Where to next?

Yesterday I wrote the final words of my first draft of The Last Days of Earth, and got the editors’ proof paperbacks into production from Amazon Spain. All that remains is to edit, get my cover (the drafts I’ve seen so far look predictably amazing), and get it out there.

545 pages, 155,485 words. Done.

I know I don’t do word counts and stuff so much anymore, since I don’t post daily anymore. But there’s my total. Lucky #17 is essentially done!

I abruptly found myself at a loss. Not only have I been working on these two books – The Last Alicorn and The Last Days of Earth – side by side since the release of Panda Egg in November 2019, but this book marks the third and final instalment of the Oræl Rides to War trilogy and a chronology of Earth from 1990 AD to its final year. With occasional dives into the distant past.

It’s been brewing and bubbling away for years. The Archangel Barry was already part of a story I started telling online on the old Monkeyhouse website in the late ’90s, and The Last Days of Earth is based on a dream I had even earlier in my life, and has only just found its way into story form. There are bigger and more important series to get out – with any luck this trilogy will have shaken some of them loose – but Oræl Rides to War was a huge one.

This is still where we’re at, pending the cover to The Last Days of Earth.

So I suppose the next stop is a new anthology – Tales of the Final Fall of Man 4. Then there’s the second half of Tales of the Always Night, Wump and Toop will be wanting me to get on with that. And then, apparently a colouring book! That could be fun. The girls already immediately opened The Last Alicorn when I gave them their copies, and started colouring the pictures.

Ahh, but Phase 3 beckons. Haven’t ventured into hard fantasy yet, it’s going to be fun.

About Hatboy

I’m not often driven to introspection or reflection, but the question does come up sometimes. The big question. So big, there’s just no containing it within the puny boundaries of a single set of punctuationary bookends. Who are these mysterious and unsung heroes of obscurity and shadow? What is their origin story? Do they have a prequel trilogy? What are their secret identities? What are their public identities, for that matter? What are their powers? Their abilities? Their haunted pasts and troubled futures? Their modus operandi? Where do they live anyway, and when? What do they do for a living? Do they really have these fantastical adventures, or is it a dazzlingly intellectual and overwrought metaphor? Or is it perhaps a smug and post-modern sort of metaphor? Is it a plain stupid metaphor, hedged around with thick wads of plausible deniability, a soap bubble of illusory plot dependent upon readers who don’t dare question it for fear of looking foolish? A flight of fancy, having dozed off in front of the television during an episode of something suitably spaceship-oriented? Do they have a quest, a handler, a mission statement, a department-level development objective in five stages? I am Hatboy. https://hatboy.blog/2013/12/17/metalude-who-are-creepy-and-hatboy/
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7 Responses to Where to next?

  1. aaronthepatriot says:

    Yay congrats!!!!

  2. Damon says:

    So excited for the Orael book

  3. aaronthepatriot says:

    I want more Elan. Short story backstory at a minimum. Are you going to deliver on that, my brother? I didn’t see it readily in the plan there.

    I maintain Elan is your most awesome character…the tragedy crushes me to this day, what, 3 years after reading it the first time?

    Time for a reread, too, I think.

    Random side note, I just got 2 “First Law” by Abercrombie books, and I’m fucking disappointed so far. Anyone read these yet? I find his writing remarkably unpolished, and his chosen approach to be really “low” in term of skill. IMO, but I think I have a lot of experience and therefore my O is worthwhile here.

    I know it’s all subjective but there are some things you just don’t see in the most respected authors.

    Just briefly, he uses third person omniscient for all his main characters and it’s a little jarring. I can’t recall if other authors like RJ really did that, too, but there’s something about this that annoys me. Maybe because they share their thoughts SO FUCKING OFTEN it’s like a replacement of having their actions represent their thoughts. Seems like a shortcut.

    And mainly to that point, I just got through a scene at a card table where he used sentences in quotes, as if words were being spoken, to describe how each character was looking, body language and facial expression. It was…fucking weird. Here’s one excerpt, this went on for several paragraphs, and I find it incredibly lazy writing:
    “…an expression which seemed to say, ‘I am not young or poor. I can afford to lose this money. I am every bit as important as the rest of you.'”

    I mean what the fuck is that???? And yes, he really did that for several characters.

    I hope this gets better, or I wasted like $30.

    • Hatboy says:

      Oh, I’d love to write more about Elan’s early life as a brilliant communicator leading up to Project Mogul. Sad, for sure – it was always very tragic for me as well (can I say that?), even more so than big names like Skell. Because it is such a personal-feeling one. Yeah, I can work with that. I have at least a couple of Tales of the Final Fall of Man that are set on the Tramp, too, so he may be there – and in flashback.

      I haven’t read any Abercrombie except the (was it a trilogy?) Best Served Cold storyline, I really quite enjoyed that one even though it felt far more pulp / independent (and I mean that in a good way, I’m not even being facetious when I say some of my best friends etc. etc.) than a polished and edited bit of traditionally published gloss. I liked it and didn’t find any such grating parts, so maybe it’s a new thing he’s doing?

      I met Abercrombie once, at Worldcon. I was dressed as a Noro Metak at the time. If I’d known then what I know now, I could have shouted at him for you!

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        Cool, cool. Yeah even some flashbacks would be great, I’ll take any Elan I can get. I suppose it comes down to how central in Six Species space you want to make him. If he works his magic in too many places, all of the sudden you’ve made a new force to be reckoned with (at least for a time) that you might not have planned on.

        Indeed, Abercrombie’s writing is definitely not polished, you can say that for sure. Well, I’ll be looking for a great plot to make up for it (10% in I still don’t even know WHAT the First Law is, waiting for that, which I assume is one of the hooks). Maybe he’s trying out something, I’m just a little surprised given that Daniel Greene had such great things to say about it. He’s very critical of writing style.

        Ahh well, you can’t win ’em all.

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