Stats in a table (updated)

draft start finish duration words/day size
1 1 Jan ’11 24 Aug ’11 235 720 169,000
2 1 Jan ’12 3 Aug ’12 215 976 210,000
3 04 Aug ’12 20 Dec ’12 139 1,975 275,000
4 17 Mar ’13 30 Oct ’13 ) 227 1,462 332,049
5 1 Nov ? ? ? ?
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draft 4: DONE

words paperback pages hardcover pages
book 1: 164,916 659 549
book 2: 167,133 668 557
total: 332,049 1,328 1,106

(Pagecounts are calculated as 250 words/page for paperbacks and 350 words/page for hardcover.)

Started on 17 March, finished on 30 Octover. I took a break for about 6 weeks, so that’s 185 days of work, which yields 1,794 words / day.

Now on to draft 5.

I’ve got copyediting feedback to include, and in another three weeks I should be getting some novel-coaching feedback, so there’s a lot more work to be done.

Still hoping to have this done by June 2014.

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Mental illness?

Bondwine Books

Few writers would spend six years of unremitting and unrewarded toil to complete a 600,000-word trilogy before the first book is sold

Yeah, but how many would spend three years of unremitting and unrewarded toil to complete a 330,000-word duology?

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Chapter 218: Ashok’s first day on the Moon

== 2064: Soldner Homes

Ashok shook his head. “I don’t have time to accompany you shopping. I’ve got work to do.”

“You can’t expect me to venture out into this place all by myself – it’s so big. I’ll get lost, and -”

“Don’t go by yourself. Go with Deepti or Shakti or one of the other wives.”

Rani pouted, something Ashok, for the life of him, couldn’t understand. She was a calm and sensible woman. She never put on this kind of drama back in Lucknow. What was going on with her?

He thought for a moment, trying to figure out how to get the information out of her. Finally he came up with a tactic that he thought might work. “Rani, you’re a calm and sensible woman. We never had this kind of drama back in Lucknow. What’s going on with you?”

Rani looked away, then back. “This place is different than I imagined.”

Ashok furrowed his eyebrows. “What are you talking about? This is the exact same apartment as the model you found online. You talked about it for months. Even the kitchen fixtures are the same! I don’t -”

She shook her head. “I don’t mean that. I mean Aristillus. It’s bigger – it’s more confusing. There’s – ” She searched for the word. “There’s tension in the air.”

“You’ve seen the news. The PKs are shooting down ships.”

At this Rani broke down. “I know! They could have shot ours. We could be dead right now.”

Ashok nodded, then reached out to her, and pulled her in tight. “I know. They could have. But they didn’t. We made it here. We’re OK. Our kids are OK.”

Rani leaned into him and shuddered.

After a long moment Ashok pulled back, but kept his hands on her shoulders. “Now, look. We’ve got everything we wanted. We’ve got a bigger apartment.”

“It cost twice what was advertised a week ago.”

“Shhh. Don’t worry. We can afford it. Remember: we’ve got everything we wanted. We’ve got a bigger apartment than we could have ever afforded in India. We’ve got good friends next door, and more good friends one hallway over. Before we were even out of the docks we had three people tell us about private schools for Aravind and Nandita. And I’ve even got a job. Rani, look at me.”

She pulled back, wiped tears from her eyes, then looked at him expectantly.

“Rani, we’ve been here for less than 24 hours. And we’ve got a home, we’ve got a job, and we’ve got friends all around us. Think about how much we have to be thankful for.”

Rani sniffled. “It’s not a real job, it’s a contract. You’re working out of our apartment. What kind of company doesn’t have proper offices?”

“I showed you their website. They’re involved in the Aristillus defense effort. All sorts of people are working out of their homes right now – this is an emergency. And at these rates, who cares if it’s contract work or a permanent job?” Ashok looked at the tracked robot that a courier had delivered two hours earlier. “This firm needs someone with expertise on sensors, and I’m a sensor expert.” He paused and tried to put a smile on his face. “Now, go next door and get Deepti or Shakti or someone and go shopping for all the housewares you need. I’m going to set up in the third bedroom and start working on this robot.”

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chapter 188: Poly kids (3/5)- DRM problems

== 2064: Atlanta Hackspace, Atlanta, GA, Earth

The door to the hackerspace opened, and Vince walked in and peeled off his leather jacket.

Maynard looked up. “Vince? Jesus, where’ve you been? I’ve been trying to reach you for two days.”

“Yeah – I’ve been busy. Lots of parties, lots of -”

Maynard shook his head. “Vince, that’s not cool. Seriously not cool. This ship is your project -”

Vince forced a smile through what looked to be a hang over. “And you’re doing a hell of a job supporting me on it. I appreciate that, Maynard, I really do.” He clapped a hand on Maynard’s shoulder.

Maynard put down the multimeter. “Vince, I appreciate that, but we need to install the rockets. We’ve got almost everything else done. The ship is down in the garage, and it’s ready to go – but we need the rockets.” He paused. “So where are they?”

Vince looked aside. “Well, there’s a problem.”

