TRS Update, live from Jackson, Mississippi!October 25, 2009
Free wireless internet in the Jackson Airport! And it’s pretty fast! I posted Chapter 14 after doing some editing on it. I continue to catch things, typos, places where I think the phrasing is unclear, etc.
Friday night I added about a thousand words.I find the sub-plot – if that’s what it is – about Al’s dilemma concerning keeping himself out of harm’s way and being the test pilot he knows it is his destiny to be is some of the most difficult writing I have to do. The technical stuff I have worked out pretty well – it’s the characters that will make or break the book, and I’m not real happy with them yet.
I like Nate Stoddard. He’s a secondary, but very important character and he served as a similar level of character in Stirling’s novels. In my case, he’s the outsider who needs the technical stuff explained to him, making it easier for the reader to follow. Nate’s a prickly New Englander, very old-school, and an intelligence agent as well. Putting him out at the flight test center with the hotshot pilots and the crazy German engineers makes for a more interesting mix.
I decided to roll some of the Orion stuff into the end of this book, as I mentioned before. In our timeline the Orion work was being done in the late 1950s, so this might be developing a little late in the Drakaworld, but these guys have started to bend tin and launch some test flights. I assume that the Alliance will never engage in the kinds of detente our government began to engage in post-Vietnam. This is an Alliance that doesn’t second guess itself. We were saved in the Cold war because our adversaries had an obviously inferior economic system (but try telling Obama that) and we could out-produce and out-innovate the. They were not stupid (well,. maybe, in economics) and they were generally pretty-well motivated. We were slowly losing our national resolve until Reagan came into office, but the effects of the Reagan spine-stiffening seems to be draining out of our culture once again right now.
The Draka economy, odd and creaky as it was, seemed to be working. A very singleminded ruling aristocracy is a dangerous adversary. The Draka are that, despite their internal political squabbles. Those are more as to how and when to effect a Final Solution, not if. The Draka future society of the beginning of Drakon existed because of timely discovery and invention in biotech and genetics. If those developments were arrived at a generation later, or if destruction of the Alliance could not be accomplished in a short time frame, the Draka way of life could collapse.
Back to the writing – I still have a few hours before my plane leaves for Chicago!