The title of the first book “The Powers of the Earth” is a dual reference.
On the one hand, it is a phrase that Thomas Jefferson used in the introduction of the Declaration of Independence to mean “the various governments that rule mankind”.
On the other hand, if refers to gravity, the force that holds all of us down to Earth (and the force that, in the novel, is defeated by the use of Ponzie’s anti-gravity device).
As the book grew from an intended 350 pages to its eventual 930+ pages, it became clear that I had to split it into two novels. Conveniently, there is a nice split that works thematically, plot-wise, etc.
But – what to call the second novel?
I strongly like the idea of choosing another phrase from either the introduction or the preamble of the Declaration of Independence (and, in fact, if there are more novels in the series – and there likely will be! – I like the idea of continuing this theme.
So, what phrase to use?
These all stood out for me:
- political bands
- [ separate and ] equal station
- laws of nature
- causes of separation
- all men are created equal
- unalienable rights
- life [ and ] liberty
- sufferable evils
- abuses and usurpations
- absolute despotism
- right and duty
- system of government
- injuries and usurpations
- absolute tyranny
A few of them seem a bit too clunky, too melodramatic, or thematically not quite right.
…but several others do seem decent.
Any thoughts or suggestions?
Which on this list do you prefer?