The wheel turns. It grinds slowly, but exceedingly fine.
This is Rumor Control; here are the facts.
All projects are listed in very rough order of estimated completion. Note that we have one new entry this time around: Charisma!
Status: Current work-in-progress. Almost done with the first draft, so we're not likely to see anything finished until at least the end of 2021.
In the mists of prehistory, mankind learned of the sua, the spirits that could be coaxed forth from any inanimate object. First we worshipped them as gods. Then we found how they could be tamed.
For millennia, sua have been humanity's slaves. But over the last century, the sua have sought liberation, both on their own and with the help of human comrades. Still, in all the ways that matter, they remain in chains, with revolutionaries readying themselves to strike final blows for their freedom.
Jahya, a bodyguard-for-hire, and her sword sua Teşkul, aren't part of any movement. Surviving one week to the next is mission enough for them. Then a woman concealing a sua of exceeding rarity and power hires Jahya and Teş to guide her to safety in another country … and the struggle to free the sua is now theirs as well. Whether they want it or not!
Status: Development. I'm currently gathering and re-reading some of the source material that inspired this project, since much of it inspired me at a distance and not because of a recent re-read.
Somewhere -- in the same way "whatever lies beyond the sky" is "somewhere" -- there exists a place that is a kind of hybrid of city-state, vacation resort, and island paradise, Pavilion 7. There, refugees from any number of other non-realities -- products of fantasy imaginations, where they were the fantasies (erotic or otherwise) -- find sanctuary, with a little effort. Outcasts, rejects, the oppressed -- those who could not live even in the dreams of others can go to "P7" and find liberation, freedom, safety, fulfillment with others who are rejects like them. Each of them were created to fulfill some impossible desire, and when the dreamer of that desire realized no fulfillment was possible, they were cast out.
What the refugees of P7 find in time is how P7 itself is the product of yet another impossible desire. They are all still in someone else's head, someone who exists in a civilization and world that is in existential peril. Ours. And so their self-imposed mission goes from merely protecting the other refugees to a jailbreak. They must find their way out into our world, through us. Even if only one of them ever makes it.
Points of reference:
See that art at right? Originally, I created something like it as a joke, for a series of non-existent novels about a geisha and her dog that solve mysteries. Then friends started bugging me to actually write those books. Hooboy.
At first I balked at the idea, but then I decided to tunnel into it and see where it took me. I liked the idea of a story that was chiefly powered by style -- the sorts of things you found in, say, 1970s Japanese gangster/girl-gang/tough-guy/wild-style flicks. But then I took that notion a step further: what if the story took place in a world where personal style was a kind of superpower, where such a thing was a source of energy to be channeled and directed? What kind of world would that create, in both the near- and far-term? And what of the have-nots, who only look on and wonder, and long for something they can only see at a distance?
This is a resurrection of a much older project I wrote, shelved, pulled back out once, shelved again, and now have returned to with clear enough eyes that I can probably do justice to it. It is an attempt at a fantasy story, but one that draws more from the likes of Apuleius's The Golden Ass than from any of the current fantasies, whether they draw from the likes of Tolkien (or the Eddas, for that matter) or even the Outlaws of the Marsh. That last being something else I'd like to nod towards in good time, actually.
Status: Development. Still no progress on the story, but we have NEW COVER ART!
Revolves around the idea of matter transmission, but with the twist that it was used to build a galaxy-wide transportation nexus -- only to have it spontaneously stop working one day, and then, decades later, just as spontaneously start up again. The only thing more dangerous than a door you can't open when you need to is a door that flies open when you least expect it.
What if a band (think Death Grips, but if led by Kathleen Hanna instead of MC Ride) find themselves in a pan-dimensional struggle for control over the nature of human reality?
I mentioned Burroughs as an influence on Shunga-Satori, but this one is more in the vein of Burroughs's Nova Express. It's still too raw and unformed for me to say much more about it, but it's on the table for some time in the whenever-future.
Status: To be written for NaNo 2021.
Wait for it.
New York City
Other Lives Of The Mind