Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Back to the Future

Read it now!
Chapter 7: We Happy Few

When I was in college, I started writing a series of science fiction stories collectively titled FREEFALL. They were set in a semi-parallel universe, where a family named Quinn (and yes, they are mighty) turns a textile business into a powerful multi-national conglomerate. By the mid-21st century, the company now named "Quintex" actually has enough power to challenge the United Nations of Earth when violence erupts in the mining colonies of "the Torus"--the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

I had a lot of fun writing those stories. And when I put them online in the mid-1990s, it was one of the few pieces of science fiction available on the Internet. I got fan email from people all over the country, and even one from Australia. I even made it onto Sergey Brin's booklist.

But I stopped writing FREEFALL. Like the song says, life is what happens when you're making other plans. I have no regrets about working my ass off, doing some good, and collecting some money during the dot-com bubble, but now, I'm doing my best to honor my true calling. I never forgot how much I love writing. I just didn't remember to make it a priority.

I recently dug out a bunch of my old notes and outlines for FREEFALL stories. I was surprised to find that one of the outlines, Tail of Night, bore more than a passing resemblance to my second NaNoWriMo novel, Waypoint Kangaroo. Both involve the hijacking of a large spacegoing object by someone who tries to turn that object into a deadly projectile. In Night, it's Halley's Comet; in Kangaroo, it's an interplanetary cruise ship. A lot of years, and 9/11, passed between that outline and this novel, but I guess some ideas just grab hold of you and don't let go.

I was in the middle of a twelve-part story titled No Fate when I abandoned FREEFALL. I just finished Chapter 7, "We Happy Few." I'll post an update here whenever I publish a new chapter, which will be once a month between now and the end of May.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I should go write back to that guy who emailed me in 2005 wanting to "catch up with the end of the story." Better late than never, right?


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