25 June 2012

A bit of a segue

I'm going to take a pause of 3-4 months from Anuru to toil on a project that's been in the back of my mind for some years now.  It's another novel (of course) and I've just begun writing it.  At my normal writing pace I expect to have it up for sale by the end of September.

It's not fantasy - call it 'science', or a 'techno-thriller', perhaps.  All I can tell you right now is that it takes place in 2013-14; the protagonist is Lindsay Klaiber, Ph.D.; and the working title is:

A Great and Necessary Work

Why the title? Well, back in 1892, HIM Victoria, Deus Gratia Regina et Imperatrix, wrote a letter to Spencer Compton, the 8th Duke of Devonshire, one of her most noted and notable noblemen, on the occasion of his marriage. In her missive, she both complimented the Duke, and expressed in simple but powerful terms her vision of the role of the political and moral leaders of the realm:

The Queen cannot conclude this letter without expressing to the Duke her high sense of the great services he has rendered to the country and herself during the last few years — and how much she relies on him to assist in maintaining the safety and honour of her vast Empire.  All must join in this great and necessary work.

Those of us who have worked in government circles can attest to how often “maintaining the safety and honour of the empire” is cited as justification for actions that in any other circumstances would be considered morally repugnant or even criminal.  A “great and necessary work” is often cited as justification for breaking any law, code or custom, and this is a pitfall to which no government is immune, and which consumes the competent and the incompetent, the honorable and the dishonorable, the truthful and the liars alike.

All manner of horrific madness - from the eugenics-motivated sterilization of mental defectives by Western supremacists from Saskatchewan to Berlin, to the mass starvations of forced collectivizaton in the Ukraine, Mao's devastating 'Great Leap Forward', and the Nazi Holocaust - has been justified on the grounds that the perpetrators were engaged in a "great and necessary work."

If that doesn't set the stage for my subject, I don't know what will.

Incidentally, this will probably change a thousand times before I publish the book in October.  But it's a start.