Just a quick update on my nuclear winter science fiction collaborative fiction project at Pan Historia: I got the novel underway with title and right now the first new writers are joining up and putting in their ideas for the overall background scenario. I named the piece “The Bitter Sky” and it’s inspired by a line of a Shakespeare sonnet that reads “thou bitter sky” about winter. The graphics are still pretty spare but I stopped being quite as interested in window dressing as I once was and prefer to have the bones of a collaborative story well structured and strong before going for the rest. In this case I consider the bones to be the believable future scenario where two types of survivors clash over limited resources in a world devoid of sun, poisoned by ash and radiation.
I set the story in the United Kingdom because a) the initial cause of the natural disaster was the eruption of a mega volcano in the United States that would have destroyed most of the northern American continent and b) I used to live there and c) it would probably have avoided a nuclear strike in the crazy fallout from the volcano’s eruption. We have a very good writer from England on the new team and he’s been able to give us all invaluable suggestions that make the setting authentic to British culture and how it might have devolved in twenty years of nuclear winter. My memories of Britain are fading, sad to say, so I definitely need the tips and reminders.
So far the writers the story is attracting are some of the very best Pan Historia has to offer, particularly in the scifi genre, and I’m very excited to be working with writers both familiar to me (from 666 West End Avenue, FLESH, and Turnskin) as well as writers I have not had the challenge and honor of working with before. I’m equally excited to be working on an original science fiction story once more. The last time I wrote scifi at Pan Historia was for the much mourned novel Forever is Too Long (I think I got that write) which was created by a wonderful published author who occasionally frequents Pan Historia. It was set on a huge seed ship that had been drifting in space too long and some of the crew are awoken from stasis and cultures are developing within this massive labyrinth. It was very challenging for me, in particular, because I took a character that came out of the head of another writer, a scientist, and I had to make him both convincing and mine.
I might consider posting my fiction from The Bitter Sky on my writing blog once we get going, but for now it’s still in the planning stages.