As I mentioned previously, this is in effect a prolog or chapter zero to the novels. I still don't expect to actually include this in the manuscript of Calamity of So Long A Life, the first of the Sunspin trilogy, but it sure helped me set some direction. Among other things, I uncovered several more key worldbuilding issues and a couple of important aspects of the trilogy's MacGuffins.
Interestingly, all my other Sunspin shorts seem to have tied into "The Weight of History, the Lightness of the Future". Which is something I had not anticipated when I wrote them. Proving once again that Fred is much smarter than I am.
All of which leads me to reflect that my increasingly common practice of writing discovery fiction set in my novelistic universes is really paying off for me. Plus it's fun!
Upcoming projects (as in, starting tomorrow, most likely) include revisions to "The Stars Do Not Lie", the steampunk lost colony religious novella I wrote last spring; followed by revisions to "A Long Walk Home", the Sunspin novelette I recently wrote; followed by revisions to "The Weight of History, the Lightness of the Future"; then a solid shot at finalizing the Sunspin outline so I can get started on Calamity of So Long A Life sometime in January.
And yes, because I care, just for y'all, here's a bit of a WIP:
Her strategy was utterly obvious. Her tactics, far less so.
Still, her fingers hovered over the fire control interface. Indecision was like agony. The small noises of her starship echoed like cannon in her mind. She remembered cannon fire, on 9-Rossiter during their post-Mistake isolation. She'd even commanded artillery for a short while. The morning mist off the Polomoski River had blended with the acrid smokes of their still too-crude powder, that caused the occasional shell to cook off in the barrel. Horses tied on the picket line screamed their terror at the first of those explosions, and she'd had to send that kid, what was his name–
It was Shinka. No, the kid wasn't named Shinka. He'd died, more horribly than usual, following her orders.
Cannon blinked. She was aboard Sword and Arm. Not at the Battle of Bodny Bridge.
"Where were you?" the Lieutenant asked.
"Eight and a half centuries out of time," Cannon muttered. "We'd better–"
Her words were snatched from her mouth by an air shock that pressed through Sword and Arm's interior cubage like a fist down a throat. Cannon felt her ears bleeding.
She whirled to see the damage control boards lighting up. Third Rectification had scored a hit on the Alcubierre drive, apparently with a ballistic package. The delivery method was obvious enough. Low albedo, tight-beamed comms control, so running dark and fast. Maybe even boosted by a quick snap of the mining lasers covered over by the bigger starship's lurch into motion.
"Returning fire, ma'am?" Shinka asked urgently, though her voice was like someone talking at the bottom of a pan.
"No!" Cannon shouted, trying to hear herself. "That's our only ride home, now."