(as of Feb 17,2021 21:29:14 UTC – Details)
The concluding two novels of the Childers Trilogy, in one volume.
The CSF has new technology coming on line, but will it be ready in time to head off the attack by the Outer Colonies that Jan Childers and CSF Intelligence Division see coming?
With the overwhelming new technology of her own design in hand, can Jan Childers rewrite the rules of galactic politics and give humanity a future of peace, prosperity and expansion?
INTERVIEW WITH RICH WEYAND
How did you write Absurd Proposals?
After Childers, I actually planned two novels, Colony War and Galactic Mail. They were going to be separate volumes, but the story arcs flowed one into the other, and together they were about the same size as Childers – about 90,000 words – so I released them in one volume. That concluded the trilogy.
Where did that title come from?
One chapter early in Colony War is titled An Absurd Proposal. There is a chapter early in Galactic Mail titled Another Absurd Proposal. Those two proposals, and their implementation, are the plot drivers for the two story arcs.
Did it write as fast as Childers?
Yes. I don’t outline or plot or write backstory. Once I have the basic direction in mind, I just start writing. It took about five weeks to write Absurd Proposals. I think part of it is that I started writing short stories, and I’m still getting used to the novel format. The result is that I drive the plot along pretty hard. None of the Childers Universe books is a ho-hum read.
I’ll say. In Childers, there were eight space battles!
Eight space battles and three hand-to-hand combats. In Absurd Proposals, there are thirty space battles, though only thirteen are on scene, plus an assassination. Of whom? Nope. No spoilers.
What about your covers?
I like people on a cover. No matter the setting or genre, good stories are about people. With Childers, I lucked out. I was looking for a 14-year-old female model with hair a half-inch long and one literally walked into my photographer’s studio. She is the daughter of another SF author, a friend of mine. She absolutely nailed the ten-mile stare I was looking for. For the Absurd Proposals cover, I needed someone who could credibly be the same person twenty years later. The same photographer had a shot in his portfolio of a woman with similar facial structure, eyes, ears, and hair. She’s also a martial arts expert, like Jan Childers, and has that don’t-mess-with-me look. Lucky again.
You never mention race or ethnicity of your characters.
I seldom describe characters at all. I have a mental image of the characters – I think you have to, to write them – but I prefer to write dialogue and action. The Commonwealth is a multi-ethnic free society which has been interbreeding across racial and ethnic lines for generations. And the names are a clue to that. Alice Chang, for example, or Ashok Gonzalez. Earth names and Outer Colony names are ethnically matching, like Jorge Hernandez or Marc Laurent, because their populations aren’t as mobile.
You have a lot of female officers and enlisted in the Commonwealth Space Force. How do you choose the sex of a character?
I usually just flip a coin. It doesn’t matter to me, in that context. If I were writing about infantry – you know, space marines or something – that could be harder, because the sexes aren’t the same, no matter what anybody says. I’ve been around 65 years now, and I’ve noticed. But in a space navy context, I don’t think the sex-related differences matter as much as competence and personal qualities. At the same time, once I’ve selected the sex of a character, the differences sometimes drive the character a little differently. A couple of times I went back and changed the sex of a character because it just worked better for the plot.
Reviews on the series have been very good.
I was hoping for an average above four stars. The actual ratings shocked me. It’s been very gratifying. So I guess I’ll keep writing!