Monday, July 16, 2007

E-books ...

I sent 4 docs to Dave Aitel, who offered to give them a home at immunityinc, in both .pdf & .rtf -- I'll post the links here as soon as I get them from Dave.

A Moment in Time (script)
All Possible Worlds Pilot (script)
On Sequoia Time (story)
Old Man (story)

Moment in Time and APW are both set in the same universe, and you should read them in order.

On Sequoia Time and Old Man are also set in the same universe -- and it's impossible to tell this from the texts, so it doesn't matter what order you read them.

There's a variety of documents coming after that, but the novels won't be too far in the future at this point -- I'll post them in the order they were written:

The Armageddon Blues
Emerald Eyes
The Long Run
The Last Dancer
Terminal Freedom

Apparently I did post the three Star Wars stories previously, so I guess I will again --

Empire Blues
A Barve Like That
The Last One Standing

There's a draft of a Camber Tremodian story sitting on my computer, in fair shape -- I'll probably post that soon after. Here's the opening:

*

Cities in the Darkness

I am the Name Storyteller.

This is a story, and so a lie. But this story is more a lie than most, because you are what you are. If you are reading this story in Tierra or any of its antecedents, you are reading a translation of my words: and almost everything you will be told about what is happening in the following text is at its core untrue, perhaps even as metaphor.

The biological components of the individuals portrayed here are dozens of times faster than you are. In their biological selves they have access to some three orders of magnitude more information than you do in yours. Through the Archives they have access to the knowledge bases of several hundred intelligent species and nearly ten billion years of known history. Their modes of being contain yours as yours contain those of your children.

*

The Starcrossed dropped out of lightspace, into the near-emptiness of interstellar space, its tachyon wand glowing blue-white. Within seconds the glow died, which was normal enough: and then the ship sat motionless for a good while, which is also normal. Drop shock is difficult for biological creatures, in varying degrees, and worse for machine intelligences, and lightships are vulnerable in those moments after drop.

Some time passed and then an unusual thing happened: the tachyon wand recessed into the body of the ship, and abruptly the lightship was a freighter. This last was a great trick: there are not many lightships in existence, and only a few, most of them owned by the Face of Night, that are capable of masking their wands. On most ships, the wand, once mounted, never moves again. The tachyon wand's internal structure is imprinted with the shape of the ship it is mounted on, and if the wand moves even a centimeter relative to the ship it forgets the existence of the ship, and its imprinting: and what was once a tachyon starship is now a sublight vehicle with an ungainly piece of crystal mounted on one end.

Nonetheless The Starcrossed hid its tachyon wand, and with subtle instruments began searching the emptiness.

Eventually it found waste heat. That way.

The ship stole energy from the vacuum flux and accelerated at over four hundred gravities toward its destination.

*

Almost everything you think you know about the Unforgiven is wrong. They are not cowards. They did not run away when the going got tough. (That's the Trentists, though they don't seem to be as despised for their actual, if doctrinal, cowardice, as the Unforgiven are for the myth of theirs.)

They did not hide from the sleem. (That's the K'Aillae.) They do avoid the Source and many believe the Source hunts for them still -- not that anyone knows. The Source may or may not be vengeful, but it does not often talk to humans, not in recent centuries.

The Source did talk once to Camber Tremodian.

*

He was an outlaw at the time, which is usually not as romantic as people think: except that in Camber's case it was. His father had died, or been killed, and Camber's brother Jale Tremodian wanted him dead and his stepmother Faelivrin Modyan also wanted him dead, and between the two the latter was Camber's greater concern. He had stolen Domain's best starship, however, and renamed it something silly: and he had the protection, of sorts, of Earth and the Face of Night. The Face of Night preferred Camber Tremodian on the Emerald Throne, for pragmatic enough reasons.

