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The Empty Page

by Dennis M. Myers, 04/11/2020

With everything going on, it's been hard for me to be creative. I've let myself get distracted, arguing with people about the pandemic, politics, pretty much everything. I even went so far as to put a timer app on Facebook. I set it for an hour. So there I am, having just completed a rather lengthy tirade, and the timer went off, stopping me from posting my comment. So I deleted the app, and rebuilt the post. So much for that idea.

So here I am, back at the blank page, trying to put something interesting on it. I have just opened up Precipice to beta readers, and I am now looking at Endurance. Reading it through with an eye towards writing more of the story. I'm making some changed here and there, but the opening reminds me how much I like the story. The core of it is going to be about Daksey. He's one of the non-human's I follow. He's turned into a great protagonist, and a heartwarming story. I don't think it will detract from the other parts of the story if I work more on him. It will kind of make him the central character of the ensemble.

Now that Precipice is nearly complete, I am starting to give more thought to Broken Trust, the third book in the main series. This one is going to be interesting to write, and I will have to make sure I have my research correct. There is a thread in these books about PTSD, and this entry in the series will see one of my favorite characters leap headlong to her lowest point. I am working hard to ensure it is a realistic portrayal. I also have to balance it with not alienating the casual reader. It's important to me to address the issue in a thoughtful way. I think all too often in science fiction characters are put through horrific experiences, and they suffer no psychological consequences. They just say "yippee ki yay" and storm the next hill. I think it gives people the impression that if you are strong, these things won't come back to haunt your dreams.

Other points in this story include the new jump engine. We will see the crew of the Pang Yu acting as a test bed for new technology. We will also find out what happened to Nando and where he went. Then there is the tie in to my short story, Applesauce Pancakes. We will live through it from the other side. Yeah, a few of my characters won't be making it to book four. This is intended to be the penultimate book of the series, so it has the most crisis, and the most dramatic impact on the main characters.

If Final Assembly was lighting the match, Precipice is burning the fuse, and Broken Trust is where everything blows up. The fourth book, Stolen Dreams, is going to be what comes after. You might say, Some Assembly Required... I have a great premise for that book, and I know how it ends. I also know it's going to be a roller coaster getting there. I am hoping it will be a fitting resolution to the Rise of the Automated Empire series, while at the same time, it will be a springboard to many more stories in this universe.

On another note, I am working on a new short story. It's a murder mystery set on Luna about 500 years before Final Assembly. I call it, Red Ice. It's actually my third set in this universe, but Andromeda Scout still needs some work.

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