Work in Progress
Yesterday saw me start to map out another novel (following October’s completion of Broken Fury and Sunder Gloom).
This isn’t me writing a full novel. This is just the bare skeleton in bullet points, from start to end, including all the twists, throws and character arcs.
I am making full use of my sabbatical to get through the “deep thinking” and heavy lifting required to lay down a route that I can follow at a later date, when I come to write the books; with confidence, knowing that all the bumps and hurdles have been flattened or overcome. Camaraderie of Wolves is going to be the 4th book to be set in the post-apocalyptic world of Yellow Dawn (following on from the published work of Dog Eat Dog; The Black Lake and The Social Club). Despite the collapse of the most urban environments on Earth, the orbital colonies and deep space habitats remain intact, as do a handful of Living Cities back down on the planet. Within these Living Cities complex lives weave together into various stories.
Camaraderie of Wolves charts the path of two stars in the sim-stim industry. Like movies, sim-stims, or simulated stimulation, allow an audience to experience a story as if they were actually there. It’s a recorded experience, played back, so somebody has to have gone through it wearing a rig to make the product in the first place. Think Strange Days (1995) or Brainstorm (1983).
One such ‘jacktor’ is on the rise, because he’s willing to explore the Dead Zones and bring the horror of the Yellow Dawn world into screaming focus. The other jacktor was mega famous before Yellow Dawn but her star is fading, especially as she refuses to make the dangerous stims the studio want, instead focusing on the human trauma around the plight of victims of the first pathogen, known as the Changed – or called Orcs by those who want to be derogatory.
Between these two arcs there is a simmering danger, part of the Infection that is not yet fully understood, the influence of Hastur and how far and quickly it can reach into the minds of people who have never been near an Infected (what some people think are zombies). Its going to give me a chance to explore the sim-stim technology; the industry behind it, tying into the plight of actors and creatives who find themselves dangling on strings held by their agent; the trauma of the Changed; and aspects of Dead Cities and Living Cities that haven’t been covered by the previous Yellow Dawn novels.
CREDIT: Featured Hero Image – Zeitguised released an animation through Sid Lee Amsterdam, a project commissioned as part of a series of art pieces featuring the artists impressions of the new ‘Amber’ by Absolute Vodka. For me it conveys a real sense of the hyper-realistic surrealism an observer might experience whilst inside of a sim-stim. Imagine beyond just watching it, but being there and interacting within this digitally rendered world. See the VIMEO here: