Hey, all. Happy New Year.

I hope that, despite the glut of bad news with which we were bombarded -- and the losses of more iconic people in one stretch than I can previously recall -- your 2016 was full of good news for you.

On the second to last day of 2016, I decided to draw again for the first time in about 14 years, barring those few things I’ve sketched out over that long stretch of time. It’s a work in progress, but I’m pleased with the result. To draw the four sisters from DisintegrationI derived inspiration from that famous, yearly series of photographs of four sisters that’s been floating around the Internet.

From left to right: Manon, Michele, Agnès, and Karin (Carina). If you click the image, you can see a less red version of it on my Instagram (please follow and like, and all that good social media whoring ;P ).

 

While I work on the cover for the book and incorporate the edits I’m receiving, I’ll be working, too, on visually realizing the characters through drawings. I’ve always thought Carina’s backstory would make a compelling graphic novel. That’s a back-burner project I’d love to someday bring to life.

The bulk of my time has been devoted to writing Integration and it’s surprising me how different a novel it is, and will be, from Disintegration. It’s so much more subtly science fiction. Not quite blink and you’ll miss it, but it’s much more rooted in (a close extrapolation of) contemporary life without the high-stakes drama of dystopic world war. It’s actually really nice to be able to describe the blue skies overhead. :D

I hope you enjoy this glimpse of the lovely ladies of the Derouard / Duvais family. If you would like to join those who are currently reading the book (and, I’m happy to report, really liking it), let me know and I’ll send you the epub of the manuscript that John Robin was kind enough to make for me.

To close, allow me to crib from one person that, thankfully, stuck with us through 2016:

Excelsior!

P.S. - Speaking of social media whoring, the facebook page for Disintegration has 69 likes. In the stilted English of my Russian cyborg Rozhenko: "Please to be the 70th" ... and beyond!

 

Chapter 24 is a pivotal one in which a lot of things go down, one of which is a huge, violent melee incited by Major Gardiner, one of the major (ahem) characters. Gardiner is thin and he goes a little crazy. I describe him as context for the following little bit, which I especially enjoyed reading:

“I need my mitts,” Macaluso said to no one in particular. He lumbered over to a teenaged boy who had climbed down from one of the transports.

“Get me my mitts,” Macaluso demanded.

The boy looked at him, unsure whether to mouth off or not.

“Don’t fuck with me, kid, or I’ll sick that skinny psycho on you. He’ll pull your head out through your asshole and then I’ll fucking punt it back onto your shoulders just for good measure.”

The boy’s eyes widened and and he scrambled back into the truck, procuring Macaluso’s mitts.

“Thanks, kid,” Macaluso said. “Good choice.”

Budapest is proving the ideal place to get some work done. I’ve made a lot of headway the past two days and am a mere handful of chapters away from finishing this revision of the manuscript.

Once done, I’ll deliver it to John Robin and Michael Haase and they’ll provide the last round of feedback. After that, it’s delivery time.

Hey, everyone. It’s a rainy day in Bilbao, which makes it a perfect morning to get some writing done. I leave for Barcelona in a few hours.

I’ve excised 19 pages worth of over-exposition. The manuscript is getting leaner, the pacing is much improved. I’m trusting myself that I’ve imparted the important bits and I’m trusting that you can infer my intentions, rather than explaining every minute detail to death.

Again, it’s a little hard to buckle down and work each day when I’m constantly on the move, but I’m chipping away. I expect this to be either the final or penultimate edit and I’m over 2/3 of the way through.

Hello, everyone. Currently, I am in Morocco. I was able to get some editing done in Sevilla and Granada, and I expect to get a little done in Tangier, too, but I’m going to go walk the Medina right now while it’s daylight and beautiful.

The story is finished and has been for a while. I am now just refining the manuscript, bit by bit. As I mentioned, the feedback from my beta readers was invaluable, but more feedback wouldn’t hurt.

If you’ve got any interest in reading the latest draft, let me know. I still owe Michael Haase a copy. He wrote The Madness of Mr. Butler. You should check it out.

Hello, fine readers and followers. How are all of you on this dreary, gray, New York day? I hope you’re somewhere sunnier than I.

If you also follow Paul Robinson, author of Ghosts of War, you’ll have read that Inkshares has a big backlog and that production of new manuscripts is delayed. I mentioned this, too, a few updates ago. Status quo.

However, I’m close to being done. The beta readers who came through for me really came through, and I’m grateful for the fantastic feedback they provided. I’ll wait for official word from Inkshares about when I should actually deliver the manuscript, but I expect to be done soon.

The one complication is that I’m leaving the States with a view to not coming back. If Trump gets elected, maybe I can petition for political asylum, but I’ll be trying to find an amenable locale even if the blue lady takes the cake. I expect the bulk of my editing to be done on trains, when I’m not looking out the window, because I expect it will be difficult to sit down and write when I’m in one foreign city after the next, most of them for the first time, and I’m wanting to explore.

So, I’m thinking delivery to the Powers that Be by the end of November. If all goes well, you should see the book in the late Spring or early Summer of next year.

