Thursday, July 16, 2009

Writing News Update.

Sorry not to have written here for so long, and I promise to try to do better in the future. Things have been getting in the way, like, as well as writing books I’ve been doing lots of work on our house here: making new doors; chiselling out and repointing the front wall which, under the about a half inch thick of old pointing, is mostly held together with mud, making a concrete skirting along the bottom of the wall, making trellises and a grape arbour, oh, and swimming and drinking too much wine.

So, over the last few months I’ve completed the first draft, at 150,000 words, of the next book and finally settled on a title. It will be called The Departure and will be the first book in The Owner series (whose length is yet to be decided). This tells the the story implicit in the title of the Owner’s early years (short stories about the Owner are to be found in The Engineer ReConditioned) in which he begins his gradual climb to godlike power.

Finally having managed to get this printed off I’m leaving it to Caroline to read through before I again take a look at it. Hopefully by then I’ll have distanced myself from it enough to be able to see the glaring errors.

Meanwhile I’ve started on Gabbleducks – the third book of this latest three-book contract for Macmillan. Thus far I have the only living survivor of a hooder attack trying to recover his sanity. Polity medical technology would be able to sort him out in a trice, were it not for the fact that the AIs are reluctant to meddle with his mind since the hooder that attacked him was a near mythical creature called The Technician, and it did something to him that even they don’t quite understand. Also there are other circumstances surrounding this attack, which happened during the rebellion against the Theocracy on Masada, like the presence of a gabbleduck at the scene, and how it may or may not have been involved.

I’m having fun with this one. With the an odd character called Chanter who pursues The Technician in his mudmarine, trying to understand the grotesque sculptures of bones the creature makes with its victim’s remains, trying to understand its art… And, since the whole investigation of all this involves insanity, who better to head the investigation than a war drone who has experienced this condition and now takes great interest in it – a war drone with the shape of a scorpion, and who may be accompanied by a black AI previously thought to be dead.
He must explore the insanity of a race called the Atheter who apparently sacrificed civilization and intelligence to avoid becoming victims of an alien technology, and the insanity of a man called Jeremiah Tombs, an erstwhile Proctor – one of the religious police of Masada – who refuses to remember what happened to him, refuses to even believe the Theocracy has fallen, and has a very strange interest in the Euclidean patterns on the shells of the penny molluscs of that world…

Don’t ask me where all this is going. If I knew I wouldn’t have so much fun writing it. I can promise excessive weirdness and violence, however.

20 comments:

Kirby Uber said...

I can promise excessive weirdness and violence, however.

excellent, two of my favorite things. 8)

Mark Chitty said...

Excellent update! All good things, especially the fact that the next book will be an Owner one, I love those short stories.

I've read Orbus and writing the review at the moment - trying not to be too gushing about it isn't working, so be prepared for a review that will be piling on the praise ;)

I really need to get my finger out and finish the Cormac books...

Bob Lock said...

Oh well done, Neal! 150,000 words and all that DIY (going to make sure my wife doesn't read this particular posting of yours)
Some nice little teasers you've let drop there too about upcoming story-lines, can't wait.
BTW, just started Twisted Metal, on your recommendation, so far so good, I'm enjoying it.
And oh, I've been asked by Chris Teague of The British Fantasy Society if I'd like to review all of your books for them... I agreed, of course :)
*cough* So, how's the guest-room coming along over there, finished yet?

Best,
Bob

Alex Cull said...

Looking forward to reading Orbus & have just finished Shadow of the Scorpion, which I enjoyed. Welcome back!

vaudeviewgalor raandisisraisins said...

Ed Gein did his nipple belt thing after being attacked by a Hooder, then this guy:
http://volatilestructure.wordpress.com/2009/02/25/the-object-of-desire-la-poupee/

Good to see ya back n bloggoland. BTW the weirder the better for me.

Owen Roberts said...

Excellent! What about excessively weird violence? I'm sure there's some of that too.
Looking forward to it.

Mr. Maigo said...

OH BOY! OH BOY! *giggles and bounces and claps*

CorpseZor said...

Hi guys :)

Huge fan of all of Neals' books. Very much looking forward to the new stuff.

Orbus will be immense im sure! And anything that has a Drone in will allways be a winner!

Paul said...

I second the call for excessively weird violence!

Off on hols soon so time to order some Mr Ashers works.

Jebel Krong said...

awesome, neal! great to see you back posting. hopefully you'll be back over here for orbus' launch?

gabble book sounds exciting also, but really really looking forward to orbus at the moment :)

buy you another beer!
dan

Mark T Croucher said...

How did Mr Chitty get a copy of Orbus? I'm jealous....

thatsskarwithak said...

Good to hear it's not all swimming and booze in Crete.

Come back to blighty so you can be miserable again ;)

Look forward to seeing you at the next book signing/pub getogether.

Neil

paul said...

Speaking of Orbus, I saw this pic and thought "hooper rat!"

http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/07/28/spinal.injury.blue.dye/index.html

Kelly said...

Hello from Denmark. I was pleasantly surprised to find ORBUS in the bookstore today (I thought it wouldn't be out until September). I am already halfway through. I love reading about the Polity! If you ever do a signing in Copenhagen, Mr. Asher, I will buy you a beer.

graeme_finch said...

whilst you've been away, I've read the entire Cormac novel series, The Skinner and sable Keach again, also Homer's Illiad (first read), Illium by Dan Simmons (second read), just started Olympus by Dan Simmons (again), bought a canoe, a motor home and moved house and garden.

Do I win a prize :-)?
Have you read the two Dan Simmons books?

Michael Stone said...

Well, I just did a crazy thing: I read two of your short stories (I borrowed The Gabble) and enjoyed them so much I went out and ordered nine of your your novels. I can be spontaneous when the fancy takes me. :)

I daresay my postie won't be happy, or the wife wen the credit card bill comes in...

Should keep me busy for a while.

Thud said...

just checked back in here after a bit of a gap...good to hear from you again.

tijuan said...

Glad to read that you're working on a new book while I'm still waiting for new releases of french books of yours (We just have 'the Skinner' and 'Cowl' translated over here!).... I feel like an addict who cannot get his stuff ! Isn't that a shame ? What's the deal with that ?

Anyway, Good luck for the next book, I guess I'll push myself to read in english !!! :)

Regards

Neal Asher said...

Thanks for all the comments, guys. I really really will blog in here more from now on!

anon said...

Loved Orbus! I'm a crazy Australian who ordered it from amazon.co.uk because .com didn't have it.

I hope you don't stop writing Polity books anytime soon. Such an interesting Universe you've made.