My fourth Torth novel, the aptly named "World of Wreckage," is complete!
It weighs in at a healthy 104,000 words, and took me one year to complete, or six months if you factor out real life delays.
Writing this book was one heck of a wild ride, and required me to stretch my writing skills in new and strange ways. I wrote a blog post about the chemistry of hate (see May 2010), inspired by a rocky relationship between two characters in this book. I developed some new insights about the Torth Empire, and opened up the plot gateway for the wrap-up of the series, which will probably require three more novels.
Working on this series has given me a lot more respect and appreciation for writers such as Robert Jordan, J.K. Rowling, and George R.R. Martin, who've juggled long character arcs that must stay fresh and fun over multiple novels. It's really not as easy as it looks.
And now . . . here are a few random, completely out-of-context, and spoiler-free quotes from the book!
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Here's a solution, she told the Commander of All Living Things. Drop a series of thermonuclear bombs on them.
"He's a lying sleaze-ball who'll lick anyone's boots if he thinks it will save his life."
"You've doomed the universe. Way to go, genius."
"I have to warn you," he said in a quiet voice, "the Great Prison is a hard place to visit, even if you're not being tortured there." He seemed intent on ignoring Thomas. "The sights we'll see . . . it will be unpleasant. We have to remember not to intervene. We can't help the prisoners, no matter how much we'd like to."
"I should have let you die." He raised his voice to a squeaky pitch, doing an imperious imitation of Thomas. "I bet I can outsmart them!"
"The little girl who keeps coming up with doomsday devices? Ugh. She gives me the willies."
"This place has been untouched for who-knows-how-many-thousands of years, and he's going to break it?"
"You're obliterating countless centuries of ancient artifacts!" His voice cracked, anguished. "The things we could have learned!"
"We've met before. You saved my life. Would you be so kind as to allow me to save yours?"
"C o m m m m m m m m m m e," the Torth whispered through smiles.
Cherise raised her hand--and stopped herself just before she could slap Flen across the face. "I don't love Thomas." The very idea stung her, a deep wound that she wasn't sure she could forgive Flen for speaking. "I hate him. But he's trying to save the Alashani, so get off his back."
"Oh, hell. I could explain it perfectly if you were a mind reader. But since you're not getting it, I think you're going to have to perform an astonishing feat of heavy lifting, instead."
The Indigo Governess sat in her massage pool in her suite on Umdalkdul, so weakened that she required medical devices to aid her lungs and heart. Derision leaked from her. This 'frippery' is an ingenious new weapon that will change the course of history. Her communication came with an attached mental image of the Betrayer as a bloodied corpse. Once it's ready, it will destroy him. My creativity will save the Empire.
"Alex is done for today. The next time he reappears, grab him. Jump on him. Tell him to get some sleep. If he tries to ignore you and do anything at all, kick him in the balls."
Get rid of all mentally defective infants, no matter how trivial the defect seems. No emotional babies, no handicapped telepaths, and especially no Yeresunsa. We (Torth) have been too lax.
Of course, the Death Architect replied. It could destroy a star. It might be able to destroy the galaxy. It might unravel the space-time continuum and collapse the universe as We know it. I don't really know. Pride and eager curiosity shone in her thoughts. I'll need to run some experiments.
Inwardly, the Commander wondered what signs of treachery she'd missed twelve years ago. Why did you throw away your life (just) to copulate with a human beast, and then carry a hybrid fetus to term inside your womb?
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Ah, those Torth ... never up to any good.
Now I would love to write Book 5, but I'm going to resist the temptation and (sighhhhh) take another peep at Book 1. I want to market this series, and, like, sell it, someday.