One of the things that we are creating is a series of novels based on a science fiction universe we’ve dreamed up and added to over the last few years. For a long time, we were both part of a forum RPG site based loosely off a shounen manga series whose main conceit was “special people with special powers living in post-apocalyptia.” The latter part may not actually be true, but that was certainly our take on it. Blimps and radios coexisting with mud huts and feudal systems of government tend to leave that impression.
Something that we discovered we both liked was the opportunity to develop the history and plotline of the nation our characters inhabited. Strangely, no one had really sought to do that, and when we wrote down our theories about who was in charge and why (often while soured on whiskey and given to claims), people started believing us. Though it was fun to do, we wanted to create something more, and something we could truly call our own.
There are two novels in process so far, both co-written though started separately. Erica actually started writing hers first during NaNoWriMo in 2013 and Bryan churned his out during the last months of his post-residency fellowship. Set in the same universe, they’re companion books, with Bryan’s taking place almost 50 years later than Erica’s. So what are these books about?
Eight hundred years after a spectacular collision of superhuman megalomania and nuclear weapons, the Middle Ages are back with a twist. Feudal armies clash with not only pike and sword, but also rusting Abrams tanks and fearsome bioelectric magic. Cast by young battle-mages enslaved by the debts of their ancestors, prana is the rarest and deadliest weapon on the battlefield.
That’s actually an excerpt from an early query, and although it probably didn’t work well for a literary agent query letter (due to being kind of an infodump) it’s a nice summary of what this universe is about. Now, imagine this rifle-and-sorcery setting with a dysfunctional group of mages resentfully led by a woman whose goal in life is to have fun no matter who dies, fighting against the elite forces of a world-conquering empire of leftists who may actually be the “good guys,” and you have the setup for Guns of the Temple.
Bryan is in the process of querying agents. And as we’ll cover in another post, the process of querying literary agents opened our eyes to a part of modern culture and business we never knew existed. But that’s for later.