In the meantime, please encourage someone you know to buy Disintegration; it not only helps me but it helps Inkshares and  publishing and--if you’d like for there to be continued literature and the creation of art in the world--the best way to ensure that is to support art, artists, and the people who provide the platforms. With real money (or fiat money, more accurately, but you know what I mean. :) ).

If you’ve already bought a copy of Disintegration, all you need to do is ask and I’ll deliver an advanced digital copy to you.

Good day, sir (or madam, or otherwise).

I said: good day!

(except, when you buy Disintegration, you win ;) )

Here’s a little excerpt of what I’m editing, with its nod to Arthur C. Clarke.

***

 Rene sat himself at another console and ran his hands blindly over the controls with accuracy borne of countless repetition.  “So, I hear you’re an engineer.”

Daedalus shrugged.

“We definitely need someone like you.”

“It seems like you need a lot of things, here.”

Alors.” Rene screwed up his mouth. “I don’t even know what I’m looking for here. And I wouldn’t trust this shit to find it for me, anyway.”

He punched up the surveillance from the corridor where Sargas escaped his cell.

“Look at this,” he called to Daedalus, who brought his attention to the scene of Sargas stepping out of the cell only to be bombarded by weapons fire.

“Wow,” Daedalus remarked as he watched the energy blasts fail to cause any damage. “What do you suppose that is?”

“Looks like he’s got some kind of force field … some kind of disparate energy that negates our weapons. But he’s got no tech on him … I mean, he’s naked. Unless it’s up his ass or something.”

Rene was not far off, although the technology wasn’t located in only one place within Sargas’ body. The Von Neumann nanomachines in his blood self-replicated and could be secreted through his pores, coating his skin, then activated via nervous response to act as fractal camouflage that effectively rendered him invisible.

“Some kind of massive kinetic discharge is all I can guess,” Rene continued. “EM interference. I don’t know. That … or magic.”

“Psh… Magic,” Daedalus scoffed.

“What’s the difference, really?" asked Rene. "Like telepathy is easier to get your head around? It’s all magic; it’s all incomprehensible shit that defies explanation. The word is just the catch-all for ‘I don’t know how the fuck he did it—’ Holy shit! Look!” Rene pointed at the screen as Sargas metamorphosed into the fierce, naked alien creature.

“How do you suppose he did that?” asked Daedalus.

Rene shrugged. “Je ne sais pas. Maybe some kind of camouflage that let’s him project different appearances.” Again, his inference was correct; the nanomachines could also transmit a holographic image of whatever the host desired to project.

“Do you know who that is?” Daedalus asked.

“It’s the same guy as before, just … different.”

“No. That ... whatever it is … looks just like Darek Marseh.”

“The red Emperor …” Rene said, unconvinced. “You think he’s masquerading as a, uh, well-hung human male?”

“All I know is that thing looks like every representation of Marseh I’ve ever seen or heard of. The drawings, the word-of-mouth accounts.”

Rene sighed and got up from the console.

“So, what now?”  Daedalus asked.

"Let’s go find His Royal Highness.”

Hey, everybody. It’s a beautiful day in my part of the world. I’m enjoying my peripheral view of the deciduous trees, awash in sunlight, while I incorporate into my manuscript feedback from one of my beta readers.

Here is an excerpt from the chapter on which I’m working. It wasn’t part of the feedback, but I can’t help but tinker every time I read through the book and I’m pleased with the results:

"Ada tried to cover her nose and mouth against the hot stench of rotting refuse and the lingering smell of Ray’s sewer bath, but she couldn’t. She kept her visor up because having it down trapped the noisome stink. There was no escape. Breathing through her mouth was no alternative to using her nose; the detritus was as palpable as it was rank. She retched and retched again, but managed to swallow down the hot bile that burned the back of her throat."

Pleasant, eh?

I’ve got two people who said they’re still reading and will have remarks for me, soon, and I still owe Cara Weston a copy as she volunteered to take a look at Disintegration. I’m hoping to at least add the inestimable Rich Cernese’s feedback before I send it. What’s halfway between beta and alpha? I like the term "gamma reader" but that’s (paradoxically) going backwards.

I recently finished beta-reading the first half of Cara’s She is the End. I look forward to getting the other half; it’s one of the books about which I’m most excited. You should check it out.

Hey, everybody. The beta read period is going very nicely; I’m getting great feedback and incorporating the changes.

As Tony Valdez, the author of Dax Harrison (check it out!), mentioned, Inkshares is going through a bit of a restructuring. There is a big backlog of books to be published. As a result, even if I rushed to deliver the final draft of Disintegration, we would still have a significant wait ahead of us. So I’ll be taking my time to make sure that final draft is phenomenal, all the while keeping tabs with the folks at Inkshares to know when is the right moment to submit my work.

I’ll keep you updated on the production schedule, as soon as it exists. For now, though, rest assured that the work continues. If you’d like to read the current draft, drop me a line and I’ll send it to you. If you like it, know that it will only improve and, please, spread the word. I want to get my book to a wider audience. Let’s sell some more copies!

Img 20161021 143353 S.E. Soldwedel · Author · added almost 3 years ago
Nah. Not interested in blowing anyone up. Words are my weapons.
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