Have you ever had two projects competing, sumo wrestler-like, in your brain? I have, and I’ve never been good at prioritizing. I’ve actually got three ideas now, but everyone knows that you never get to item number three on the old to-do list. The other two are rolling around like behemoths in my mind, trying to incapacitate the other, or at least knock it out of the ring.
Well, I live in America, and we say we’re a democracy, right? So, I’ll put it to a vote. I’ll even give you some information so you can base your vote on something other than flipping a coin. Of course, this is America, and we’re actually a Republic, so don’t think that your vote counts for much beyond public opinion polling. I’m in love with both of these stories, and this might be an exercise is figuring out which one I love just a tiny bit less.
Here are the bare bones of the two projects I’ve got going on now. You can make your opinion known in the sidebar at the right.
I did some teaser work for this a while ago, and it’s been developing more since then. The basic concept here is retro sci-fi. Imagine, if you will, a world where the Second World War turned out differently. The British, in their darkest hours, tried every crazy thing they could think of to turn the tide of the war. One of them worked.
Growing humans rapidly from a single sample helped the British win the war, but the ability to fill an empty mind with the knowledge of the greatest soldier of the day pushed them over the finish line. Training troops went from months to days, and growing troops went from years to weeks. With the glut of identical troopers, the British never needed any of the Allies. With little thought for the unintended consequences, the program is rushed into production.
After the defeat of the Nazi Reich, Great Britain found itself with an enormous standing army, and nothing to do with it. Rather than have hands become idle, the Empire continues to expand.
Told through the eyes of a squad of clones (also called tankers), the story will weave through the war years and the uneasy expansion of the Empire. The tankers deal with enemies inside and out of the Empire, and with their own government’s difficulties dealing with their existence. Along the way, we’ll learn how King George VI deals with his tankers need for women, how the French Resistance deals with clones, and how America reacts to the threatened Canadian border.
PALADIN is a direct result of me reading way too much Greg Rucka lately. This story was a throw away idea for much of the last year, until I realized that it was actually much more interesting if I rearranged the events a bit.
Virgil Caine was a Minneapolis cop, until he took the fall for a botched response to an Occupy Minneapolis protest. His career stalled, reputation tarnished and his future bleak, Virgil does the only thing he can think of: resign in disgust.
The story should have ended there, but a few years later things have gotten worse. MPD is talking about going on strike, the state government is talking about shutting down again, and the 99% are still getting shafted. Oh, and Virgil’s partner in the P.I. business just turned up dead, and his ex-partner is leading the investigation. When she’s told to back-burner the case, things start to go bad.
Through a backdrop of civil unrest, paranoia, backroom dealing and unexpected love, Virgil starts what he thinks is a quest for vengeance. Eventually, he comes to terms with a situation that has gone from worse to even worse. PALADIN tells the story of a lost man finding his (admittedly violent and illegal) way in a world that is giving up on itself.