Ahoy there!

In a follow up to a recent post, I am pleased to reveal more details about my next novel in progress.

Its codename is Blackout, and is the character driven, science fiction action thriller I alluded to before. A few more crumbs for you: it will be written in first person, and will feature a female protagonist. This will be my first novel to have both of those things. All of my prior works were written in third person, and previous novels have either had male protagonists or male/female lead splits.

I am also pleased to announce that I will be returning to Youtube with a new channel and will have a bevy of new content for my other social media presences to coincide with this, starting next month. I realize that in the past on this very blog I have made content promises that I underdelivered on. The truth is that the biggest problem about me sharing myself with the world was my identity crisis. I have always been embarrassed about my appearance and my voice, and this created an endless cycle of anxiety and apprehension about putting myself out there beyond saying “oh look here’s some books I wrote.” Now that I am my authentic self and am comfortable in my own skin for the first time in my adult life, and also now that I am on the cusp of having some good, legitimate recording equipment, I will be putting myself out there in equal measure to my creative work.

More to come soon!

FIN

Oh hey.

Lots of movies and video games these days are being remastered and rereleased; the games industry is especially notorious for dusting off and rereleasing older titles because lack of creativity and originality and risk. I figure why not jump off that bridge too, eh?

I jest. Mostly.

The truth of the matter is that I released my first book too early. I pulled a CD Projekt Red move before that was even a thing, though to be fair at the time that was more like a Bethesda maneuver. I have talked about this in previous blog posts, but to reiterate, back in 2016 I was in a position where I didn’t expect to see many more days in my life, and I was obsessed with at least leaving something behind, a legacy. I was desperate to make my then-girlfriend and my family proud. I had something to prove to myself, which I then externalized to an unhealthy extent.

That’s a fanciful way of saying that I freaking rushed my first novel out the door too fast. Year 200’s basic foundation was solid and of course I fell in love with my characters, but I did not spend enough time on polishing the work, and especially I did not dedicate enough time to ensuring the work reflected my true creative voice. This is why I often mention that the sequel, In the Baron’s Shadow, is where I found my author voice. In that work, I had shaken off the overly enthusiastic and excessively quippy narrative tone I had previously adopted for blogging, and moved away from relying on the cliches and similes that are all too often used as crutches for beginning writers.

So then, I may be playfully calling this a remaster, but in reality this is an almost complete rewrite. The plot and character dialogue will not be altered, because I don’t believe in altering published canon (see the term, “Lucasing”), however the entire structure that the story, characters, and their interactions live upon is being rebuilt from the ground up. In addition, with this second crack at the story, I am going to be able to add back in elements that I cut from the original draft because at the time I felt I lacked the skill to implement them without killing the narrative flow.

For an idea of how this will look, here is the first paragraph of the book.

Original:

“Out in the fringe of the Solar System, two hundred years beyond Terra’s death, there was an aberration: a silent, star-lit field pierced in an ungraceful manner by a metallic human construction. The overworked, underpowered shuttle sputtered across the expanse, struggling to stay on course toward the blue orb in the distance. The passengers’ fragile hope of making it to their destination alive was wounded by a collision between the shuttle and a hunk of debris.”

And now, rewritten:

“It was quiet in this pocket of the Outer Solar System. That was, until an aberrant perturbation caused a relative ruckus. It was an overworked Type-E passenger shuttle, freshly caught by Neptune’s gravity. There was nothing in the vacuum to transmit the creaking inside its bulkheads, nor the crackling of sparks coming from its overloaded circuitry, but it made up for it with a wobbling, visual commotion and plenty of fresh interference to filter out in comms traffic.”

It is a short sample to pick up on this to be sure, but I’ve done away with the attempts to be overly cute in my narration, and have dialed back on the character descriptions and perspective-distancing titles that, to be frank, I ripped from games such as Borderlands. The final product will be a story that will at last be able to stand by its younger sisters, In the Baron’s Shadow and Lunacy.

More details to come on this and my other two aforementioned writing projects in 2021.

FIN

If you have followed me up until now, even in a haphazard fashion, you know that the After Terra series is my flagship as far as creative works, and that the fourth full length novel in said series, Return of the Gods, was due to release last year. It could have been made available last year. The book is done. I mean, of course there is still a lot of editing and finessing I am going to perform on the work, but it is already of a higher quality in its current state than anything I have published before, so I could have hit the button. But, I wanna do things right this time. Unlike Cyberpunk 2077Return of the Gods will be released when it is truly ready, and when I have successfully rebuilt and reestablished myself as a creative entity, after having made the decision to commit to transitioning gender. Yeesh, what an ask of myself, eh? I tend to make that last bit sound like a smaller deal than it really is.

