Tuesday, October 18, 2005


Fire Star

This afternoon, sometime around two o'clock, I typed the final line of Fire Star: A Novel of the Celestial Empire. Coming in at just over 103K words, the novel covers a thousand years of alternate history in ten chapters. I've been working on this one for a while (either two years, more or less straight, or four years, on and off, depending on what I call the start point), and I'm glad to see the back of it.

I've already decided that my next novel project (following on the heels of Paragaea, set entirely in a fabricated world, and Fire Star, with its complex alternate history, deep and wide), whatever it turns out to be, will be set in contemporary America, featuring characters that all speak the same language, preferrably English. (I want to be able to write a line of dialogue without having to translate ideograms. Is that so much to ask?!)

And, ideally, the next project would be built around topics I've already researched, at least in part, so I wouldn't have to start from scratch. As illustration, I provide this, a quick snap shot of all of the books I read, in whole or in part, in researching Fire Star. There were a few others, borrowed from libraries or friends, which aren't in these piles, but this represents the lion's share of the reading I did.

Please, somebody! Stop me before I research again!!

Congrats on finishing it, Chris!
Thanks, Jess! Now I'm really looking forward to hoisting a few at World Fantasy.
Congrats, Chris!

And research...I drive myself crazy with it, wanting everything to be just perfect. Writing something that doesn't require copious amounts of it definitely seems more relaxing. :-)
I think I've ruined my wife's view of writers. When John Irving appeared on the Daily Show, a couple of months back, and said that his latest novel was largely drawn from his own experience, Allison looked at me, a scowl on her face, and said, "But that's cheating!"
Congrats!! Wow, that's a lot of research indeed.
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