Last month I submitted the manuscript for the Dreamwielder sequel to my publisher, Diversion Books, and after a bit of discussion we decided to change the title from The Faceless Enemy to something more in line with the title of the first book. The title we came up with is... wait for it... Souldrifter. It's got a nice ring to it, and hopefully it'll be something that captures readers' imaginations.
Wendy Wagner. Wendy is author of the Pathfinder Tales novel Skinwalkers, and also an editor extraordinaire with Lightspeed magazine who played a huge role in putting together Women Destroy Fantasy last year. Needless to say, I'm honored and proud Wendy agreed to say something nice about the book. Here's what she had to say:
"Packed with sorcerers, spies, and high-stakes intrigue, Souldrifter is a real page-turner, and Makarria is a teenage heroine who does more than just kick butt: she's smart, powerful, and surprisingly believable for a fourteen-year-old queen. A good read!"
The next bit of news for the book will likely be the cover art. As soon as I get it, I'll be sure to share it.
In other news, I've been doing a good bit of research for other writing projects and the classes I'm teaching, which more often than not tend to overlap. A case in point is the new short story I'm working on, partly inspired by a class I'm teaching—Innovation Inspiration in Speculative Fiction—and partly inspired by
the research I'm doing for a cli-fi novel-in-progress called Remember the Future. I've been on the fence for a long time about issues relating to GMOs, and a writer friend, Jeff Wallace, turned me on to this enlightening article at the New Yorker that really won me over onto the side of GMOs being a good thing. The article even made me soften up my stance on Monsanto, whom (like everyone else) I had assumed was the face of evil and had been outspoken against. Turns out they might not be so evil, after all, as evidenced by this other article I was turned on to by Wendy Wagner in an odd coincidence.
The short of it all, is that I still firmly believe mainstream agricultural practices need to change significantly, but that those changes likely need to combine aspects of traditional farming (crop rotations, for example), organic farming (kicking chemical fertilizers and pesticides to the curb), new farming techniques (cover crops and absolutely no tilling!), and yes, even GMOs. This is all stuff that will be fodder for my characters in Remember the Future, but also in the aformentioned new short story I'm working on. This new short story also includes ideas about synthesized meat—shmeat!—portable water condensation devices, and even a new economic model that is democratic but not exactly capitalistic. Likely, I'm biting off more than I can chew, but regardless it's been fun to get back into the science end of things. In fact, I'm finally getting to participate more over at Project Hieroglyph, where I recently reported my research findings on the massive carbon sequestering potential of doing things like using a mulching lawnmower and actually putting compost to use rather than letting it go to waste in landfills. If you're interested in any of these matters, I encourage you to sign up for a free membership at Project Hieroglyph and add your voice to help create innovative technology and ideas.
Well, I've rambled enough for one day. I best get back to work on the aforementioned short story. Until next time...