So while Return of the Gods is cooling its heels in my creative space, I do have two new writing projects lined up for 2021. One was technically started for last year’s NaNoWriMo, but I was unable to make as much progress as I normally do in Novembers. Said project is a memoir. That’s right, I’m writing about me. Maybe it will end up being more of an autobiography, not sure yet, but that’s a thing.

Along with this, I am working on new science fiction story. At this time all I am going to tease is that it will be written in first person, and one of the cinematic themes that will color the narrative and setting of the story is a future-transposed United States versus Soviet Union sort of vibe. Think of some Cold War, Space Race ideas played out over a cyberpunk space western and you might be on track to where I’m going with that. More to be revealed in the future.

FIN

This is less of a blog entry and more of a quickie update. This website is going to by and large retain its current appearance and function, however as of this writing my novels are temporarily unpublished. Used paperback copies may be in circulation, however I would take it as a kindness if you would not buy anything under my deadname. Of course I can’t physically stop you but you know, all I can do is ask. I will fix any potential broken links and make a new update when things are republished and tweaked to reflect my correct identity.

I realize that this is a heck of a topic to jump into when I haven’t blogged in quite a while.

Part of what I’m about to say has been percolating for a while, I just hadn’t figured out the correct way to pull it from my brain and plaster it onto the page.

I think the 2020 United States Presidential Election has certainly cast a spotlight on the worst, most extreme elements on both sides of primary political division, and given my post’s title plenty of context. The far right in the U.S. makes us all look like heartless bastards who value money more than human life and decency, and that anyone who is not white, straight, and christian is invalid. While that is going on, the far left paints a picture of a world so enraptured with political correctness that no one dare breathe lest they offend someone.

Look. I came out this year as transgender. The left is clearly, generally speaking, more accommodating to me and others like me. Regardless of that, I recognize that the Dump/Sense administration is the most dangerous one that has ever been installed in the U.S., and if you can’t see jackboot authoritarianism for the threat to democracy that it is, I insist that you step outside your theocratic, nationalist, whitewashed bubble for a second and examine recent history from a more objective viewpoint.

But! Hold on second. I’m not gonna forget the far left. I was afraid to come out because of the hatred I was and am going to face from friends, family, and pretty much everybody I know who thumps a bible. However, I was just as afraid to come out because of how utterly ridiculous some of the most outspoken and extreme flagwavers of LGBT and minority movements make the rest of us look. We don’t need 69 or more gorram sets of genders or pronouns. If we keep making gender/sexuality flags we’re gonna run out of patterns for new countries to use in the future. Political correctness is bullshit. Respect people, use the name and basic pronouns that help them confirm their identity, treat others with decency, but for flarg’s sake don’t expect the whole world to conform to your safe space whims, and stop throwing a blanket over the mass of cisgendered folk, or as I prefer to say, those whose biological junk more or less matches what’s in their brainpan. The world needs masculine men and feminine women. Those who fall somewhere in between or fluctuate between the two are valid and we need those people too, but demonizing the many is not how to acknowledge and protect the few. Also, if you become as or almost as evil, vile, and destructive as what you oppose (referring to Antifa versus fascism), have you not defeated the purpose of your existence?

I think it’s safe to say that most of us Americans do fall in the middle of the two extremes we see in most media. Mainstream news flocks to whatever gets them the biggest story and the highest metrics. But regardless of if you’re right, left, or in my case, off in the woods, with your politics, I think it is for all of our good if we stop feeding attention and value to the extreme elements on all sides who have done nothing to deserve our time, money, or energy. We need fewer Trumps and fewer politically correct eggshells who think men are automatically evil and being a total snowflake is an actual point of pride and something to emulate.

So to the extremes, I say, shut the fuck up. You don’t speak for all of us.

FIN

Oh hey internet.

Because of positive response, and because there are only 4 copies left of the now out-of-print version of After Terra: Year 200, I am keeping my promotion going until they are all gone.

What is the promotion again, you ask? I’m glad you did.

If you buy a copy of After Terra: In the Baron’s Shadow or After Terra: Lunacy directly from me, you get Year 200 for free. Buy both, and you also get a digital download of After Terra: Beginnings or Slayer’s Keeper for free. Your books will be signed by me, and what’s more, is if you want, your name will be featured here in a sort of Hall of Fame on my website, my Patreon page, and in After Terra: Return of the Gods.

In the Baron’s Shadow and Lunacy are $15 USD when purchased direct from me. I’ll take care of shipping. Drop me a line at coldspringauthor@gmail.com if you’d like to partake of this deal.

Thanks!

FIN