David Louis Edelman's Blog
February 22, 2012
The main answer about where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing can be answered with a single photo:
These are my kids, and basically I’ve been spending all of the spare time I used to spend writing raising these two. Can you blame me?
Have I completely abandoned my writing career? Am I working on anything new? No and yes. I’ve been toying with three or four different projects in the past few years, but have yet to really commit to any one of them. The latest project I’m excited about is a novel with a working title of The Island of Shakespeares. Once the kids are off in school, I intend to jump back in to the writing with more vim and vigor, and at that point I’ll entertain the idea of blogging again.
And if you’re starving for some of my fiction, read Jump 225 again. I’d like to think it can withstand the scrutiny of multiple readings. In fact, I think it’ll be better the second or third time around. (Then again, I’m biased.)
The main answer about where I've been and what I've been doing can be answered with a single photo:
These are my kids, and basically I've been spending all of the spare time I used to spend writing raising these two. Can you blame me?
Have I completely abandoned my writing career? Am I working on anything new? No and yes. I've been toying with three or four different projects in the past few years, but have yet to really commit to any one of them. The latest project I'm excited about is a novel with a working title of The Island of Shakespeares. Once the kids are off in school, I intend to jump back in to the writing with more vim and vigor, and at that point I'll entertain the idea of blogging again.
And if you're starving for some of my fiction, read Jump 225 again. I'd like to think it can withstand the scrutiny of multiple readings. In fact, I think it'll be better the second or third time around. (Then again, I'm biased.)
April 6, 2010
Since I’ve received a number of comments and emails asking me about the ending of Geosynchron, I’ve decided to open up about it and discuss it here. Oh yeah, in case you haven’t figured it out, thar be spoilers ahead.
Let me start with a comment by Jason in a previous post:
…[T]urning Natch into a deaf, mute, blind, retarded person did not seem to have a point. The explanation of the role of the autonomous minds felt like half of an explanation because no time was spent explaining how or why they function the way they do. They appeared to be basically, magical, especially in regards to their connection to the Pharisees. I thought the story of the autonomous minds held immense promise and I was hopeful to learn more about their role in the history of the world you have created, so perhaps this is why I feel so let down by the explanation you gave. I feel like I completely missed something either much earlier in the story or even within the last book that would have helped me understand your intent in telling this final part of Natch’s story in the way that you did.
Regarding Natch’s fate: if you think about possible endings for Natch using a(n almost MultiReal-like) process of elimination, you’ll see that there are not many other fates that work for the character. The whole point of the character is for him to go from a state of complete selfishness to a state of complete selflessness. He begins Infoquake callously threatening all of civilization with a fake black code attack; he ends Geosynchron sacrificing everything he knows and loves to prevent an Autonomous Revolt-style catastrophe that threatens humanity.
Natch is presented as a character of limitless drive and desire (see my Big Idea piece on John Scalzi’s Whatever blog for more about that). By the end of MultiReal, he’s achieved everything he ever wanted, or at least everything he always thought he wanted: freedom to explore his programming with virtually unlimited funding, without constraints of government or society. Not only that, but he’s got a program under his command that lets him find the best of all possible worlds with every decision. But he soon sees the emptiness behind these goals, and finds himself in the complete opposite position at the beginning of Geosynchron: trapped in the Patels’ dungeon, unable to move forward, unable to do anything except sit and wait for the world to do what it wants to him. Achieving everything he wanted has led him… nowhere.
Where can Natch go from there?
Clearly by the end of the trilogy, Natch has to pay for the suffering he’s inflicted on his friends and on the world. To make him a martyr is too easy (and not enough of a punishment). If he escaped unscathed, where’s the sacrifice? Clearly he’s got to give up something, and it can’t be something trivial like getting banned forever from running a fiefcorp. Besides which, what would Natch do for the rest of his life in a society where he’s already climbed the highest heights and plumbed the deepest depths?
So he takes responsibility for his mistakes and saves the world in the process, giving up everything he ever held dear to do so (his relationship with Horvil and Serr Vigal, his fiefcorp, his money, his ability to program or experience bio/logics, etc.). He’s stepped off that constant treadmill of boundless want and desire that he’s been on since birth — the treadmill that society has trained him to be on with its constant software “upgrades” and technological “improvements.” And as a result of his decision, Natch winds up at peace for the first time in his life. Did you notice that by the end of the novel, he achieves everything that the Surinas have laid out as the “path to Perfection”? Blind and deaf he may be — not sure I implied that he’d be “retarded” — but he’s also freed from the constraints of Time, freed from the constraints of Distance, freed from the constraints of Cause and Effect.