(Does history interest you? Corisande Trey married Ersemmina Modyan, in the days when those clans ran Domain. It was called Tin Woodman then, of course; it was a part of Ian Cameron's Oz Circuit originally. It was the second habitable world he found, after Emerald City; and he found dozens, all of which he named for the works of L. Frank Baum: Dorothy and Glinda and Scarecrow and Cowardly Lion and Tin Woodman and Oogaboo and Ozma and Tik Tok and … you know the list. Emerald City was a reasonable enough name for the first world Cameron found, with its World-Forest. Why Tin Woodman, though, is anyone's guess.

(Trey and Modyan had a child, Kess Trey-Modyan, who led Domain through the Man-Spacething War and was a sturdy ally of Earth and the House of November. The Trey clan died out; Trey-Modyan became Tremodian and ruled Domain for over three hundred years. The Modyans did not die out, though they became friendly with the Out Federation, and as a result Earth did not trust them.

(Camber Tremodian was my grandfather, and Rial my great-grandfather. I don't know everything about Rial Tremodian's life, but I know enough to think he married Faelivrin Modyan because he loved her. I said this was a romantic story … but it was a foolish thing to do, if that's not a redundant observation, and probably got Rial killed, and certainly got Camber outlawed.)

So the Face of Night did not trust the Modyans, because of their long history with the Out Federation; and the Modyans certainly did not trust Earth, though they feared it and its Powers. Therefore the Domish did not demand Camber's return nor even the return of their stolen, ridiculously renamed ship, and Camber was safe in Sol System, so long as he stayed there … and if this seems a terrible fate for a young man, well, after all, some people never even leave the cities of their birth.

Colette Moceanu hadn't, and she was an old woman when Camber Tremodian came to her City.

*

An Avatar of the Source came to Camber on Venus[1], and found him camped on the slopes of Maxwell Monte. Maxwell Monte is 12 kilometers high, nearly twice the height of Everest. Camber had spent most of his life on Domain or Earth, and he had never seen a mountain quite like Maxwell Monte. He was a young man then, and instantly he wanted to climb it.

When his aide, Lora, warned Camber at the approach of another human, the Avatar was still three kilometers below Camber. Camber suspected its identity, then confirmed it and waited for it by his heater. Lower down the mountain he had burned wood fires, but Venus's terraforming had not yet reached the heights of Maxwell Monte: halfway up its length nothing lived, and aside from the temperature – cold, near the freezing point of water – and the fact that its air was breathable (if only just) you might have pretended you were on pre-Change Venus.

It is not surprising that Camber suspected the stranger beneath him might be an Avatar of the Source. The Source had fallen near-silent in the years since the Man-Spacething War (though some said it was the death of Narcin November that silenced It) and had withdrawn in large part from the affairs of men … but the terraforming of Venus interested It, and Camber would have been surprised had any assassin or bounty hunter managed to follow him so far without being stopped by defenses layered and subtle. It narrowed substantially the field of candidates who might be climbing a mountain behind Camber.

Camber waited patiently the hour it took the Avatar to reach him. At one point, within less than a kilometer of Camber's camp, a quake struck and dislodged the Avatar from the precipice it was navigating; it fell a hundred meters and landed with an impact Camber heard clearly. It dusted itself off, spent a moment adjusting the shape of one of its limbs, and started climbing again. The quakes were frequent enough; the World Builders were spinning the world faster and faster, to approach Earth's cycle of day and night. When they got done centuries from now Venus's rotation would still be retrograde, but it would have dropped from a period of two hundred and forty-three hours to roughly twenty-four. Camber thought it a reasonable task, but as Venus's rotation accelerated, its quakes grew more frequent and more severe.

The Avatar came at last into Camber's camp and sat next to Camber's heater. It was a male human, which generally meant young and healthy: but the Avatar had assumed a more advanced biological age. Its face had wrinkles and its hair was white – Camber had never seen a biologically aged person before except in sensables, but without referring to his Archive he judged this creature's biological age at forty, or seventy, something in that broad range between actual youth and death by aging.

"Are you injured?" he asked politely.[2]

It shook its head. "No, but thank you for asking."

"What can I do for you?"

"What do you know of the Unforgiven?"

