Dryads, the last of my Nymph collection, has finally got to draft stage at 33,000 words. For those with a fictional frame of mind, Dryads is set in a place not dissimilar to medieval England – it has a Soke, a Ridings, a Caulder (ok there’s a spare ‘u’ in there but our river Calder is notionally the only river to join lands both east and west of the Pennines), and other familiar sounding places, all ruled over by the folks in the capital of Angelynn. Aristotle advocates a variety of methods to make the story work. Dryads takes on a notion that’s been kicking around ever since we left the trees (or is the caves?) – There Should be No Increase (in our numbers), the urge to procreate, when war goes wrong, and Light versus Dark. The world of Dryads needs a name because it’s my fifth story set there. At the moment this is a toss-up between the Northland Steppes and the Lands of the Khaif. Dryads, along with Ice Made, Storm and The Nereid, will probably see my editor later this year; it would be earlier but he’s a busy guy and I’ve already booked him for two books: The Turning Stone, and Angel in My Heart.
Meantime – on the professional front – I’m getting stuck into Single Source Regulations – my current contract is coming to an end and Profit on Cost of Production, Capital Servicing Rates, Baseline Profit, the Annual Compliance Report for 2018 and the SSRO funding adjustment are something to get my teeth into…while Dryads settles.
After Dryads it’s back to my long delayed SF piece: Men for the Stars, which recounts the adventures of Jonny Burco on the Mexican Wall, peace-keeping duties at the new city state of Londany (wonder where Londany could possibly be, hmm?) and eventually in outer space. Outer Space – gee whiz!!
Okay Men for the Stars is a take on first contact with itty-bitty strands of Heinleinic influence. What? You never hear of Robert Heinlein? Here’s a blast from the past (cover by the great Bruce Pennington).