Chapter Twenty-Three has been posted

Chapter Twenty-Three is up.

I have ten bucks toward Chapter Twenty-Four.

Chapters Twenty-Four through Twenty-Six are written. I’m a couple of pages into Chapter Twenty-Seven.

My best estimate at present is that the first draft will run twenty-eight chapters and an epilogue, but that could still be off by a chapter or so either way. The epilogue will be included with the final chapter at no additional charge.

I’m likely to be away from my computer on March 14th, so there will probably be no post that week, and two chapters will probably be posted either the week before or the week after.

And incidentally, I’m getting about half a dozen bounces on the weekly updates to donors.  If you donated money and aren’t getting them, it’s because there’s a problem with the e-mail address you provided.

25 thoughts on “Chapter Twenty-Three has been posted

  1. Where you have:

    This was, Emmis thought, by far the nicest place he had ever woken up in his life,

    It looks good, but grammatically I think it is a bit off. Emmis isn’t waking up the place, is he? He’s merely waking up IN the place. Did you miss a second consecutive “in” or ought you add “where” as in:

    This was, Emmis thought, by far the nicest place where he had ever woken up in his life,


    This was, Emmis thought, by far the nicest place he had ever woken up in in his life,

    I tend to think the latter works better. Or have I misread that somehow?

  2. A second “in” would not be amiss, perhaps. I don’t know if it’s necessary. We could wait and see what the copy editor says.

  3. I saw this once and was quite amused (it’s all about the punctuation):

    Using the Same Word Eleven Times in a Row

    Smith, where Jones had had “had”, had had “had had”;
    “had had” had had the examiner’s approval.

  4. If we don’t get to the details of the Lumeth towers in the next chapter we all may have to hunt you down and start throwing dirty socks at you…..

  5. Here’s what I’m guessing is going on with the towers, based on what we already know (of course, I could be quickly proven wrong):

    The towers are a system (or part of a system) necessary for keeping the World of Ethshar inhabitable in the midst of the poisonous elements that surround it. Magic artifacts are usually more associated with sorcery here, and I’m sure that the wizards appreciate the necessity of everyone not dying the next time they try to breathe. Hence the long-standing powerful protective wards on the towers. Large questions would involve when the towers were made, by whom, and why (beyond the necessity of maintaining the World–which would ultimately be a question of “why is the World?”).

    Overall, it reminds me a bit of the “Land of Oz as a clear area on Venus” from Heinlein’s Number of the Beast.

    It’s not clear yet how, and if, this relates to the second Source.

    As an unrelated thought, I’m wondering if we’re going to see stories featuring any of the “minor” schools of magic. Mainly, I’d like to see how Science works in Ethshar (being a scientist myself), and how it is sufficiently indistinguishable from magic…sort of an Ethsharitic Arrowsmith story, perhaps?

  6. From memory didn’t it mention in the unwilling warlord that the 2nd source was near the lumeth towers, but not actually them?

    If so, I’d guess the 2nd source is actually the powerplant which runs the towers. I think the towers are somekind of air generator, or plantforming device, not a forceshield generator (as Vond was able to pass the edge of the world without an interferance. It’s interesting to see that they are not central to the known world, but off at one end. I wonder if there are others, like one set in the north. Otherwise it seems a little odd to be off centre.

    Now the 1st source I’d guess to be a crashed spaceship, and the “calling” is the distress signal the automated computer is giving out. or even same as the 2nd source, but the meteor crashed into it, causing the distress call.

    Now, as they can draw on this 2nd source when they know about it, and it’s a sorcerors item, I wonder if they could also draw on other sorcerous items.

  7. I think I would be pretty disappointed if a spaceship turned up in Ethshar. It just has too much history (at least to me) as a Fantasy-only realm. I don’t mind stories that cross the boundaries between SciFi and Fantasy (Modesitt’s Recluce series comes to mind), but I think I would be almost, if not more disappointed at the appearance of a spaceship in Ethshar than fans would be if one of Tolkien’s descendants wrote another book set in Middle Earth which had Elfin soldiers with Uzis show up looking for the One True Ring, since it was really a crucial portion of a trans-warp drive that fell to Middle Earth after a skirmish with the Galactic Overlords in the upper atmosphere destroyed their flagship, and they now need it to repair one of their last remaining vessels in order to try to save their home planet.

  8. The recluse series had Sci-Fi for what 3 or 4 chapters? Come on! They crossed a reality barrier where a different set of rules applied…thus becoming a fantasy series again.

    There are many works out there with the same stuff. The Sorcerer and the Cybord stuff….and we need another book there too Mr Evans! Janny Wurtz Firemaster Cycle…..and where’s the follow up from that one I ask! Roger Zelazny – Amber, Lords of Light(GREAT BOOK!) ->Amber Prequal isnt too bad….but I want the completion of the series after the final Roger books! I know the poor guy died….but what about us readers?

    Hrm….I’m seing a trend of unresponsible authors not completing their story lines for us……hrm…..

  9. I wondered if the people of Ethshar hadn’t migrated through a transport tapestry, or something like it.
    Or maybe the towers and the poison fog came about in the great war.

