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Monday, August 7, 2017

Reworked a Science Fiction Novel I Wrote about Thirty-Five Years Ago, The Sands of Andros

As a youngster, teen, and young adult I devoured science fiction. It seemed natural that I try to write the stuff. I actually finished The Sands of Yama, a classic approach to the genre that was rather short in length at 40,000 words. Too short to submit to any agent when the minimum for a novel as 60,000 words. And I was very unsure about it. I put it down to a learning experience. Has a plot, pretty good characters, not bad dialogue, good action scenes and ends up being a first contact story. It was also an exercise in world creation, or in the case galaxy creation. Galacton is a federation of planets. When a planet is discovered by one of the companies in the federation that company lays claim to the planet. It can be exploited or sold to any group that would like to colonize it. A lot of radical groups do just that so a group of Muslims or Christians or any group that wants its own planet with its own rules can have a planet and do what they want there. Galacton has a strict hands off approach. The groups are free to discover their own destinies.

The company Krackcom has discovered the planet Rhome and its one island continent, which I named Yama. The island is loaded with goodies. There is electrogold, there are caterlund furs, a special honey is both an hallucinogen and an aphrodisiac. There are the mysterious compucells that are found the the appendix to the brain of the huge mammothet. There is a clam whose meat expands the human lifespan by 100 years. These materials are so rare that Galacton realizes they must not be exploited to the point of extinction and so they control the collection of the materials by a simple process. They can only be collected or hunted by hand. No mechanical devices.

And there are plenty of dangerous creatures on Yama that provide natural protection for these resources. So Krackcom is allowed to offer a gamble to those who choose to play. Collect 50 pounds of electrogold and take it to Rest and Reward Station One and you will be rewarded with enough Galacton credits to live freely for five fun-filled years. The rewards for reaching the other stations with the required amount of collected material grows exponentially

The reward for entering the last R&R station is known--one-eighth ownership and board membership of Krackcom itself--but it is not known what must be collected.

That's the set up. Our main character, Thaddeus Bean III will enter the contest. Those entrants are known as gramblers. Only one grambler in the 268-year history of this game has made it to the last R&R Station: Thaddeus Bean I.

So I was sort of between book projects and always examine the old slush pile and I came across the manuscript, typed on a manual typewriter (imagine that!) I started reading and thought. Hey, this isn't too bad. So I started re-keyboarding it. Making alterations. Read ahead in the whole things and saw how actually it hung together quite well. And now it's done and soon I'll submit it or publish it myself. Those old word counts have gone the way of the manual typewriter.

I had used the structure of Galacton to create another science fiction work, a novella called "A Match Made in Heaven," in which the Mormons have left earth to populate the planet they call Moroni and discover their destiny in the stars. Those two works are the only products of a scheme I had to write a series of books based the concept of planets under complete control of the worlds they inhabit, with Galacton forces stepping in only when any other those planets became warlike with designs on other planets.

I decided Yama didn't work as a name for the island and so I changed it to Andros. Now The Sands of Andros is ready for the general public. Do need a book cover, though, if any reader of this blog is interested in contacting me.

And maybe I just might explore writing about other worlds in the Galacton federation.

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