So is it a happy ending? Well, partially; it’s happy that Natch managed to find some way to achieve inner satisfaction in the end. But sad that he could not figure out how to do it within the bounds of society. Clearly the ending of Geosynchron isn’t meant to encourage everyone to toss away all their belongings, gouge out their eyes and trek out to the desert. But maybe it will help put our lives in perspective, just a little bit? I dunno, that’s up to you.
Okay, I’ve said enough, time to retreat back behind the curtain of mystification once more.
Ever since Infoquake hit the stores in 2006, I've felt this subconscious urge not to discuss the meaning and symbolism behind my Jump 225 trilogy. Perhaps there's some Holy Writ which demands that authors remain mysterious about their own work. Certainly keeping mum encourages people to come up with their own interpretations — but why should discussing things discourage people from doing so? Are my readers really so obtuse that they'll just stop reading if I tell them directly what I...
February 24, 2010
The wait is over. Geosynchron is here! Which means that the trilogy which began as a gleam in my bio/logically-enhanced eye way back in 1997 or 1998 is completely in print, and you can now judge the entire story on its merits. Or you can simply stare at the gorgeous Stephan Martiniere cover for hours on end and try to figure out who the heck that guy is sitting Indian style on the cover, which is what I do. (The answer? I really don’t know. I’m guessing it’s either High Executive Len Borda or it’s Ian Holm fresh off the set of The Fifth Element.)
Anyway… boy, am I gonna need your help on this one. This is the last launch of a Jump 225 book, which means it’s the last best time to spread the word about the trilogy. So please, forward to your friends and family members, post reviews online, write blog posts, tweet, spray paint Geosynchron-related graffiti on the front of government buildings! Just tell them that Neil Gaiman sent you.
Oh yeah, and why don’t you read the book too, and let me know how you liked it?
“So, Dave, How Do I Buy Geosynchron?”
Glad you asked. Most writers (the smart ones, at least) will tell you to buy their books in whatever way makes the most sense to you. Amazon and Amazon UK are both selling it (both in paper and on the Kindle). If you’re not partial to Amazon, you can always order from Barnes & Noble or Books-a-Million. Want to support an indie bookstore? Try Borderlands Books, Mysterious Galaxy or Powell’s — or search for it at the independent bookstore nearest you on IndieBound.
If you really feel like going out of your way — and this is totally optional — probably the most helpful thing you could do is to walk into an actual Borders or Barnes & Noble store and ask for Geosynchron by name. If they’re not carrying it, express your shock and amazement loud enough for everyone in the store to hear you, and then special order it from the counter.
Geosynchron: A “Seminal Work of 21st Century SF.”
Man, the critics are saying all kinds of things that are making me blush from my bald head down to my hairy toes. This may be the best-reviewed book of mine to date. Here are the highlights since the last newsletter. And no, I haven’t slept with any of these people.
Locus Magazine: “This smart, idiosyncratic blend of cyberpunk, libertarian entrepreneurship, and social engineering will, I think, stand as a seminal work of 21st century SF.” (Full Review Forthcoming)
Fantasy Book Critic: “Geosynchron achieves a rare feat for a trilogy-ending volume, namely it takes the series one level higher, beyond mundanity to true sense-of-wonder SF, so it finally plays on the level of the masters of modern SF… An A+ and so far the best core-SF novel I’ve read in 2010.”
io9: “More warped than ever… Geosynchron is an engaging conclusion to a thrilling, thought-provoking saga.”
Library Journal: “Taking cyberpunk to the next level, this conclusion to Edelman’s trilogy… presents a drama of future technology that combines action with psychosocial intrigue. Tension comes as much from the clash of ideas as from physical confrontation. Highly recommended.”
Grasping for the Wind: “Just amazing. How anyone could make a boardroom discussion so exciting is beyond my comprehension. With words, not lasers, Edelman produces a fiction that has no peer… David Louis Edelman’s Jump 225 trilogy is one of the best space operas currently in print… If you read no other science fiction story this year, read the Jump 225 trilogy.”
