Five Current Work Questions

What am I working on?

I am working on several projects: A short story for Sci Phi called ‘The Ideal Machine’; my next Count to the Eschaton, tentatively titled THE VINDICATION OF MAN volume is due early next year to Tor; I have agreed to deliver a short story to a possible anthology tentatively titled TRIGGER WARNINGS by this time next year; but at the moment and for the next month I will be polishing my second draft of the first volume of my Unwithering Realm trilogy to Castalia Books, called SOMEWHITHER.

In a nutshell:

I am writing an alternate history novel when the son of the buttkicking Deacon-ninja Templar working for the secret ‘special operations’ branch of the Vatican Swiss Guard has to outwit and outfence the evil Astrologers from an alternate timeline where the Tower of Babel was never destroyed by a miracle, so that planet has one race, one nation, one language and nothing they attempt is denied them.

Because of their ability accurately to predict the future, the Babylonians are conquering the other timelines (The other timelines include one ruled by giants where Noah’s flood never came; one ruled by Mummies and ghosts of mighty Pharaohs, where the rebellion of Moses never robbed Egypt of her work force; one ruled by mermaids where the waters of Noah’s flood have nor yet receded; the one where Christ was welcomed by the Jews and escaped the Roman authorities is ruled by vampires, because there are no crucifixes to drive them back.)

My young hero, Ilya Muromets, has to join forces with an invisible gypsy, a headless giant, an unpredictable monkey-girl with a weapon made of living metal, a levitating old-testament style prophet, Captain Nemo, and a sexy maneating mermaid from the conquered parallel worlds, and cut his way with his grandfather’s katana to where the mad scientist’s beautiful daughter from the Haunted Museum is imprisoned, slaughtering Latin werewolves and Greek Kallikanzaro and large-eared flying midgets and one-legged sciapods and one-eyed Arimaspians along the way, until he finds the forty-story tall prayer-powered robotic suit of armor needed to wrestle the Atlantis-sized leviathan turtle, to pick up the twenty-story tall burning neutronium spear, trample the armies of the dark tower, cleave the diamond admantium chains holding the trapped archangel of …

Never mind the rest. I am trying to write something as over the top as I can possibly get away with. That is why I am bringing this manuscript to Vox Day rather than Tor books. I think he has the vision to approve of the fight scene between the armored and over-adorned Babylonian Zeppelin driven by Emperor Nimrod the Hunter and the ironclad submersible Nautilus captained by Nemo, warrior-Maharaja and superscientist of Lemuria.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I don’t know, but maybe the answer is, that this work differs from other alternate history books BY BEING TOTALLY AWESOME.

Also, the theory of how the parallel timelines divide is unique.

Most science fiction writers either (1) go the boring route of saying that every possible event, no matter how small, produces a new world, in which case there is no reason to do or to not do anything, since a timeline has always existed with conditions the same as if you already did it and succeeded, did it and failed, or never did it, no matter what ‘it’ is.

Or (2) go the predictable route of making major battles the turning points of history, so we have a timeline where the Red won the Cold War, the Nazi won the Second World War, the South won the Civil War, or the British won the American Revolutionary War, and that is about it before the writer outstrips the historical knowledge of the average public-school indoctrinated reader. (Needless to say, most Alternate History devotees and much, much better informed than the average public-school lobotomized reader.)

My theory in this book is based on the answers to two speculative questions:

(1) what kind of event in history would produce the amount of mass-energy needed to divide the timeline, that is, to make a near-identical copy of an entire universe (or, if not the entire universe, the continuum as seen from within the lightcone of Earth) — where would the energy, equal (at least) to the Big Bang come from each time such an event occurred?

(2) How can I have an excuse for a scene in which a totally buttkicking and semi-invulnerable seventeen year old squire of the secret interdimensional monster-slaying Roman Catholic ancient and honorable military order of the high-tech Templars with a magnetic accelerator machine pistol in one hand and his granfather’s blessed katana in the other, the finger bone of Saint Demetrius of Sermium in a hollow crucifix about his neck, faces off against the undead Pharaoh Busiris, a Lamassu armed with Gaebolg and a Nephilim armed with Gungnir (not to mention a blooddrinking lilim, an Abarimon swifter than thought, a golden goyim golem, and a Naga armed with a daevaastra, and Baba Yaga in her hawk-legged hut) fighting in wild and desperate melee atop the sloping upper hull of a burning ironclad Zeppelin toppling into ocean boiled by nine erupting volcanoes during a subsea earthquake and lightningstorm tornado caused by an puncture-wound in timespace eating the doomed world like a black hole? While under orbit-to-surface fire from kamikaze Babylonian spacewarships blazing like meteors overhead plunge gallantly to their fiery dooms in desperate attempt to slay the young hero?

Why do I write what I do?

Beg pardon? Do you need me to explain about the badass Templar kid swordfighting a giant, an antiminotaur, and a mummy on the slippery upper surface of a burning blimp again?  Did I mention kamikaze Babylonian spacewarships and use the word ‘Awesome’ in all caps, or did I not? The matter is self explanatory.

How does your writing process work?

I write to an exact and precise method. I leave the manuscript notes, a bag of cookie and a bucket of goat’s milk on the back stoop on certain sacred days known only to the Roman Catholic calendar: elves come forth from the ancient woods and ruins of lost monasteries or Indian burial grounds, accompanied by the ghosts of Druids expiating ancient and forgotten crimes, write up the manuscript, and present it to me. They get six percent of the gross, or else my cows go dry.