- Final Fantasy VI. In some cases- like the map stored in a tiny crystal- it’s easy to see the tech side, and in other cases, you won’t see it at all. But you’re probably wondering how does magic fit into a hard science fiction novel?

I just want to point out one of Clarke’s three laws- "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic". It’s a recurring underlying theme to the book, so even though the reader might not understand the science and technology behind it, it’s there. When the book eventually gets published and I can write a second one, I’ll probably explain more about it in universe. Although it would ruin a big plot point for later if I did. Decisions, decisions...

anyways, please enjoy what I’ve posted so far, and feel free to let me know what you think!

Hello readers. Thanks for your support so far!

Realistically, the odds are against me at this point, and I highly doubt I’ll get the 250 or so more buyers before the contest ends on Monday, but that just means I can focus on the longer campaign instead.

But I’ve uploaded previews of all five of the other POV characters now, and I’ll be sending them out today. I’ve placed several comments on the project page with little blurbs on each one, so you can read those at your leisure as well. as always, if you like what you read, please spread the word on the book as every little bit helps towards the goal of getting it published.

thanks and enjoy!

Cam00323 Matthew Gladwin · Author · added over 2 years ago
I added two of the three remaining previews today, featuring Hendrix and Steiner.

Hendrix was a bit of a challenge to write. Not because the viewpoint of someone in middle management was overly complicated, but because of the extremely casual racism/classism involved in many of the characters of his setting. It’s one thing to be really hateful and spiteful of others, but to make it so expected and ingrained felt really unnatural. His perspective was easily the hardest to write from, and I managed to do it by making up entirely new ethnic groups to do it with. Also, his viewpoint starts with a Noir theme, because the films always remind me of the things you’re not seeing being equally important.

Steiner, by contrast, was a lot easier. There’s a plethora of post-apocalyptic settings out there, most of the time you’re thrust into the setting part way, and a lot of times they come from an extreme idealist or pessimist point of view. There aren’t too many realist takes on it from what I can tell, so Steiner’s perspective is one of pragmatic survival after surviving a devastating attack on his home.

I put both of these up together because both are set in CE, or Common Era, instead of one of the made up time periods. Part of the idea of the book is to figure out how one time period transitions into the other, with various clues in the previous setting hinting at something that made a major problem later. Of course, its hard to do all that in a preview without posting entire chapters, but these are just to whet the appetite anyways.

Last preview coming on Friday! and its from Joyce’s perspective, so that’ll complete the set!
Cam00323 Matthew Gladwin · Author · added over 2 years ago
it’s Monday, so here’s about a third of a chapter from Yan’s perspective.

the one thing I want to change in any final version is that any name of a Jade Tiger you see in brackets or [ in here ] would be changed into Chinese, kind of in the same vein as the names of martial artists you’d see in Kung-Fu/Martial Arts movies out of Hong Kong. While writing the book, I had to learn some basic Welsh phrases, and even translate a few sentences into French, but I don’t have a single clue about how to go about making Chinese names like those, so I’ve left them in English for now.

the reason for that is that their full names would be spoken respectfully in their original language, while the partial names could be spoken in other languages without them taking offense. The Jade Tigers are very sensitive creatures, after all, and it doesn’t do to offend anyone directly responsible for your safety.

as always, enjoy and please spread the word about this book! I’ll randomly choose to post either Hendrix, Steiner or Joyce on Wednesday.

Well, the strawpoll seems like a bust. I guess it wasn’t placed high enough in the update. oh well.

with only 1 vote each, I made a decision between Yuri and Yan, and in the end, chose to post Yuri first and then Yan later. There’s a lot of in-universe terminology in that chapter, words I had to make up and won’t make sense without context. But since it’s a first person perspective, he’d have been living with those terms all his life and would have no need to explain them to himself. So while it might be a bit confusing, I trust the readers to be able to work things out on their own. I’ve always enjoyed a book where I didn’t have to be spoonfed information, and so I hope you all will too.

just in case you don’t know what those coordinates are, its longitude and latitude. Those only appear in Yuri’s chapters, mainly as a way to convey the shift in cultural norms.

anyways, I’ll send out Yan’s chapter on Monday, and again, please spread the word on this book if you enjoy it. feel free to leave comments as well!

So it’s been a few days and I’ve picked up a few followers, plus the first few pre-orders, so I figured I’d make a strawpoll to see what people would like to read about next. Like I said, there are five other narrators, each of which has a different style and personality to them which are hopefully distinct enough from one another. I’m thinking I’ll post at least a third of their introductory chapters, maybe half depending on where the scenes end. But since the story is written in a non-linear fashion, here are brief summaries of each of the other settings in no particular order.

First up, Yuri, a rough and straightforward thinking leader of a band of hunters, seeking great and horrifying beasts for his kindred to eat. Using living transformable weapons and alchemical plants, his people have an edge over their warped and deadly environment, but they might be victims of their own success as game is running scarce.

Next, Joyce, the young and idealistic Empress of a series of nomadic floating islands, which uses a fusion of magic and technology to achieve incredible results. Though she’s not exactly new to the throne, the life of a nomadic nation has its own unique challenges when they enter hostile territory.

Then we have Steiner, a laid-back realist NCO in a small group of military survivors, living in the ruins of the old world. Forced out of their home and with no idea where they are, difficult choices lie ahead for him and his unit as they come to terms with their situation.

Then we have Yan, the complicated genius administrator of a prosperous industrial city, where militant mechanical animals live alongside its human population. Though she was appointed to the job for her years in the military, her central government doesn’t trust her, and she must constantly deal with their demands while trying to enjoy her retirement from the battlefield.

Finally, there’s Hendrix, a middle management branch manager of a fuel distribution company in a society where your social class determines much about how you’re treated in life. While he appears to fit in, is he doing so because he believes in its ideals, or simply to survive in a ruthlessly paranoid world?

here’s the link to the poll: http://www.strawpoll.me/10135792

you can vote for some or all you’d like to read about, and I’ll post the one with the highest amount of votes on Saturday. and again, please spread the word about this book, since the contest ends on the 16th.