Great news today: my agent, Ethan Ellenberg, phoned this morning to let me know that DAW Books will be buying a second novel from me. It’s not a sequel to Lost in Translation, which they’re bringing out in mass-market paperback in October (although that remains a possibility for the future) but a brand-new stand-alone science fiction novel.
I have until December 20 to write the necessary 100,000 words. I’d tell you the title, but DAW didn’t like the title I suggested (can’t say I blame them), so at the moment it has no title. I can tell you it involves genetically modified humans, interstellar travel, and religious extremism.
I can also tell you exactly when this novel was born: September 20, 2005, at the Writing With Style “Writing Speculative Fiction” workshop led by Robert J. Sawyer at the Banff School of Fine Arts. That morning in our classroom session he asked us to write the opening to a story, and on the spur of the moment I came up with:
Emily streaked through the phosphorescent sea, her wake a comet-tail of pale green light, her close-cropped turquoise hair surrounded by a glowing pink aurora. The water racing through her gill-slits smelled of blood.
As the week went on I tried to turn that into a short story, but soon decided I had more story than I could cram into just four or five thousand words. Then when Ethan suggested I prepare a couple of synopsis for DAW, I turned to the notes I’d made while trying to turn that opening into a short story, and…well, this morning I found out it had paid off big.
What can I say but “Woo-hoo!”