This trilogy that began with something I dashed off on a laptop back in 1997 or 1998 is now, more or less, finished. Complete. Finito. I have some line editing and a couple of appendices still to write (”On the Islanders” and “On the Pharisees,” if you must know). But it’s a complete story.
Here are some of the things you can expect from Geosynchron, the concluding volume of the Jump 225 trilogy, when it hits the stores in late February-ish of 2010. (Pre-order it on Amazon here.) I’m going to try to keep this light on the spoilers, so don’t worry that I’ll ruin something crucial. But if you’d rather go into the book completely blind, then, you know, stop reading. Duh.
Some of what you’ll see in Geosynchron:
- Natch imprisoned in a windowless chamber where MultiReal is useless and “time has become unpredictable”
- A ruinous civil war between Len Borda and Magan Kai Lee, including some actual large-scale battle scenes
- A five-chapter-long climax involving a military strike, a MultiReal choice cycle battle, a covert mission, and (of course) creative advertising and marketing techniques
- Quell again giving a one-man exhibition in whoopassery (this time with a dartgun and his bare mitts)
- My homage to the Council of Elrond in The Lord of the Rings: an 18-person, 8,276-word Council of Magan Kai Lee
- A court battle between Jara’s fiefcorp and Margaret Surina’s unscrupulous cousins, Jayze and Suheil
- The introduction of several new characters, including:
- Richard Taylor, Pharisee and member of the Faithful Order of the Children Unshackled
- Josiah, son of Quell and novice representative in the Islander parliament
- Bali Chandler and Triggendala, seasoned representatives in the Islander parliament
- Plithy, a young punk caught in a Council orbital prison
- Rodrigo and Molloy, a black code junkie and a black code dealer
- Martika Korella, an attorney in Andra Pradesh
- Horvil imploring Jara to have sex with him in a Sigh environment called “Vat of Baked Beans”
- The truth behind the Autonomous Revolt that devastated humanity hundreds of years ago (hint: it involves blood sacrifice)
- The truth behind Quell’s thirty years in the compound at Andra Pradesh
- The truth behind the infoquakes that have been wreaking havoc since midway through book 1
- A political manifesto by Quell’s son Josiah, which explains the concept of Grand Reunification
- Events that happen and then unhappen, as well as events that take place in virtual time
- Chapters set in:
- 49th Heaven, the orbital colony known for its licentiousness
- Sao Paulo, home to the Patel Brothers
- Manila, capital of the Free Republic of the Pacific Islands
- Orbital Detention and Rehabilitation Facility, 12th Meridian, a Council prison
- An ending that’s — well, unique, being that it consists of six chapters that are 95% dialogue
- The climactic confrontation between Natch and Brone that you’ve all been waiting for
- The fate of the world being put to a vote by… the drudges?
A few interesting facts about Geosynchron:
- The current length of the book is 138,244 words; add in the as-yet-unfinished appendices, acknowledgments and afterwords, and the total will probably be around 145,000 words. Slightly shorter than MultiReal’s 150,000 words, a bit longer than Infoquake’s 122,000 words.
- The book is once again divided into six sections:
- The Prisoners
- A Game of Chess
- The Consultants
- Nohwan’s Crusade
- Tyrants and Revolutionaries
- The Guardian and the Keeper
- Geosynchron contains 42 chapters. The shortest chapter (Chapter 1) is 646 words long; the longest chapter (Chapter 30) is a whopping 8,276 words. (I am, however, considering splitting that chapter in two, even though the Douglas Adams fan in me recoils at the thought of adding a 43rd chapter.)
- The first sentence: “Margaret Surina is rejuvenated.”
- The book’s epigraph is a quote from John Steinbeck’s East of Eden: “Not every man is defeated. I can name you a dozen who were not, and those are the ones the world lives by.”
After reading all this, you might be asking the question, Is he really going to tie up all of those loose ends in one book? This isn’t one o’ them Robert Jordan-type situations, is it? And my answers to these questions are Yes, for the most part and No.
Geosynchron will end the Jump 225 trilogy. Meaning, the three primary stories I’m trying to tell with this trilogy will conclude at the end of this book. (For the record, those stories are: 1. Natch’s attempts to break free from his utter self-absorption, 2. Jara’s attempts to find value in herself, 3. A world trying to cope with out-of-control technological change.) Does that mean you’re going to see a nice, tidy conclusion where I summarize what every character does for the rest of their lives, Animal House style? Nope. If you’re looking for neat, foursquare endings to all of the plotlines in the trilogy, you’ll be disappointed.
I’m not going to preclude writing more in this universe at some date in the future. But at present, I’ve said all that I’ve got to say in this universe. There are other milieus and other genres that I’d like to take a stab at. There’s this YA fantasy series I’ve been itching to write since the late ’90s about an English boy who attends a school for wizards. I’m not too late, am I?
(Oh yeah, and hopefully this means I’ll have a little bit of time to blog again. Hopefully.)