So, I've finally sent my book to the guys I plan to publish it with, YellowPlank Books and I am awaiting feedback. Three hundred and twenty-seven pages, fifty-four chapters (and some extra stuff), one hundred and two thousand words including the appendices etc.

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The book is called "Stars, Hide Your Fires" and it is the first book of what I am calling, "The Abyssal Void War" series, which (rather uniquely these days) will actually comprise three books only. Without giving too much away I view the series as a future alternate history because I decided to set it in one that follows on from an alternative past. The story is set some eight hundred years in that future where humanity has spread out to colonise the stars in a group of systems they refer to as "The Extent". In the most generic sense, the "universe" is human only and almost all of the life on the planets is seeded from Terran/Earth stock. I have tried to keep the physics in this "universe" as real as possible currently only allowing one main technology deviation from that, the hypergate network, effectively a plot device designed to allow my characters to travel between locations several light years distant from each other.

The book itself could be considered one of several genres but primarily falls into a science-fiction sub-genre called Military Space Warfare but, as implied above, is slightly different from the usual stuff at least as much as in my overall idea.

The following is the introductory stuff you'll find on Amazon when the book goes up:

A four-year war has raged across the colonised worlds of The Extent. Nations reel from violence and betrayal and the Skean Republic stands alone. Despite fierce diplomatic negotiations, tensions rise while, bordering the huge region of empty space known as The Abyssal Void, the conflict threatens the nation of Akatsu.

A young, wealthy socialite and ex-assassin has grown up on Hiroshi and now lives in the famed floating city of Yori. Working for Akatsu's secretive science team, Kagaku-sha Chīmu, she strives to save her planet from the hated United Colonial Systems. Accompanied by the loyal, catlike Jira, she plays a dangerous game in which her friends and her city are the potential collateral. The very future of her world is at stake.

In the middle of the Abyssal Void, at Port McKinley, Acting Captain Kurt Bergstrom is about to graduate. Young and inexperienced, he has little idea the Akatsu are preparing to strike or of the bitter price he, his friends and his family will have to pay. It will be a baptism of fire, engulfing the stars, destroying his humanity and forging him into a weapon his enemies will not soon forget.

The first of a trilogy, "Stars, Hide Your Fires" will take you to the stars: an alternate future, a galaxy collapsing into war and humans doing what humans do best.

For those who are interested here is the chapter list:

 

ACT 1: Akatsu

Chapter 01: Agent of Change

Chapter 02: Wave Without A Shore

Chapter 03: Brother Assassin

Chapter 04: Question and Answer

Chapter 05: Childhood's End

Chapter 06: The Game of Empire

Chapter 07: Mists of Dawn

Chapter 08: Challenges

Chapter 09: Solution Unsatisfactory

Chapter 10: Changeling Earth

Chapter 11: Meeting of the Board

Chapter 12: The Practice

Chapter 13: Replication Nation

Chapter 14: Malware

Chapter 15: The Gate of Worlds

Chapter 16: Sovereign Space

Chapter 17: The Squares of the City

Chapter 18: The Final Programme

Chapter 19: Human Error

ACT 2: Aumakua

Chapter 20: The Only Game in Town

Chapter 21: Soldier, Ask Not

Chapter 22: The Einstein Intersection

Chapter 23: Raiders of the Universes

Chapter 24: Space Cadet

Chapter 25: Graduation Day

Chapter 26: With Friends Like These

Chapter 27: The Computer Connection

Chapter 28: A Fire Upon The Deep

Chapter 29: Starship Through Space

Chapter 30: Star Raider

Chapter 31: New Arrivals, Old Encounters

Chapter 32: Shadows in Flight

ACT 3: Hades

Chapter 33: Raiders Invisible

Chapter 34: Rockets to Nowhere

Chapter 35: Turning Point

Chapter 36: Battle Circle

Chapter 37: Extinction Wars

Chapter 38: Bears Discover Fire

Chapter 39: In the Country of the Blind

Chapter 40: In the Control Tower

Chapter 41: Warning from the Stars

Chapter 42: Control Group

Chapter 43: Space Platform

Chapter 44: Graveyard of Dreams

Chapter 45: Something Wicked This Way Comes

Chapter 46: The Ethical Engineer

Chapter 47: Star Soldier

Chapter 48: Wrath of the Gods

Chapter 49: Ghost Soldiers

Chapter 50: Star Rangers

Chapter 51: Starship

Chapter 52: Berserker Base

Chapter 53: A Fall of Moondust

Chapter 54: Search The Sky

Chapter 55: Security

Chapter 56: Raiders from the Rings

 

Between finishing the first draft and moving onto the review/correct my writing I realised something just didn't add up in my story and correcting that, even though the correction was fairly simple, had ramifications, huge ramifications. It took me more than six months to deal with that alone.

Since then I have been through several steps in order to make this book the best ever written (I jest, of course, I can but aspire to be that good). When I started writing, I had little more than a vague notion that I would try to keep the science, the physics in it "real" but reviewing what I knew changed my mind in many different ways. I had already noted that as I wrote my way towards the last chapter the technologies I was writing about changed, not only from a progressing story's perspective but as I discovered we humans were even cleverer and more advanced than I realised. My corrections involved the research of the various subjects my novel touched on, the writing of extensive background histories and the development of various other materials. I have now completed, inasmuch as anything of this sort is ever complete, this process but it is still true that my background changes on a daily basis although currently, it is changing mainly in fine only.Blossom Tree 2

I revisited my locations. Although there was some research involved this was primarily achieved by drawing maps, schematics, plans and profiles that allowed me to better describe the scenes in which my characters appear. Again, this is largely complete subject to the proviso expressed above. Of course, not wanting to reinvent the wheel much of that material will end up on my website wiki for those of you in any way interested in the universe I have created. Now I am in the process of creating my final draft which, in broad terms, involves me going through the book chapter by chapter, correcting, expanding and reviewing my material.

Finally, once I have completed the final draft I will have to create the final review copy to send to my editors. I strongly suspect that may be a painful process necessitating as it surely will going through the entire novel once again and ripping from it all that material that doesn't serve to progress the story or bear on the as yet untold stories of books two and three.

By my current estimates, I should have the first book completed in about two to three months, so mid to late summer, which roughly speaking boils down to a total of two and a half writing and editing. I freely admit that's a long time but, in my defence, I am also working and don't have a great deal of time to devote to a project that may never really amount to anything regardless of how much I hope otherwise.

At the present moment, I am still waiting for the cover art to be completed. It's being done by a young artist, Charlotte Brown, a friend of my daughter, Melissa. You can find more of her artwork here. So yeah, just waiting for feedback from Yellow Plank and the completion of the cover art and it's good to go.

Not long now before I'm no longer "Aspiring" I guess.

Thx for reading :)

J. C. Rocks (aspiring author: "The Abyssal Void War" series) & Charlotte Brown (Artwork)

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