A starship designer and a spiritual leader team up to save the galaxy from itself ... and to redeem each other.
At first they were only three. A brilliant starship designer, haunted by the death of his loved ones. A spiritual leader whose faith could transform mankind ... or destroy it. A precocious acrobat girl, looking for a new family of her own.
Then came others. An entertainer and playboy whose dissolute lifestyle conceals unexpected ambitions, courtesy of a lover who represents the galaxy's most powerful worlds. And a pair of detectives — one barely human, the other not at all – with orders to enlist all their help solving a crime that threatens civilization.
Together they formed the crew of the ever-evolving spacecraft Vajra. Seven against a universe where the boundaries between matter and mind have been torn down, where one can wield the power of billions ... and where humanity must choose between rebirth or annihilation.
Image: Hubble Space Telescope
For fun I sat down and mentally traced the progress of my earlier SF-space-opera thingy Flight Of The Vajra.
We got to talking the other day about how the finished version of a story looks nothing like its original version. For fun I sat down and mentally traced the progress of my earlier SF-space-opera thingy Flight Of The Vajra. Even I was surprised by the number of steps involved, and the evolution along the way.
How 'Flight Of The Vajra' could have begun altogether differently.
It's tough finding the right way into a story sometimes. I must have written something like four or five openings for Flight Of The Vajra (my gonzo far-future space opera shindiggythingy) before finally settling on the one I have now. Some of those alternate openings could have been great, but I think if I'd used them as conceived, they would have come at a debilitating cost to the story as a whole.
How David Bowie and Prince jointly inspired a character of mine.
Selfish as it might be to say this, I feel motivated only now to say something about the deaths of David Bowie and Prince because of the way I based a character on an amalgam of them.
ATTENTION READERS/FANS OF MY WRITING AND MOST EVERYONE ELSE TO BOOT: I need your help! I have just submitted my far-future SF fantasia Flight of the Vajra to The Nerdist's new Space Opera competition over at Inkshares: https://www.inkshares.com/books/flight-of-the-vajra Here are...
ATTENTION READERS/FANS OF MY WRITING AND MOST EVERYONE ELSE TO BOOT:
I need your help!
Here are the details about the competition:
What do you need to do?
Simple. Pre-order the book. ($10 at the lowest tier.)
If you've considered buying a copy of this previously, but held off for whatever reason, this is just the excuse you need!
The more pre-orders I score by March 15, 2016, the greater my odds of winning. Winning means I get my book distributed by the Nerdist in their collection, and there may be "an opportunity to co-develop your work into other media such as movies, TV series, and digital productions."
If you can't spare the money to pre-order, at least do me the justice of adding yourself as a reader. The site's easy to set up membership with; you can log in via Facebook or Twitter.
Spread the word, share the links. Help me make this happen!
[Note: For the time being I am leaving the original Amazon product links up for Vajra. However, if the Inkshares folks say yes, I will have to take down my current edition of the book due to their contract. I don't have a problem with this personally; just that if the links go offline at some point later, that'll be why. I'll keep everyone posted should that happen.]
Coming soon: a real-life version of a fictional technology I dreamed up for a book.
OK, I can't help myself here.
For those who just walked in, protomics was the name of the fictional in-universe technology I created for Flight of the Vajra, where various forms of matter have been created that are programmable and malleable. (I started writing that story over three years ago.)
The researchers call the building blocks "catoms" (or "claytronic atoms"), but even the concept as they describe it is fundamentally the same as what I had in mind:
... the researchers hope to use a set of local rules, whereby each catom needs to know only the positions of its immediate neighbors. Properly programmed, the ensemble will then find the right configuration through an emergent process.
... The researchers’ ultimate aim is to create a system of modules the size of sand grains that can form arbitrary structures with a variety of material properties, all on demand.
And at the bottom is this cute scare headline: "Help, My Chair Has a Virus! / Hackers could turn your programmable matter against you." (Yep, that's in the book too.)
I kick myself now for not putting in that patent application ahead of time.
Well, I had a feeling something like this would come along in some form; it didn't have to be as I predicted it, or on anything like the same time scale. I gave it a century or so from "now" before it really took off; I still give it a good long time before it's on the scale I had in mind.
But I have to reiterate that the point of the book wasn't to predict any specific thing or even enumerate how workable a given concept would be. Protomics, the "entanglement drive", the whole far-future¹ setting I devised was just a backdrop for a story about some people who are faced with some very tough choices, whose lives (and the lives of innumerable others) are altered because of that, and who can only see it all through by turning to each other. In the end, the human side of the story had to win, and I hope it did.
Addendum: DARPA has something tangentially related: "Atoms to Product: Aiming to Make Nanoscale Benefits Life-Sized".
¹ I almost typed "fart-future". I almost kept it.
A little love letter to my readers.
And now, a shout-out. A bunch of them, actually.
If you were one of the folks who stopped by my table at AnimeFest and bought a book: thank you.
If you were one of the folks who stopped by my table at AnimeFest, took a flyer, and bought one of my books online afterwards: thank you.
I received my Amazon Kindle royalty statement this week. It wasn't a lot of money, but it was a sign that a few people are interested and curious. I hope they -- you -- stick around and check out what else I have to offer.
I could use a little help from my fans.
Remember that great interview I gave at the Two Geeks Talking podcast for Flight of the Vajra?
... Go stand in the hall and hold these pails of water.
In all seriousness, I did a podcast interview with the TGT folks and it was great. Now I'm in a fight to come out on top in an Author Vs. Author battle, where all the folks who were interviewed on the show have their fans vote them to the top.
Go here and search on "Flight of the Vajra" to vote. The winner will get, uh, bragging rights and a bunch of good karma*. Those who support me will get even better karma*!
* yes, I know this is a flagrant abuse of the term.
This page contains an archive of posts in the category Flight of the Vajra.
New York City
Other Lives Of The Mind