Five Things About My Works In Progress

To co-incide with the paperback release of the quite excellent novel by Gavin Smith The Age of Scorpio, the author has kindly agreed to provide SFBook with his thoughts on "five things about your work in progress".

So this five things about your work in progress meme thing has been doing the rounds, and I’ve never seen a band wagon that I didn’t want to jump on (that’s not entirely true) except…I don’t really discuss works in progress any more than I absolutely have to. Not even my editors. Though my agent keeps on asking me pointed questions. He uses words like "commercially viable", apparently this is different from commercially successful. He also uses words like "not just fucking insane". I cling to words like "just".

I am not really sure why I don’t like talking about my works in progress. Perhaps I have a secretive nature. I suspect it comes from a fear that someone might try and stop me, probably motivated out of a sense of goodwill. (Space fish-trolls are a good idea!) On the other hand if it’s good enough for Justina Robson (And if you haven’t read her excellent Quantum Gravity series then get ye to a bookshop or library, c’mon now, none of your nonsense!) then it’s good enough for me.

So I have two works in progress we shall refer to them by codename to alleviate my borderline paranoid personality: The codenames are Marigold, and the Beauty of Destruction (which is the working title for the third book in the Age of Scorpio trilogy).

1). I am trying to work out how to fuse apocalyptic (not post or pre), cosmic horror and noir at the moment, and reading a lot of James Elroy (as research).

2). Physics is refusing to cooperate with the plot of the Beauty of Destruction and as a result is in disgrace until such a time as it becomes significantly more cooperative. I am searching for alternatives, I like ether but magic is so convenient, though I understand that there are some genre issues when I invoke (see what I did there) magic. (Don’t worry it’s probably just a spat but for something so theoretical physics can be very bloody minded at times!)

3). The secrets of the Brass City will be revealed in the Beauty of Destruction.

4). Marigold, despite its terrifying codename, is science fiction, and space opera, but will not in any way be dystopian. Well I hope not anyway, though it’s a little ridiculous to suggest that an author is somehow in control of anything he writes, or indeed in anyway legally responsible for it.

5). Marigold posits something positive arising from the flames of a massive interstellar war fought among humankind far in the future.

5.1). And this a freebie. One day I’d like to be able to write a novel that doesn’t have druids in it.