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We’re Diamonds In The Rough

November 16, 2011

Speaking of rough, I seem to be running a little sluggish today, so pardon your Uncle Eddie if I’m not as entertaining as I like to think I usually am. Originally wrote half that line in third person. This racket is a little weird at times.

Okay, so I’m still poking at my projects, and I have nothing to tell you about those just yet. You already know I’m going to write a story for the Author Unknown project, but that won’t see publication until next year, because not everybody is available to start writing now. Makes me wonder why the editor actually chose to go with outside writers when he probably could write the whole thing himself in about the same time, if he started now. Probably because he’s busy publishing a backlog of material he’s been flogging for years. He gets all glassy eyed and frothy at the mouth when people start talking about self-publishing ebooks. I try to steer him toward safer topics… like abortion and capital punishment.

The Procession of The Tartarus goes slowly. I should change its name to The Procession of Drunken Mollusks, for the amount of time it’s taking me to tell the story. It’s a sort of grand pulp fantasy novel about a Sinbad-type adventurer who takes an enchanted sail barge made of gold and travels from one Arabian Knights-inspired adventure world to another.

The big secret is that it actually is a distant relation to my previous series, The Quantum Gaslight Chronicles, which was really my attempt to capture some of that classic Victoriana scientific romance novel flavour. It had giant, armoured martians and steam-powered airships and Mad Hatters and Never Never Land and brooding detectives and flights to the moon and a lot of other ludicrous nonsense in it. It was a sort of trilogy, except that really, it was more like three interlinking anthologies, because the many different stories and characters used to tell the overall story rarely intersected. It was more like a long series of vignettes and paper clippings and postcards and letters and the occasional bit of serial fiction from out of the daily newspapers, back in the day when there was no television or even radio to entertain masses of people on a daily basis.

And it even had a brief encounter with the Tartarus, the crew of the ship saving a tribe of wild children from a gang of marauding banditos. It was pretty silly, really, but the idea stuck in my head, so I decided to try my hand at writing a full fledged Tartarus epic. It’s sort of two parts Sinbad, two parts Baron Munchausen, but it’s got cleverly-disguised layers of symbolism to it , like a John Irving or Tom Stoppard story, but in a tone more like Tom Robbins. I guess I’m showing my age there.

So yeah, the bit with the Banditos reappears, but from the Tartarus’ point of view, rather than the Banditos, whom I had portrayed as hapless villains with hearts of gold who were merely trying to capture the children to return them home… so they could steal the kids’ ill-gotten gains fro themselves afterwards. The whole thing goes wrong, but for the crew of the Tartarus it proves to be a little more troublesome, because the girl who had been leading the tribe of children, a certain Pirate Zoe, refuses to return to her family, and instead becomes a member of the Tartarus crew. Well, believe me, things only get more colourful from there.

Anyway, I’ve probably given away too much, but I figured it might amuse a few of you diehards who remember the original books. Admiral Zoe and her crew ride on!

Okay, time to get back to work. Hope you kids are having a good day. Also hope I didn’t put any of you to sleep with that little waltz down memory lane.


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