Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Next Big Thing: Work In Progress: Martin's War

I was tagged for this by Shay Darrach, my co-editor on Menial: Skillled Labor in SF.

I'm tagging Polenth Blake, over at Polenth's Nothing.

The deal is, I answer ten questions about a work in progress.  I'm going to talk about Triple Junction, which   is the first book proper in the series Martin's War.  Those of you who have read Broken Slate know that's a prequel to this series.

1.What is the working title of your next book?

Triple Junction – it’s a geological term, traditionally meaning a place where three divergent boundaries meet (like an ocean, a ridge, and a continental plate); but more loosely now means any three boundaries. Generally they’re unstable and lead to change. Here – obviously – I’m being all metaphorical.

2.Where did the idea come from for the book?

I’ve been working on this idea awhile. It’s my successful slave revolt/successful revolution story.  The main impetus was C. L. R. James’ The Black Jacobins, which details (wonderfully) the Haitian revolution. I’m writing a five-book far-future SF series, which follows the events of a successful rebellion and revolution about the contract labor on the planet Julian.

3.What genre does your book fall under?

Definitely space opera. 

4.What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

I’m terrible at this.  Not only do I watch almost no TV and very few movies, but I can’t remember faces or names. Someone talented, I guess.  And since my main characters are mostly POC, I’d want them not to be white-washed.

5.What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

On a far-future settlement planet, Martin Eduardo battles an abusive contract labor system as he works toward revolution.

6.Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I'm working on this as we speak.

7.How long did/will it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

The first draft, about two months.  I write the first draft fast (always) and then I revise extensively.

8.What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

That’s a tough one.  I’m heavily influenced by Cherryh, and Tepper, by Eleanor Arnason, by Joanna Russ, by Suzy McKee Charnas, by Kage Baker, by Octavia Butler, by Cecelia Holland; but I wouldn’t say this book is exactly like any of theirs.  I certainly owe all of them plenty.

9.Who or what inspired you to write this book?

As I said above, reading C. L. R. James, and then about fifty other books I read because I had read that one – about slavery, and about other sorts of forced labor.  Douglas Blackmon’s Slavery By Another Name was also a big influence.  It’s why I have contract labor and not slaves on Julian.

10.What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?

Well, I’m also interested in cultures.  I started out as an anthropologist, not an English professor, and one of the reasons I write SF is so that I can write about different cultures. I was interested in writing about the revolution on Julian, but I was also interested in creating a workable, believable far-future culture, one that is not 1970s suburban America culture (as so many SF cultures, it seems to me, are).  I’m having a lot of fun with that.


J. Otto Pohl said...

If you are interested in forced labor you might be this of interest.

delagar said...

Thanks, Otto!