sa08 goes down for the count

6 03 2011

It’s a photo finish and a double-sized update.

60k of text in one burst is basically two updates worth, so I guess that makes up for missing Wednesday. This one’s been a bit difficult for me to write; I was improvising a lot of it, and while it FELT like a coherent character arc, I wasn’t sure until I was done if it worked or not. I’m a bad judge of my own work, so I’ll leave winner/unwinner up to you.

The other major development this week is the Forsaken Shores book going on sale! Sixteen bucks nets you a print copy of my second book, complete with a bonus chapter you’re never gonna find online. When Emily peeks into her daughter’s future, what does she see…? Drop a few bucks and find out.

Monday or Tuesday, the Kindle version is available. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need an actual plastic Kindle reading device; you can read Kindle books on your PC, or your phone, or dang near anything that parses bits. So, if you want an economy option, there’s that. I’ve also enabled lending, so you can lend the book for 2 weeks to a friend. (Amazon only allows you do this once per book, period, which sucks, but hey.) Like First Age, it’s not using DRM, so you can make a backup copy or move it to another device all you like. I doubt my fans are the kind of bastards that’d pirate it. I doubt anybody would WANT a copy, really. My audience numbers in the tens.

I’m trying to decide what I tackle next. Editing/proofing and writing a bonus story for London’s Fog is on the table, but so is the next Second Age story, starring everybody’s favorite PTSD age-locked superheroine, Astro Gal. At the moment, I’m considering doing both tasks at once. That may mean smaller updates, or ones that don’t go up at the stroke of midnight the previous day. We’ll see how it goes. I don’t even have an OUTLINE right now and need to have content up Tuesday at midnight, supposedly. I makes no promises; this is a weird time for me.

As always, feedback, reactions, wtfs, proofing, or just comments in general welcome. You can post anonymously, with a Facebook account, or with a LiveJournal account.

EDIT: Remember that Crowdfunding LJ community award I was up for? They’re voting again. I can’t actually win it since I’m up against an erotic fiction series that got 150+ votes last time, but I’d love to get second. Drop a vote in the box today!

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13 responses

7 03 2011
kamalloy

The scene with the brownies made me tear up a little, I kid you not. Also loved Kas dealing logically with her hate and making up with Yew. Very intrigued by the “stars will rise” comment.
So, did the conspiracy catch up to Kas eventually, or was she officially declared dead in order to throw them off? Or is this something that will be revealed in a future part?

7 03 2011
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

A comment! Finally! *does cartwheels*
I won’t say much about Kas’s fate, but she wasn’t declared dead or anything like that. Doesn’t say that anywhere in the story. (It shouldn’t, anyway. I might’ve been sleep-depped and wrote it in there or something.)
I will say I was being a tricksy bastard. Just because she’s prophecized to die young doesn’t mean it even happens that year.

7 03 2011
kamalloy

It does not show up in the story; I was just making a WAG on how history could have recorded her death before it actually happened. Pure wishful thinking on my part, although I find it very comforting that however much lifespan she has left, she’s going to be enjoying the heck out of it. ^^

8 03 2011
eyeless1

Ooh, yeah, going up against Tales of Mu is going to be rough; I’m pretty sure her work has been one of those very rare few projects that are actually self-supporting, as in the author has quit her day job.
Anyway, cast my vote.

8 03 2011
eyeless1

Oh, right, comments!
I like Kas. She’s the kind of deeply flawed character that makes for such great storytelling. In a way her anti-emotionalism reminds me of UE-Kissei, but this time Kas is clutching at her “objectivity” like a safety blanket, rather than embracing it as a coherent moral philosophy. It really makes you wonder more about her past, what drives her to act as she does. It does seem to go deeper than the recent trials of being a Pragmatist in a world of anti-Pragmatists, and something more deeply rooted in her character.
Of course I could be reading too much of myself into her. In fact I know I am; I’m fairly certain that I share the same problem of distancing myself from human contact in search of other goals.