“What problem?” Maynard felt his voice on the edge of cracking. He’d been working so long and so hard on this, and everyone else in the hackerspace claimed that they were involved, and yet he was the only one who seemed to be doing any work. Vince, Jimbo, Little Steve – even his own girlfriend Carrie-Ann wasn’t around the place very often. Everyone else was spending their nights out drinking, having a sequence of “Bon Voyage” parties. But there wasn’t going to be a damned Bon Voyage if he didn’t get this shit done, and no one was helping him. He’d asked folks again and again, and everyone had laughed it off. Oh, sure, they showed up for the fun parts, like decorating the ship, or deciding what to name it. But for the grunt work? For the welding, for the grinding, for the endless hours of AG drive calibration?

Even Vince, who had been in this with him from the beginning, wasn’t showing up any more.

“Damn it Vince, what problem?”

Vince held up too hands. “Woah, Maynard, slow down. Not cool. Look, you just relax and we’ll get through this together, OK?”

Maynard crossed his arms and looked at Vince skeptically.”

“No, seriously, Maynard. Come on, that’s now way to be.” Vince smiled encouraginly. “Now uncross your arms…yeah, that’s right. Body language, man. So, are we going to work through this together?”

Maynard said nothing.

“Come on, are we?”

Grudgingly Maynard mumbled “Yes.”

“OK.” Vince blew out some air. “So I’ve got this problem with the rockets. The printer says that there’s a DRM flag on them, and it refuses to print them.”

Maynard exploded. “What? God damn it, the printer only updates the government prohibited items list once a month. The last weaponds-and-devices update was two weeks ago. You said that you were going to print out the rockets before that!”

Vince shrugged. “Yeah, and I meant to. I’m sorry, man. Shit came up. You know how it is.”

“No, I DON’T know how it is.”

“Look, Maynard, we can get through this together. There must be some way to print those rockets.”

Maynard wiped a hand over his face, and felt sweat on his forehead. “Yeah, there is.”

“Go on.”

“I’ve got some five year old printer firmware.”

“Problem solved!”

Maynard turned to Vince. “No, the problem is NOT solved. Installing that firmware is a FELONY, Vince. I could get serious jailtime for that.”

“Hey, look, this whole project -”

“No, this whole project is not a felony. Well, OK, yes, it is. …but it’s not the kind of felony that they’re prosecuting that much. Illegal firmware on a printer? That’s a BATFEEIN grade four offense. If anyone ever hears that I did this, I don’t get a letter in the mail and time to call my lawyer – I get a tactical team surrounding my apartment and flashbangs through the window.”

“Maynard, don’t be dramatic, you -”

“I’m not being dramatic. This shit is REAL.”

Vince paused. “OK, you’re right. I apologize. This shit is real, and I appreciate the risk you’re taking.”

Maynard breathed out, finally feeling the least bit vindicated. “OK. Thank you.”

“So you’re on it, then? You’ll print the rockets?”

“Damn it, Vince, I’m doing all the work!”

“I know, and -”

“If I print the rockets, you do all the plumbing.”

“OK, I will.”

“Promise!”

“I promise.” Vince picked up his leather jacket from the back of the chair where he’d dropped it. “Thanks, M.”

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210

I started writing the novel on 1 January 2011.

I’m still working on it today…which marks 1,024 days.

ONWARD!

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What I’m trying to accomplish with this novel

I recently told an acquaintance what I’m trying to accomplish with this novel:

This is what Heinlein’s Moon is a Harsh Mistress would be if it were five times longer (in a Neal Stephenson-esque discursive style), told from dozens of points of view, and updated for the 21st century.

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Back at it

I took six weeks off.

A week ago I got back to the novel.

Draft 4 target completion date: 15 November 2013.

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John C Wright on my reactionary science fiction

Over in John C Wright’s blog John wrote about, tangentially, motherhood.

I commented:

TJIC: My two-novel arc peaks in grand space-opera fashion: really big things blowing up, even bigger things blowing up, space ships bigger than anyone had expected, AIs, uplifted Dogs, coding hacks, robot hordes…but it does not CONCLUDE until the boy gets the girl – and the girl pulls back and says “wait, there’s one condition: we’re going to have kids. And lots of them.”

Who says science fiction can’t be reactionary?

To which John graciously replied:

JCW: But who says reactionaries are reactionary? It is the Politically Correct inmates of their own narrow thought prisons who react without thinking to support any idea that is against the status quo without bothering to discover if the status quo got its status for a reason.

From a science fiction point of view, the alien race that kills its own children in the womb sounds like some horrid insect critters from the dark side of the moon. It is the race of people who have lots of kids and lots more who will be the race that will rule the Sevagram.

This is an allusion to the curtain line of A E van Vogt’s WEAPON MAKERS OF ISHER, one of the best (and confusingest) curtain lines in Sciffydom, but the point of the line is that Man because of his emotional nature — including such emotions as loving Mom and loving one’s home and motherland — are destined to rule the galaxy.

The real reactionaries are the guys who are against the Mom and the flag and the cross and apple pie and babies and marriage, and honor and hope, the guys who hate Boy Scouts, the guys who hate the free market, the guys who hate and hate and hate — they are ones who react without thought. Whatever is their own, they hate.

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one week break

Lots of stuff needs to be done at work, and I’m a bit tired of writing, so I’m taking a one week break.

Back at it soon!

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