Rogress Preport January 2023

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2023-01-02 12:00:00 No comments

Welcome, after a long hiatus, to Rumor Control once again. Here are the facts.

These are the projects I'm now currently working on. Some have more definite dates or progress indicators than others. Other projects I mentioned in the past aren't off the list entirely; these are just the ones currently getting the most time, attention, and mojo.


I'm in the middle of a near-final draft of this project, after doing almost no work on it in the past month or so. (Real life kept me busy). But it's a lot closer to being done than I thought. I will tentatively say this will be out by March or so, depending on the breaks.

And we finally have some ad copy for it, too. (Consider this tentative, but close to the final product too.)

They are the children of a dream. And now that they know it, they want only to wake up.

Hizu: a living doll, one of many who existed only to serve the "Body King" Dhalgra in his palace of terrible pleasures. Then came the day when Hizu wondered: what lies in the forests beyond these walls? — and made a daring escape.

There in the woods, Hizu found other, human refugees from Dhalgra's tyranny. Together, they made new homes for themselves in the ruined houses and abandoned places scattered about. Together they delved into the mysteries of who they truly are, the mystery of "Shunga-Satori" ... and discovered the world they lived in was only a prelude to something greater not yet born.

But their master wanted them back at any cost. And to take them back, Dhalgra prepared to destroy not only their world, but the world that lay beyond as well. The world that had dreamed all of them into existence. Ours!

Points of reference:

  • Mervyn Peake, Boy In Darkness
  • Doris Lessing, Briefing For A Descent Into Hell
  • William S. Burroughs, The Ticket That Exploded


This project underwent a glorious mutation just in its original idea phase. It all started as a joke (you can read the full story here), but over time I started to tease out implications from the original idea that I took more seriously. Imagine 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?

Points of reference:

  • Meiko Kaji's movies, in particular Wandering Ginza Butterfly
  • The John Wick cycle (both the action and the underworld world-building)
  • Get Carter
  • Heist stories like The Italian Job
  • Diva

Pavilion 7

This one is new-ish enough I don't even have art for it. Yes, I know that sounds pettifogging of me, but one of the first things I do to snap a project into shape is find artwork for it, and so far this one has eluded me. But the premise filled itself out with amazing speed despite that.

The premise: Imagine you have a whole subspecies of humanity crafted specifically for the satisfaction of fantasy — a demi-human population with a huge amount of variation. They resent their lot in life; they rebel. They take possession of one of the island resorts where they served their masters, kick out everyone who's not them, and declare it theirs. Now comes the hard part: building a functioning society out of this gang.

In some ways, this could be considered a follow-up to Unmortal. That story ended right as the castoffs and rebels founded their own society and began to figure out how to make it work. P7 takes the next step. If you have what amounts to a micronation, one that needs raw materials, expertise, resources, governance, and especially health care (doubly so on the latter since the population is so ... bespoke in its needs), how do you bootstrap yourself? And what would it cost you in the long run to have autonomy in the short run?

What this lacks so far is a protagonist. There are indeed characters, but I haven't yet decided who will be the "lens" through which the story will have its focus. So that's my homework assignment.

Absolute Elsewhere

Here's another one that continues to mutate on me without giving me a chance to really close my hands around it. The core premise is an old SF trope: the matter transmitter. My idea for exploring it was to make it available to the human race at roughly our level of technology, and to allow it to spur a diaspora. Everyone who wants a world of their own can have one. That divides humanity into two camps: those who choose to remain interlinked, and those who wall themselves off from other worlds. Each group begins to regard the other as a threat. Now what happens when it becomes possible for worlds that want no contact with each other to have it ... whether or not they like it?

It's a great idea, but there's still too much missing from it to be a story. I have characters, but not enough of one at the center to drive the action. And I have not much in the way of settings, either. But what I do have is way too good for me to let languish.

Tags: Absolute Elsewhere Charisma Infinimata Press Pavilion 7 Rogress Preport Shunga-Satori future projects