State of the Summer Address

Good morning Campers, welcome to the black. Things are still dicey out there in the real world. Lucky for me, I spend a good portion of my day up there in the black traveling about with Atom Ulvan and Margo as they get into and out of more trouble than a kit and her father ought to.

I’m 250 pages into the second draft of book 2. Atom and Margo have become separated on a planet in the midst of a hostile take-over. Neither of them knows the other is in trouble due to Kozue being taken down by a planet-wide EMP net.

There are a couple new characters in this book. Hopefully you can hold on until next April to really get to know them. The first new character is Lilly, she’s a corporate spy with a bounty on her head. She might seem a simple catch, but this infiltrator has more than a few tricks up her sleeve. The other character is Toks Marshall, an imperial captain in the Fingertips who doesn’t mind bending the rules to line her pocket. She doesn’t seem to mind putting the weight of the empire behind her punches if it means she can collect a bounty or two.

At the moment I have 116 pages left to conquer before I pull a quick grammar read through and then Trinity is off to TFP for editing and publication. In case you’d like to catch up on book 1 before the new book arrives, here’s a link to Genesis so you can read the whole backstory or here is just a sample – Atom & Go: Genesis – Episode 1.

* * *

In other worlds, I finished Left Hand of Darkness and have to say I enjoyed it. I felt it really brought to the surface questions of the importance of gender in an age when that hadn’t even been rolled around in minds of the public. Le Guin really looks into what a genderless society would be like, set against the backdrop of one of the harshest planets I have seen in a while. It is the antithesis of Arrakis, a planet of ice and snow at the lowest end of human endurance.

I love how Le Guin blends a society that manages to feel so familiar and yet so alien. It feels like parts of it could be found today and others are primeval.

My one complaint is inconsistent action. The last third of the book is an introspective journey across a wasteland, but instead of feeling like there was a true man vs nature challenge Le Guin focused on the internal discovery. It wasn’t bad and it didn’t kill the book by any stretch of the imagination. I just wish there had been some tension built as to whether they would actually survive the “dangerous” journey.

Regardless, it’s definitely going onto my shelf and I’d recommend it as more cerebral sci-fi.

I have now taken a trip back to the 80’s and have jumped into The Black Company. I’ll let you know how that goes.

In the meantime, keep on reading, keep on surviving, and keep on flying the black.

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