8 03 2011
luridel

Held off commenting until I had a chance to reread, because I generally read updates at such an unfortunate hour of the morning that I get worried I’m missing things. Definitely proud of Kas, and it surprised me how much Yew had actually grown on me too until she left. D’aww.
08 was definitely my favorite SA story by far. There was just this huge sense of accomplishment at the end, mostly on a positive note – but awwww, Anu.
I’m guessing Kas might not live until SF though. That’s sad – I hope we get to find out how she actually dies.

8 03 2011
Anonymous

Once and future works of art
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed your work since 2003, starting out with Penultima – even kept checking in when this blog was limited to being a Twitter feed summary (yech) – and you’ve just about convinced me to go buy this series (Kindle option is much appreciated).
I did notice that Penultima (and the other Neverwinter Nights modules) are now gone from the Codex, however. Any chance you could restore that section? Now that NWN is available on GOG.com, it’s going to be around for a quite a while. I think other folks who are curious about your past works should have them accessible from here. Plus it just bugs me that they’re gone.
Very respectfully,
Carlo

8 03 2011
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

Re: Once and future works of art
That’s odd, I could’ve sworn it was on my overall projects page. That page seriously needs a revamp, anyway, so I’ll look into it soon.
Meanwhile, here it is.

8 03 2011
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

It’s hard to have enough perspective to figure out how much character flaw is too little or too much. It’s something I’m working on in sa09… Carrie Lane aka Astro Gal is meant to be deeply flawed due to her traumatic experiences, but at the same time, she has to be a proactive and confident hero. I’m going to be doing a balancing act, there.
I’m not entirely sure what caused Kas to cling to her objectivity that strongly and desperately. It may in part be due to her decision to join the “rogue” #A076 Arcology, which initially was keen on breaking non-interference, then finding out they were all duped. Plus, being a Pragmatist, she was an outsider. That left her in a bad situation and she had to stay focused if she was going to get through it.

8 03 2011
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

Don’t worry, we’ll find out. I was a bit of a bastard as I noted she died tragically without actually having that death be in this particular story — but it is coming. Thankfully, as noted by the ending, she’s going to be able to enjoy her life before we reach that point.

9 03 2011
lirazel

I also had to read this one again before commenting. Also, being away from the compy is limiting, as this here Droid keyboard is itty and a bit confusing.
I think that when a philosophical bent meshes with a personality type, you get a very focused individual. And when that philosophical bent has a formal name and set of principles, the focus is even more pronounced. Kas and Yew both value Reason with a capital R, but it’s not the stuff of Yew’s soul the way it is for Kas. I’m not really sure that this is a flaw; I have a niece who has wanted to be a wildlife biologist all her life, and she neither has nor feels the need for intimate relationships that might keep her from wrestling deer in Wisconsin (as she’s doing now). She’ll probably end up with a newt named after her.
I think you have described her and her dilemma well, and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with for bringing Esrever and Anu together.

11 03 2011
flyingcar

I like Esrever and Anu. Interesting characters, because of what they are and how they interact together. I initially felt bad for them having to separate. But Anu’s assertion that it could wake them back up was neat, as was her solution.
Cool plan, by the way.
It sounds like Kas, as a manager, is trying to be the OPPOSIT of Pon in ways that she does not have to be (almost no in person meetings, and extremely minimal communication and people skills). Also, being a megaworkaholic probably makes her difficult.
Of course, Kas DOES need friends. Funny thing that some friends do, not calling each other and then getting upset when the other does not call. That’s why I usually go ahead and call. Someone has to start it.
“Kas found herself spending more time managing them than spent working on her project.” I know THAT feeling!
“There was hate there, in her mind. It wanted to get out. But… now, Kas wasn’t sure where it was trying to go.” I like that line a LOT. I think hate often does not know where it originates, and can just go everywhere. Often, hate is used to scapegoat something external when something internal is going on.
Ah, the old, lengthy explanation before I kill you routine! True assassins just do it.
Good story! Thanks once again!

23 04 2011
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