Friday, December 09, 2011

New Book

Right, I’ve finished with the Peter Lavery edits of Zero Point, have read through it once more, and I’ve now sent it off. Of course this is not the end, because a copy editor will go through it next and doubtless have queries for me and, if I wished, I could now return to Jupiter War and start working it over again. However, I’ve decided it’s time to look at something different.

This afternoon I opened a new file and titled it Pennyroyal, stared at a blank page for a moment and then typed in that same word as the title. I’m now halfway down the page making notes – putting down things I’ve churned over in my mind on and off for a number of months. Here’s the first thing I wrote:

The traveller keeps a piece of Pennyroyal inside his own ship: a black spine a metre and a half long, the width of an arm at its base and tapering to a needle point, pentagonal in cross-section and with corners of atomic sharpness, a ribbed tentacle extending from its base, with a tentacle junction box a handbreadth down it, and a metre of tentacle beyond – torn off at the end with optics and esoteric electronics protruding.

This may be something I’ll use or it may be something to key me into the book and which I’ll discard later. Other ideas are fermenting and bubbling to the surface. There’ll be connections here to the Prador-Human war, but it will be set after The Technician. A spider-thrall might be involved, and I’m considering a guest appearance by Jebel U-cap Krong. I also see one of those giant AI-dreadnought manufacturing stations, maybe a wartime atrocity…

Hey, this post is longer than the notes I’ve made...

Back to work!

12 comments:

bascule said...

You tease!

Graeme said...

Bubble bubble toil and er toil and then toil some more. That's all you've started so you'll finish :-)

Your little snippets into the background process have been very helpful.

Jools said...

...Although inert at first glance, the interwtined optics and electronics contain a brooding technology, just waiting to extend mycelium, and continue it's quest.

Already looking forward to it :-)

Thezzphai said...

Nice, I'm very much looking forward to reading this book. Any specific reason why you write Pennyroyal instead of Penny Royal all the time?

BarryA said...

Squidfic?
Be fascinating to see where you go with this.

According to Brewer's, Pennyroyal is Flea-bane.
Cue giant alien mutant Pulex intent on interstellar domination... but there is this artefact that may bring about their downfall.

Or have I got that wrong?

Neal Asher said...

It's cruel, Bascule, since no one will see it for a few years.

As I've told many wannabes, Graeme, the writing process is ... writing.

Jools, you've got a Jain fixation.

It's a herb, Thezzphai, and I'm still deciding on whether to go for that spelling or stick with the basically incorrect spelling in The Technician.

You've got it wrong BarryA ... well, I think so.

Neil said...

You are talking about a book that's 2 years+ away. Now that's beyond nasty.

Elicius said...

I am a little excited about this, I have to admit. Two years is nothing, I'm a patient young man. As long as I'm still employed, I'll be happy.

Also:

"Neal Asher said...
Mmm, I see a book in this. Maybe some human character who has lost someone close intent on tracking down Penny Royal and destroying it, her, he, THEM? - remember all those different 'states of consciousness'..."

Even close to the plot going forward?

daniel ware said...

sounds like my perfect book tbh 0 penny royal AND jebel krong! :D

Thezzphai said...

Well I figured Penny Royal is a proper name and doesn't really relate to the herb it isn't necessarily incorrect spelling. I like the "Penny Royal" spelling but thats just my two cents. How did you think of naming a black AI after a plant anyway? I was certainly... surprised after I'd googled Penny Royal for the first time.

Neal Asher said...

Thezzphai, emphasis by contrast or understatement. You don't call the monster the Black Destroyer, you call it Daisy or, if the moster is on the Muppet Show you call it Sweetums!

vaudeviewgalor raandisisraisins said...

i would call it the Asherpoda:

http://youtu.be/oWY66mGxmow