Minette Said

Slow Progress

I’m having fun with this novel. It’s grown into an epic. I’m trying to divide it into tasty volumes.

“Incomplete States” is science fiction. It features time travel, galactic alliances, others sentient life forms, and advanced Human cultures and technology. There’s lots of space travel on ships that sometimes carry several million people. New planets have been terra-formed. (It’s terraformed in the future; they’ve dropped the hyphen.)

Many diseases have been mastered. They’re not a threat. Aging isn’t a threat. Choose your age. Keep it as long as desired. Change it when you desire.

Death is not much of a threat. Resuscitation, regeneration, and resurrection (depending on the marketing and technology involved) have made it a side topic. One side-effect is that Humanity is dropping toward zero population growth. Children who are born are often incubated in artificial wombs. Nanosystems help the mother and child stay connected and develop that special bond.

Communication nets are introduced into their bodies at young ages. Phones are internal bio-devices; they’re constantly in touch with others, listening, filtering information, and contributing.

As noted, I have fun writing this, but I’m easily side-tracked, and my progress is slow. I barely write one thousand words a day. Editing and reviews for accuracy are extensive — and intensive. A large quantity of moving parts must be synchronized. For example, against this showcase of technology, Humans are faced with going to a planet where their technology not only fails, but is actively attacked. They don’t know why, but are going to live there without technology. Their mission is to track down four people who are believed to be on this planet.

That’s required a lot of brainstorming. What do you do, and how do you live, without technology, when technology is deeply embedded in all aspects of society? Aside from a few small fundamentalist sects, nobody knows what they’re doing or how to do it. They’re researching how to cook on stoves, burn wood, grow food, and process it. Their energy weapons won’t work; what about gunpowder? They’re learning to ride horses, exist without their augmented memories, and fight with swords, bows and arrows, and other more primitive weapons and methods.

This is where I become side-tracked: I research and write about much of their process of coping with these changes and their new needs. I put it all in the novel. I enjoy writing and reading about these things, but I suspect I’ll lose a lot of readers who don’t enjoy these sort of details. I’ve been thinking about it, though, debating whether it’s too much in that vein before concluding, screw those readers. I rationalize the easy way out: I’m writing for me, and for those who enjoy books like these.

Had to write this out, to think it out. Time to write like crazy, at least one more time.

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