Camber had never heard the term before. He consulted his Archive. "What everyone knows."

"I want you to find them for me," said the Avatar of the Source.

[1] The map tenses of the Venus sequence are ambiguous. They may have taken place either in reality or in a virtual extent; it's clear that the author intended this ambiguity. – Translator.

[2] He said no such thing. He did not open his mouth or move. The Source did not shake its head at him. Camber's sensorium touched the Source's and they exchanged pleasantries including an optional layer with body language, which each offered and each, for the most part, ignored (and this is true regardless of the underlying map of the sequence.) – Translator.

~~~~

That's it for now. Cities requires some work, but a long weekend would get it done. After that there's some short fiction, a raft of essays, some exerpts of abandoned works that I'll probably post anyway, even in unfinished state (a bunch of CT stuff that I'm just never going to write, unfortunately) ... and then, sooner rather than later, I hope, A.I. War, followed by Crystal Wind, followed by the first James Camber novel, The Hotel California.

14 comments:

Sean Fagan said...

Oh god.

I'd mostly forgotten how much I enjoyed reading your stuff.

Pardon the sycophancy, but you really are good.

Sean Fagan said...

P.S. No, I hadn't realized that OST and OM were in the same universe. That actually makes me very sad about OM. (OST is a very sad story. Bloody brilliant.)

Morrolan said...

I hope you don't mind me asking but I seem to recall you saying on the old CT mailing list that you had written another CT novel, Lord November. What happened to it?

Shawn said...

I thought about posting this after reading the FatSam bits...

It's good to be reading things written by you again.

Regarding the stories - what kind of license are you making them available under? All-rights-reserved copyright, copying for non-commercial use allowed, or what?

tom said...

Joy abounds!

It is quite sad about the CT stuff though. It is some of the most enjoyable reading I've found, and more would always be welcome. In any case, I'll take what I can get, and thank you kindly for it.

Dan Moran said...

The stories are free to copy for non-commercial use. All other rights are reserved by me.

Lord November's on my computer, about 600 or 700 pages of it, but it's even more of a mess than AI War. AI War was finished once; Lord November never really was.

Dan Goodwin said...

Happy Armageddon Day everyone!

Neil said...

I'm very impressed that you've managed to keep your tone after all these years. Some authors upon returning to their old stuff have matured/aged/changed enough that the tone can't be recaptured.

Dan Moran said...

Aside from having kids, which will indeed alter your understanding of the world, I haven't changed much since I was in my 20s. I read my old work and while I disagree with some of its structure (and it strikes me as over-emotional, frequently enough) -- the tone works fine for me. Which it should, I mostly stole it from other writers I liked -- Heinlein, Niven, Gregory McDonald and John D. MacDonald, dashes of Tom Robbins and Hunter Thompson -- the mix worked more or less and I see no reason to change it at this point in my life, at least for stories continuing on from earlier works.

I'm having a harder time doing humor in the 3000 AD Camber material -- what's funny to people smarter than me? I dunno. The gag about "I'm telling you a story about people smarter than you" helps me cover up a multitude of sins and is probably the only way you can tell a story set post-Singularity -- but it doesn't work for the funny, and I don't know how you do make it work.

Blue Tyson said...

Wow. I have some, but some I have never found.


Cool. :)

eain said...

Yep. That's what I've been missing.

If this year continues in the current vein of "reconnecting with old friends," I'm in for an... interesting time...

awbryan said...

Thank you very much for that snippet. That was highly enjoyable; you make exposition such fun to read.

Wait... Camber... is the grandfather... of Kayell'no?

Camber is of the House of Domain??

These are, to say the least, highly relevant data points for understanding the overall narrative structure of the Continuing Time! How ironic: that grandfather and grandson would become eternal enemies in the Time Wars.

Anonymous said...

...please where can I buy a unicorn?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the link, but unfortunately it seems to be down... Does anybody have a mirror or another source? Please reply to my post if you do!

I would appreciate if a staff member here at danielkeysmoran.blogspot.com could post it.

Thanks,
James