Dan Melson: April 2019 Archives

This is from my current work-in-progress, Setting the Board, third in the Preparations for War series

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You play with fire, you're going to get burned.

Abraham Lincoln once observed, "Nearly all men can stand adversity. If you want to test a man's character, give him power." It might scandalize my fellow Americans to say it, but Mr. Lincoln failed his own test by almost any measure. Suspension of habeus corpus, our first conscripted armies, breaking West Virginia off as a separate state with only the thinnest of technically legal fictions. But he'd been a national hero in the United States, because history is written by the winners.

There is no way to give a person power that can only be used for good. Any power can be abused, especially government power. If there's one lesson we should have learned as a species by now, that's it. So it didn't surprise anyone that demons could subvert human rulers. It's just that we never knew who until the damage was done.

But let me start at the beginning.

It felt like we were coming home.

Asina and I had been working to improve the lot of Calmenans for most of our adult lives. It had started within a year of Imperial contact; I'd rescued her from being a breeding slave to the human agaani of Calmena. She'd turned out to be operant; after her training she was recruited to return to Calmena and selected me as her assistant. We'd spent twenty Imperial years (35 local) in N'yeschlass, teaching them about blacksmithing and related fields that used blacksmithing's products, during which time I'd also become operant. Then we'd spent over forty Imperial years in Windhome Bay, advancing their art of shipbuilding and related things like fishing and trading. In that time, the people of Wimarglr Continent, southern Taalmisch Continent, and the Atlantean Chain of islands between them had advanced from barely Iron Age to mostly 19th century Earth equivalent.

The premise is that roughly ten thousand Earth years ago, the fractal demons captured and enslaved some Earth humans, taking them to Calmena, a planet around Epsilon Indi, using them as breeding stock with the idea of creating another slave race like the likahns. They created gateways between their own home spaces and Calmena, then set about making Calmena the sort of hellhole they like to live in.

Humans being an unruly lot, some escaped, and others rebelled. Where these escapees and rebels succeeded in creating their own tribes, they became pseudo-feudal enclaves, dedicated to those at the top of their social ladder and helping them fight off being re-conquered by the fractal demons. But at least 80 percent of humans on Calmena still lived their lives enslaved by demons. Eighty percent of what was left were enslaved by their fellow humans, the results of genetic experimentation that resulted in mental and physical augmentation.

A comparative few clung to a precarious existence in the margins, living largely solitary lives or in association with small family groups in primitive conditions, subject to being captured by any demonic or human lord who took a whim to do so, always prepared to abandon everything they have in order to escape.

When the Empire came to Earth, they discovered Calmena nearby. Realizing it would be a useful gateway for acquiring intelligence on the fractal demons, the Empire established a small base, remote and inaccessible in the highest mountains on the planet. From there, the Ears spread out to the demonic realms, gathering intelligence for the inevitable war that was coming with the fractal demons.

However, a few members of the Imperial elite decided they couldn't ignore the plight of the humans on Calmena. They established a charity with the goal of bettering the lives of the humans on Calmena, although always subject to the need to maintain official secrecy. The fractal demons cannot know that the Empire knows about Calmena.

In Preparing The Ground, Joe and Asina begin the long process of improving the Calmenans' technological ability: They gather up a few scattered humans, and together they found N'yeschlass, a free human town built on smelting metal and forging it.

In Building The People, Joe and Asina undertake a new assignment to introduce sailing ships to a world that has never known anything more advanced than a raft or canoe.

In Setting the Board, the improvements have had a chance to spead. The free humans are pushing the demons back. Now with the southern portion of the fourth and final continent under their control, the free humans seem poised to push the fractal demons off Calmena entirely. Joe and Asina's new assignment: Marine diesels and aircraft technology.

But Calmena is only the front line of a very large conflict zone, and the demons have massive resources they have not yet called upon.

Preparations for War is a grunt's eye view of a cultural and economic conflict and the people that get caught in the middle.

The Gates To Faerie will be available April 9th. Here are the Amazon and Books2Read links for e-book

(Books2Read covers most retailers other than Amazon and even several library services if you want to request your favorite library acquire a copy)

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07QBDL8QK

https://books2read.com/b/47xV9N

Here is the link for a paperback copy. The kindle e-book and paperback pages are linked on my author page - I suspect that will happen soon on the individual pages

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1092861408

Mark Jackson's problems begin when he wakes up with his ex-wife's mummified corpse.

Seven years ago, she walked out on him and vanished. Now she's back desperate for help. She claims a cult cured her cancer. Now they want to kill her.

Sceptical, Mark agrees to help. But when she knocks on his door, she looks like a teenager. They patch things up and one thing leads to another...

In the morning, she's a mummified corpse and LAPD thinks Mark did it. The solution to his problems can only be found in The Gates to Faerie

Gates artwork small.jpg

This is the first draft of the introduction to my current work in progress (Gates to Faerie's textfiles are finalized; I'm only waiting for the final artwork)


You play with fire, you're going to get burned.

Abraham Lincoln once observed, "Nearly all men can stand adversity. If you want to test a man's character, give him power." It might scandalize my fellow Americans to say it, but Mr. Lincoln failed his own test by almost any measure. Suspension of habeus corpus, our first conscripted armies, breaking West Virginia off as a separate state with only the thinnest of technically legal fictions. But he'd been a national hero in the United States, because history is written by the winners.

There is no way to give a person power that can only be used for good. Any power can be abused, especially government power. If there's one lesson we should have learned as a species by now, that's it. So it didn't surprise anyone that demons could subvert human rulers. It's just that we never knew who until the damage was done.

But let me start at the beginning.

It felt like we were coming home.

 



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Preparing The Ground
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This page is a archive of recent entries written by Dan Melson in April 2019.

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