The last few months have been interesting. King Solamet’s Mines is in the editing pipeline for release next month, but it was a bit of a struggle. Why? because I keep having new ideas!
In the past month or so I’ve come up with:
- The Demon Generation: What happens when people start exhibiting supernatural abilities and changing into monsters without warning.
- Something I just called ‘Elven Knight’: A portal opens in Central Park, NY, bringing various creatures out of fairy tales with it. Something dangerous has come through and a knight from the other world is sent to bring it back with the help of an NY detective. Fish-out-of-water stuff.
- UNO: Ultimate Necromance Online: A sort of LitRPG/isekai story where the twist is that our hero is a guy who gets transported into a sort of fantasy game world, but on his secondary character who is female.
- Renae Clifton: Supernatural detective story set in Manchester, England.
- Bullet Dance: A weird western story.
- And I shouldn’t leave out Sign of the Dragon which is to still ongoing, but has had some radical rethinking.
They all got a little development and thought. I even wrote a few pages of The Demon Generation and I restarted Sign of the Dragon. But I’m not quite in a cyberpunk mood right now. That will change in mid-November, however, because Cyberpunk 2077 is coming out and I’ll be playing it on a nice, new XBox Series X. If I can drag myself away from the controller, I should be in a strong mood to write sci-fi.
So, right now I’m doing something different. It’s a one-off fantasy which is something of an experiment. I wanted to see if I could do a slowish burn story set in a world with a highly stratified class system. so far, so good.
I blame YouTube reviewers. There was this anime series that got some pretty rave reviews for its world building and relative plot complexity: Ascendance of a Bookworm. It’s a rather unusual isekai. A Japanese girl who loves nothing aside from books is killed when an earthquake topples a badly piled stack of books on her and she wakes up in the body of a small, frail girl, the daughter of a poor soldier in what, at first, appears to be a straight medieval society. Her beloved books are practically impossible to get since books have to be hand-copied; no printing presses. So, she decides that if she can’t buy books, she’s going to damn well make some. And that’s the plot: how Myne starts changing the world by (re)inventing shampoo, crochet, plant-based paper, woodblock printing… And she has to deal with some fantasy stuff and an exclusionary social system, but it’s really about the books. I’m hooked. I watched it twice in succession (helped by there not being anything else I wanted to watch, I admit). I started the light novel it’s based on.
So, I took a few ideas from that and real medieval society and something I don’t normally do: straight-up, impossible without magic cosmology. Put in brain. Turn on mixer. Pour contents onto page. The Empress’s Mage was born. As I said, it’s designed to be a one-off, but it could get a sequel if a plot comes up that works. As it is, it’ll take a poor girl with a talent for magic to the heights of society, which is a good place to end things. I hope it works out (before November 19th when I go all cyberpunk). If it does, it should see a release date in January. As they say in a strangely large number of anime episode previews, ‘Look forward to it.’