  10. Hmmm. If you recall from The Night of Madness, those conscious when the 1st source came down recalled feeling suffocated. It leads me to suspect that the source is a suprapowerful being who ‘fell to earth’ and is now, for reasons unknown, stuck there. Sounds very like Xanth, doesn’t it?

    The whole towers and edge of the world thing, to me, tends to indicate that the entire world is a construct. Suppose the Ethsharites didn’t win the war and, instead, the Gods simply moved them to another reality where they are safe from the demon hordes. Given the focus of the series, it might be more logical to be some wizards who moved the entire world.

    Love to think about this stuff. It’s more fun then reality.

  11. Well, it could be set in the same universe as the war surplus novels, as Lawrance has already hinted that there is a connection between earth and ethshar.

    And as sorcery feels strongly like a form of science more than pure “magic”, it could be that sorcery is the oldest form of “magic” and was the original technology of the coloniest that came to ethshar, and the rest of magic developed over time due to environment. It may be that the 1st source’s signal is originally a method of mental interfacing between the technology and the “pilot”, and close up the signals power was strong enough to effect everyone, but further away it was only able to effect the descendants of those initial pilots/operators who had the latent settings in their brain.

    Of couse the whole magic systems in ethshar could be technology based, and ethshar isn’t a planet, but a floating disk on the edge of a gass giant.

    Wizardry could be just a devalued miss understanding of the link between certain people (through an interface device – ie the dagger), which accesses the matter convertors in the disk to create the effects they are trying to gain. – which would explain why it’s dispropotionate to the effort when creating the effect, as the power for it comes from the disks machinery rather than the wizard.

    This also makes sense for the witches, as if we assume that people to one degree or another were active telepaths, and built their technology around this fact, instead of buttons and switches for controls. So the witches are just those decendants that have worked on their telepathy so it’s no longer latent but active.

    But, due to time and lost knowledge in that long distant event (maybe the same thing as the great war from the war surplus novels?) that where it was once viewed as a single technology, the fragments of knowledge has shaped the thinking of people to create all these branches of magic, as they relearnt parts of what was lost in a disjointed way.

  12. Siladar, while I admit the crossover was small, it did happen. That little SciFi crossover forever altered the premise of the universe in which the stories are set. That’s what I am hoping does not happen here. I feel that bringing in an overtly SciFi element, such as a spaceship, would forever alter Ethshar, at least for me, and not in a positive way.

    Marcus, your postulations are exectly what I am hoping against. I don’t want the universes in War Suplus and Ethshar to actually be the same one. It adds to each, for me, that they are distinct. There could be technological explanations for magic in Ethshar, but that would ruin it for me, because even though “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishible from magic,” once you identify/establish it as technology, in my eyes, it isn’t magic any more, and I like magic.

  13. Of couse the whole magic systems in ethshar could be technology based, and ethshar isn’t a planet, but a floating disk on the edge of a gass giant.

    Interesting idea. In the Unwilling Warlord, Vond flew upwards. Eventually he saw over the mist, it doesn’t go to infinity upwards. This would mean that they would have to be floating near the surface of the gas giant.

    Also, the edge of the world is an edge, you cannot just keep walking if you have breathing equipment, IIRC, Vond has to use his flying ability when he passed into the mist.

    Actually, he tried to breath when he was in the mist and said that he couldn’t. This means that the mist isn’t poisonous, it just doesn’t contain enough oxygen.

    The field from the towers would have to create quite a large “bubble” below them for a rock disk to float in a gas giant … alternatively, maybe it could just directly lift the disk.

    If the towers are actually what is holding back the mist (rather than “poisons” refering to something else), then it does seem to say that the world was created by technology. The first settlers used tech/sorcery to push back the mist and settle.

  14. Ethshar is absolutely not in the same universe as Dest, the planet in The Cyborg and the Sorcerers. I promise you that. It’s not the same universe as any of my other work, though I do not rule out the possibility of inter-universal crossovers between Ethshar and Earth.

    (In fact, I have a short Ethshar story planned where there’s contact of a sort between Ethshar and Earth, and long ago I started but didn’t finish a story where an enchanted sword from the Small Kingdoms wound up in Pittsburgh.)

  15. The fantasy science combo has been done very well in other works without destroying the fantasy world. Two great examples come to mind for me, Dragon Riders of Pern and the Soul Rider series. In both these work science is at the core of the creation but the people have become so far removed from the science that the magic has taken new directions the pure science could never have gone.

  16. Piers Anthony has done an excellent job of mixing the two in his Incarnations of Immortality series and his Adept books. There was also a book I read years ago called Jack of Shadows, or something like that, that did a credible job.

  17. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely believe that Lawrence could pull it off, if he chose to go that way. I’m just so attached to the worldview that Ethshar has shown thus far that I wouldn’t like for it to take a major turn like that. But hey, it’s not my universe to define.

  18. Jack of Shadows like Creatures of Light and Darkness or Lord of Light was an interesting blend, though all three novels are distinctive in their approaches.

    I was sad to read that Zelazny had died, and sad he never wrapped up his terraforming gods series.

  19. Jack of Shadows is my personal favorite of Zelazny’s work.

    I knew Roger Zelazny slightly — enough to chat with at conventions — and he was a genuinely nice guy, as well as one hell of a fine writer; his death was a great loss.

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