This week has been about adding peripheral value to the novel And Here The Wheel. I completed a set of 15 character bios for Fantastic Books Publishing – (http://www.fantasticbookspublishing.com ), and these will be used to create character cards for the Boxed Sets that supporters pledged for on the Audiobook kickstarter.
I’ve also been working on the appendices for the novel and these are pretty much complete. There is so much more I would love to put in there. Maps, detailed histories, quotes from historical and current figures. If I was writing in my own universe that stuff would be going in no question but some of that information just isn’t available at present.
I’ve still managed to put together a tidy little package of backstory and information for you however. Some of you may not care about the history of the Garry Clan or the planet Villist and how its main cities struggled with major changes in the old days, but for those that are interested, it’ll be there for you. I’ve attached a sneak preview for you below.
For those with keen eyes and who follow Fantastic Book’s blog, you’ll know my big bit of news. Scott Ainslie of Zombie Diary fame will be reading Elite:And Here The Wheel for the audiobook.
This is pretty exciting news – Dan (From Fantastic Books) and I talked about who would be a perfect match for the tone of the novel and the heritage of the protagonist and Scott will be absolutely perfect for this. I can’t wait to hear And Here The Wheel in audio format. Recording is scheduled to start on February 25th. You can read more about it at the Fantastic Books website here:
Here is an extract from the ‘Locations’ section of the Appendices:
A world dominated by desert, Skardee IV is too close for comfort to its sun. Most towns are built half submerged or underground, to protect from the heat of the day and to retain heat during the cool nights. There are small polar ice caps which supply the majority of the drinkable water on the planet. The mid latitudes are dominated by the Red Wash, a rocky desert.
The planet was first inhabited in 2987 by a hardy group of pioneers who saw vision in the stark landscape. They hoped to convert the desert to something more hospitable using cheap terra formers. They failed and the population died out, leaving behind houses and equipment.
People returned to Skardree IV in 3122 to find the towns still in relatively good condition. They re-populated the planet, intending not to change the planet but to accept it and adapt themselves. Taking cues from ancient Australian mining towns they established several successful cities with links to the polar caps where water could be evaporated, pumped and condensed back at the cities. They found that certain areas of the desert sand had a decent spread of elemental metals which had value in the Galactic market. This trade allowed for the import of water condensers, crucial to population expansion. There is currently one major starport on the planet with all the usual amenities. For the price of a nights accommodation a visitor can hire a life suit and head into the Red Wash. At dawn the setting sun appears to make the desert turn to fire and colour, a ‘hidden gem of beauty’ according to Random Intergalactic Gossip. Once the sun sets the desert comes to life with all manners of reptiles and insects prowling for their next meals.
The locals call the sun ‘Killer’ for the obvious reasons – off worlders have died for simply being out in the open for too long. The working day on Skardree IV is split into two shifts, the ‘Warming’ shift from 6am to 11am and the ‘Cooling’ shift from 3pm to 9pm. The four hours in between are known as the ‘Siesta’. Everyone heads below ground to hide from the heat of the day, either drinking or sleeping.
Many of the early settlers shunned the established towns, preferring instead the isolated life that the desert afforded them. There are many half buried rondavel huts scattered through the desert, made from a combination of mud bricks and salvaged ship remains.
Despite the ubiquitous red dust that blows across the planet, the towns are blindingly white, designed that way for heat dissipation. Survival is foremost on the population’s mind and this makes them hardy and intolerant of mistakes.
This is also in the works and should be out near the end of this month. This is the last ‘planned’ newsletter, taking us up to March 2014, the original publication date aligned with Frontier Development’s planned release. I’ll keep you up to date with progress.
What else is happening?
That’s about it at the moment. It’s all about hurrying up and waiting. I’ll be getting the manuscript back from Fantastic Books soon and then it’ll be off to get recorded. With the appendices pretty much done this project is drawing ever closer to the finish line. I’ve been finding myself with a bit of time to do things like modify the garage and (gasp) read a book.
Cheers for stepping by,