Done. Again. For Now.

I just completed the new ending and some of the expansion scenes for Star Master Book 2. For more about the long, complicated evolution of this space opera novel, see here, here and here. Yes, I have been working on this book for a while, but I hope to have it out by the end of this year, especially since I have no plans to do NaNoWriMo.

For now, my plans are a short break to work up a presentation for day job, play mobile games, read Golden Age mysteries, watch Fringe and Don Matteo with family members, and brainstorm whatever comes after the Star Master duology.

Real Estate Website That Lists Castles For Sale

I suspect I am the last one to find out about this site, but it’s still cool. Great place to research castles for your fantasy novel, or just daydream about how to spend your hypothetical lottery winnings.

Also, here’s an interesting study from 2018 of how Lake Powell in Colorado suffers from water management rules that favor keeping Lake Mead (downstream of Lake Powell) filled, and by extension favors the lawns, swimming pools and delta smelt of California, the most populous area supplied by Lake Mead.

Where Did THAT Come From: Essem and Co, Ularti

Ularti, the owner of the tramp freighter Vanner, keeps Jetay and Khed in indentured servitude, and is one of the main antagonists in Shadow Captain. Jetay’s story arc, as previously told is that of the drifter Drafted Into a Good Cause, and frequently in that arc, there’s a character who the drifter used to work with, who represents the pull away from the Good Cause. I didn’t have a good sense of what that might be in this case, until I hit on the “Hansel and Gretel” framing for Jetay’s situation.

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Where Did THAT Come From: Lanati, Menevis and Family

This is actually a fairly large body of characters spread across the two volumes of Star Master, even if they didn’t require as much work on my part as Shenti and her family did.

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Where Did THAT Come From: Why Such a Jumble of Influences

I began making up stories at a fairly young age, 5 or 6 years old, I think. At that age, my family moved around a fair amount, lived out of hotels from time to time, and some of our videotapes didn’t necessarily have the whole movie on them.

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Where Did THAT Come From: Samar, the White Knights, and the Red Knights

The White Knights are largely my response to the Jedi: a fallen order of psychic warriors formerly revered for their nobility of character, now hated and propagandized against. They were called Paladins, and the Red Knights were called Pioneers, until the early stages of editing Shadow Captain, when I decided these names would cause too much confusion with the Partisan faction in the same story. Akira Kurosawa, although certainly extremely gifted, didn’t have quite as much influence on me as Howard Pyle and the Story of King Arthur and his Knights, so that accounts for some of the differences between the White Knights and their inspiration, the more samurai-influenced Jedi.

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Where Did THAT Come From: The Star Master Setting

Star Wars. The Star Master setting comes from Star Wars. Maybe a little from Battlestar Galactica, because I’m pretty sure I saw the original Galactica on tv at around aged 3 or 4, based on where I was living at the time, and might have first seen Star Wars: A New Hope on tv as late as age 5. But I would go on to see A New Hope many, many times, because my family owned a limited number of child-friendly movies on videotape* and A New Hope was one that my siblings and I could all agree on. A lot of what I know about plotting, I first learned from A New Hope.

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