I'm not seeing a lot of migration yet from here over to my new blog-novel project Gu. Which is fine, not everyone who enjoyed City of Masks is necessarily interested in the far more science-fictional Gu, but I do encourage you, if you are into SF or are interested in technology and its human impact, to go over and take a look.
At the moment I have vague plans for a number of works set in what I'm now calling the "Guniverse". Besides Gu itself, these are:
- Topia, a novel set before the invention of Gu itself, in an unusual faith community. It incorporates lots of jazz and blues, and questions about disability and enhanced human abilities. I started writing it some years ago and stopped because I'm not sure where it's going.
- Up the Line, a series of linked stories about Jill, a chaplain in the White Star Order (an interfaith order with the mission of "teaching, encouraging and resourcing the practice of faith in everyday life"), who works at the bottom of a space elevator among the assorted refugees, remittance persons, adventurers, capitalists and other dubious characters who go up it in search of a better life in orbit.
- Canned Goods Inspector, about a United Regions inspector, the only honest cop etc., who fights corruption and criminality in the space habitats (or "skycans") to which the aforementioned people emigrate. Some potential for a crossover of characters there.
- State of Lunacy, in which the Moon enjoys an "alternative political status" comparable in its impact to the creation of the first republics in the 18th century, and in which various people attempt to exploit, protect or oppose that state of affairs.
I also have a couple more ideas. (Ideas are easy. Execution is hard.)
One is a more City of Masks-style one about the creation of an opera in more-or-less 18th-century Prague (in about the same way as City of Masks was set in Shakespeare's Italy). It's a bit inspired by the Tales of Hoffman. A group of artists - a musician, a poet and a painter - are encouraged by their landlord, a herbalist and mystic, to create an opera. He tells them seven stories to give them inspiration. Each story relates to one of the characters - the three artists, the painter's model and mistress, the financier who funds the production, the diva who takes the lead role, and the old herbalist himself. Mostly without realizing it, each of them lives out one of the stories in the course of the production of the opera, the story which will shape their redemption from their various ills of the soul.
(I know, that sounds wonderful, but I have no idea how I'd actually achieve it. As I said, execution is hard.)
I think the title of that one might be Shadow Play.
There's another setup unfolding in my head - about a group of young people with powers - but I don't yet have a handle on it that would make it anything more than pulp. (Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course.) One is able to remain unnoticed, another can open a door to anywhere she wants to be, a third can enhance any object so that whatever it does, it does to a magical degree, and the fourth always knows the exact whereabouts of anything or anyone he knows well. They've been assembled as a kind of espionage group, or possibly are trying to find out and counter the machinations of a rival magical group which has been destroying theirs.
Oh, and another science-fictional one. It's set on a planet populated entirely by women, who give birth to clones of themselves when they reach maturity at about 30, following which they can exchange genetic material with each other to create new individuals. But it's not about any of that, it's about the fact that they're postliterate (they pass memories on to their offspring that they think they will need), and that they're isolationists (having separated themselves from the rest of humanity by destroying the space gate that brought them to their new home), and about what happens when the gate reopens and wider humanity contacts them again and teaches a young woman to read. It's about tradition and ignorance and older generations controlling their descendants. It was originally called A Memule for Abi-Ada but I retitled it to the much friendlier Restarting the Alphabet. (There have been 26 generations on the new planet, and for reasons they no longer understand each generation is named with a different initial sound, 26 of them in total. The 27th generation is going to start again at "A".)
I'll update this blog whenever I do anything with any of these, so please stay subscribed if you are, or subscribe if you're not, to receive the updates as they occur.