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After many months (more like years) of false starts and missteps, I've finally started working on my new novel, Pieces of Destiny.

As I explain in the intro, this story is a departure from my previous two novels. The lead character is very different from anybody I've written about before, and the story has some science-fiction overtones that I think make it fairly unique.

Don't let the historical subject matter or SF overtones throw you. This is more a story about romance and adventure than it is a history lesson (with some sex coming up in future chapters). I'm planning for it to be much more upbeat and breezy than Jagged Angel, but there will be some twists and turns along the way.

I'm still crushed with work, but I'll try to get a chapter out every few weeks. Hang in there, because this story will take some time to tell.

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Well now, I was pleasantly surprised that I liked this as I don?t usually ?do? SF. It?s not my favorite genre. But I gave this a try because I enjoyed your previous work. I?m thinking it?s the going back in time theme that caught my attention. I?ll certainly be looking for the next chapter.


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Interesting start to the story, and the 1864 setting reads very realistic. I'm a big SF fan, but for some reason I've never liked "gay" SF stories. This is an exception, where the SF has so far been used as a way into the story. Good job! I'll be checking for future chapters as they are posted.

Colin :icon1:

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I'm a big SF fan, but for some reason I've never liked "gay" SF stories. This is an exception, where the SF has so far been used as a way into the story.

Yeah, I agree with you. This kind of thing is rare done well, particularly with gay fiction.

There's only a couple more SF elements that will come up in future chapters, so it's not really a significant issue. As I said in the intro, I read at least 20 time-travel novels in preparation for this, and I was determined to go off in a different direction than all of them.

Destiny is probably more a historical novel than anything else, but those are usually pretty snooty. My take on it is, because you see the entire adventure through the eyes of a modern character, it'll be a lot more accessible to most readers. But I'm not taking the easy route here. It'll take some time for things to unfold.

I'm actually itching to get back to writing it. We'll see if I can tweak Chapter 2 to my satisfaction this weekend.

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PS you mentioned 'replay' in your intro. Is this the novel where, in one of his lifetimes, he employs Spielberg to direct?

Hey, you remembered that! That's very close to what Ken Grimwood did in Replay. He had the main time-travelling character go back to around 1972 or so, and he meets another time-travelling character (a woman) who's become the most successful film producer in history. She had hired a young George Lucas to supervise the effects (which is not technically correct, but it's a historical quibble), and a fledgling Steven Spielberg to direct, and created the greatest science fiction film in history... years before Star Wars or Close Encounters came out in our world.

My personal favorite scene was when the time-traveller got Lee Harvey Oswald arrested a few days before Kennedy was assassinated... but JFK still got killed on November 22nd, 1963, but by a different assassin. Ken's theory was that some small events are probably changeable in time travel, but the major, cataclismic moments in history are probably not. I tend to lean to this as well.

Ken was a terrific guy, and a die hard video collector and film fan, which is how I got to know him. I wish that Replay had been made into a movie, because it was a terrific idea. The 1993 movie Groundhog Day owed a lot to Replay, since the latter was also about a man doomed to repeat sections of his life over and over again, but the difference with the latter was that the guy went back in time and inhabited his own (younger) body... but with all his memories of the future left intact. An absolutely terrific, highly original idea.

Sadly, Ken was working on a sequel to Replay when he died. He had moved away from LA after 1988 (the last time I saw him), and we had lost touch over the years. But I knew him very well during the late 1970s and 1980s, and I miss him very much.

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  • 2 weeks later...

awesome to hear you are working on another story! I am really looking foward to read it.

Since you mention time-traveling and scifi, there is a really good book about the topic by Steven Fry: "Making History". And on gay scifi, I am still looking to find a book that will satisfy me in this genre. Delany's Dhalgren is great, but I cannot get to like the 60's lsd inspired mind altering, alternative reality storylines. And The Future Is Queer was a huge letdown for me too, I couldn't even finish reading the anthology because I was so disappointed at the stories.

And a question/request: will you post here if another chapter is added? because the email notification tool is really practical!

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Alternate history is a strange area. I have a book that's been sitting on my coffee table that I've been meaning to read; the plot's about a Civil War situation where somehow, one group of soldiers managed to get about 100 modern M16 rifles from the future, and managed to completely change the outcome of the war. The idea is intriguing, but I have to confess, my eyes start to glaze over when authors start throwing around a lot of minutia in a historical novel. I think something like this would make a better Twilight Zone episode than an entire novel.

Pieces of Destiny will flirt with changing history, but my plan is for it to be a romantic adventure before anything else. The history will only be a backdrop to what happens, though a few historical characters will be making cameos before too long.

I should have Chapter 2 up in just a couple of days (before Feb. 1).

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I should have Chapter 2 up in just a couple of days (before Feb. 1).

Great! Much looking forward to it.

I've been looking for 'Replay' in the boxes in the attic. It has to be there somewhere. I was sad to hear that Ken Grimwood died. A sequel would have been good to read. 'Groundhog Day' is one of my favourite movies.

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I'll occasionally cross my toes myself, as a silly habit, so I figured, "aaaa, what the hell, I'll throw that into the story."

Lotta strange stuff coming up in Chapter 3. Definitely more drama, but I'm trying to ease the comedy in as much as the story will permit.

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Great adventure, and a really interesting story in a unique setting. Jason is fumbling his way in a society that's totally different than the one he left behind in 2006. His relationship with Travis is strained at best. I think Travis is intrigued with Jason, but he doesn't believe Jason's story so he doesn't trust him. Travis is a lot smarter than Jason gives him credit for. And Lem is cute, and fun.

Chapter 2 ends with a cliffhanger that spells danger for Jason. It'll be interesting to see how he gets out of this situation in chapter 3. He's not a fighter (as far as we know), and is outmatched 3 to 1. Maybe Travis rescues him. I hope so!

Colin :icon11:

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Travis is a lot smarter than Jason gives him credit for.

Yeah, I got a couple of emails from people who kind of chided me, saying, "hey, the 2006 kid is kind of being patronizing to the 1864 people." This is 100% intentional. Jason has a lot of lessons to learn, and Travis will be one of them. Travis knows a lot more than he lets on.

I have a bad habit in my own life of judging people, and I recognized it some years back and have tried ever since to try to stop it. Prejudice can pop up in ugly ways -- racial, sexual, social, even economical -- and it's easy to have a superior attitude over people you erroneously assume are beneath you. That's one of my points of the story: that we can all learn from each other, not only in spite of our differences but often *because* of them.

I hope this message will be subtle, but we'll see how many people pick up on it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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