Dustyng øff an øld prøject
I’m currently in the middle of writing John Lazarus: Mann from Midwich, the sequel to the action-packed sci-fi super hero novel, Johnny Came Home, but I wanted to take a moment to tell you about my next project.
I actually started Øtherworld a long time ago. I spent years [literally] creating the world of Jarrod Luckbane, Copper Gallows, Stanley Dragonslayer, Moog, Fleas, Metalhead… and all the rest. I have maps upon maps, timelines upon altered timelines, character profiles, creature articles, vehicle and weapons specs and, well, more information than I knew what to do with.
None of this counts the myriad sketches I made for the book. Øtherworld takes place on the newly discovered and terraformed planet, Tarak. It’s a novel that’s one part sci-fi and one part fantasy adventure/steampunk. In the story, GameComm is using the inaugural live and in person version of Impworld to usher in a new game called, well, Øtherworld. In order to trademark their creatures, they changed the traditional appearance [and often the spelling] of traditional monsters to make them undeniably GameComm property. For example, the bull-headed minotaur of Grecian myth became half-bull half-gorilla minøtaur. Goblins grew scalier and gained the ability to camoflage like a chameleon to become gøblyns. And so on and so forth.
In short, I took world creation, an art I enjoy, much further than was necessary for the novel. Or was it a series? A mythos?
The book kept getting longer, only to be changed and chopped and edited. I had too many characters to keep track of. Too many plot threads to account for. Too much fun world creating and not enough time writing!
At some point, I threw in the towel and entered the NaNoWriMo challenge, figuring the challenge would force me to learn how to just write and not waste my time with minute details. It worked, and what I wrote became the nucleus of Johnny Came Home. Alas, once Johnny was done I had a hard time getting out of editing mode and back into writing mode for the sequel, so I dusted off Øtherworld and decided to reboot it.
Along the way, we’ll face dragons, ogres [er, sorry, that should be dragøns and øgres], giant bugs, armies of wraiths, steambots, treacherous elves, and magic gone wrong! Since the game relies heavily on simulacrums [sims, for short; organic robots with highly advanced programming], we’ll get to explore what it means to be made in the image of God in light of claims of artificial intelligence. And since Tarak has indigenous life, we’ll discuss how alien life fits with the Bible.
I’m looking forward to it. But first I gotta finish this other book.
Stay tuned to this site for project status updates and, in all likelihood, a lot of sketches I have boxed up at present.