Blog Hop: Accessing the Future

Accessing the Future Blog Hop

The Future Fire, a publication that has published my fiction, is producing an anthology called Accessing the Future, and it focuses on issues that come with disability. As part of the promotion for their indiegogo campaign, they launched a blog hop for authors to talk about work in progress that includes a disable character shown in a positive light. You can read more about the blog hop here, and note the comment section is where you’ll find links to all the blog hop entries.

Djibril al-Ayad invited me to participate in the blog hop after learning some details about a character in my latest novel, A Darkling Nine. The post consists of five questions about the work in progress.

1. Tell us about your Work In Progress (WIP)

A Darkling Nine is based on the concept of the end of time. What happens to people after entropy wins? How can we know what happens billions of years into the future? So, I sent a group of people there using an invention called a “vacuum cracker.” The vacuum cracker (cracker for short) makes use of the energy created when virtual particles annihilate each other. It’s seemingly free energy, coming at the expense of just a wee increase in entropy. Not a bad solution for low-power applications. However, to propel a spacecraft just shy of the speed of light requires an enormous amount of energy, enough to make a noticeable difference in the entropy of the universe.

2. Who are the most powerful people in this world?

Enter Kermit Sayman, president and CEO of Sayman Industries, a global aerospace mega-corporation with a personal fortune worth billions. He is a very old man, intending to use relativistic effects to travel into the future where medical technology can extend his lifespan. He builds a spacecraft called the Amber, used to propel himself and his hand-picked crew (and a group of soldiers to be his enforcers) into the future. The Amber is powered by a vacuum cracker orders of magnitude larger than anything ever built.

He bribes the geriatric retired engineer who invented the vacuum cracker, Dr. Gaylord Frost, into joining the expedition. Gaylord is a textbook curmudgeon who is confined to a wheelchair and actively despises Kermit Sayman, and has no problem saying so. This makes for some interesting conflict and inevitable factioning aboard the Amber.

I won’t mention who the power players are in the distant future. Spoilers.

3. Where does their power come from?

Kermit Sayman’s power comes from a combination of his money, strict loyalty from his closest allies, and the hundred soldiers he keeps in hybernation.

Gaylord Frost’s power comes from the fact he knows the vacuum cracker better than anyone in the universe, and Kermit Sayman needs him.

Both men have very strong personalities, which does create significant conflict.

4. What physical and/or mental characteristics underpin their positions of power?

Kermit Sayman built a global aerospace corporation from the ground up. He expects to being in charge and that people will obey. He knows how to manipulate people, and how to negotiate. He uses any means at his disposal to meet his goals, whether legal or illegal.

Gaylord Frost’s power comes from his great intelligence and the fact he is the only person who truly understands vacuum cracking. That makes him indispensable, and gives him leverage over Kermit Sayman.

5. How does this affect the weakest people in the world?

For Kermit Sayman, there are three types of people in the world. Yes-men, temporary allies, and enemies. He uses all three to his own ends and will not hesitate to discard someone once those objectives are met.

Gaylord Frost has a good heart. He will stand up for his allies while being blunt with his enemies. He hates incompetence more than anything else, and has no issues making that known. As his allies learn, Gaylord indeed has a heart of gold beneath that grizzly and tough-talking exterior.

The disability Gaylord Frost experiences is discussed, but he doesn’t let it stop him. The wheelchair is mentioned casually when it impacts logistics. It is used against him by Kermit Sayman, but only in the sense that Kermit sees it as a tool to use when attempting to manipulate Gaylord. It is not a very effective tool.

So there we are. The novel is, as of the date on this post, in the editing phase, with assembling a query package on deck.

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