Rob Bedford of SFFWorld: “Today I finished what is, so far, the best SF novel I’ve read this short year and probably best overall — Geosynchron by David Louis Edelman. A fine finale to what is a superb SF trilogy.” (Full Review Forthcoming)
Interviews and Guest Blog Posts.
If reading the reviews isn’t enough for you to get your Geosynchron fix, then click on through to some of these interviews and guest blog posts:
John Scalzi’s Whatever hosts a “Big Idea” blog from me today about how a scene from Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001 helped inspire the Jump 225 trilogy, and why humanity is powered by dissatisfaction.
Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist hosted a guest blog from me this week wherein I divulged why the initial letters of the Jump 225 books spell out IMG. (Hint: think HTML.)
Grinding to Valhalla talks to me about my RPG, videogaming and boardgaming past, the rewarding and not-so-rewarding things about writing, and Yars’ Revenge. Yes, Yars’ Revenge.
The DC Speculative Fiction Examiner‘s Josh Vogt interviewed me about the writing process, things about the books I would change in retrospect, and which settings of the books I’ve actually visited. (Hint: pretty much none of them.)
GoodReads Jump 225 Giveaway.
GoodReads members can register to win (separately) a signed copy of Infoquake, MultiReal, and Geosynchron. All you have to do is sign up for, or already be a member of, GoodReads. Contest is scheduled to start today and end Friday, March 5. For more details:
The GoodReads page for Infoquake
The GoodReads page for MultiReal
The GoodReads page for Geosynchron
March 19-20: Virginia Festival of the Book, Charlottesville VA.
Thanks for all the support over books 1, 2 and 3! Now go ye and spread the word about Geosynchron. Go thee thou and spreadest the word, I say.
From my newsletter (because I really don't have the time or energy these days to write anything original on my blog anymore):
The wait is over. Geosynchron is here! Which means that the trilogy which began as a gleam in my bio/logically-enhanced eye way back in 1997 or 1998 is completely in print, and you can now judge the entire story on its merits. Or you can simply stare at the gorgeous Stephan Martiniere cover for hours on end and try to figure out who the heck that guy is sitting Indian s...
January 11, 2010
Taking cyberpunk to the next level, this conclusion to Edelman’s trilogy (Infoquake, MultiReal) presents a drama of future technology that combines action with psychosocial intrigue. Tension comes as much from the clash of ideas as from physical confrontation. Highly recommended.
I suppose after Rob Sawyer had me resuscitating cyberpunk with defibrillator paddles in hand, it only made sense for me to take cyberpunk up to the next level. Perhaps next I’ll get to take cyberpunk to its room and hook it up to an IV.
Wahoo! Library Journal has given Geosynchron a fabulous review in their January 15 issue. Here's what they had to say, minus the synopsis part which essentially just paraphrases the back cover copy:
Taking cyberpunk to the next level, this conclusion to Edelman's trilogy (Infoquake, MultiReal) presents a drama of future technology that combines action with psychosocial intrigue. Tension comes as much from the clash of ideas as from physical confrontation. Highly recommended.
I suppose after...
January 5, 2010
The website for Geosynchron is live at www.geosynchron.net. See screen capture here (and more below the cut).
Not only will you find a spiffy website design that matches those of the first two book sites, you’ll also find:
Chapters 1 through 8 in their entirety, or the entire first section of the book (titled “The Prisoners”). Wonder what happened to Quell after he got dragged out of the Revelation Spire by the Defense and Wellness Council? Wonder what happened to Natch after he blacked out on the streets of Old Chicago? Want to know what the “MultiReal-D” code that Petrucio Patel shot Natch with in the Tul Jabbor Complex does? Find out now.
An updated glossary that contains all of the terms from all three books. (You might have noticed that the glossaries in the actual books themselves have been trimmed slightly to only include terms pertinent to that particular book.)
Three new appendices from Geosynchron: “On the Islanders”, “On the Pharisees” and “On the Autonomous Revolt”. Here you can read about how the Band of Twelve founded the Luddite civilization in the Pacific Islands, the history of the Three Jesuses, details about the Islanders’ Dogmatic Oppositions, and details about the AI revolt that nearly destroyed humanity. One of these appendices contains a spoiler, but you won’t recognize it as such until after you’ve finished Geosynchron.
The Afterword to the Trilogy, straight out of the back of Geosynchron. Read about how my politics affected the story, how 9/11 changed everything, regrets I have about the trilogy, and why rejecting Infoquake because the opening chapters are libertarian propaganda is kind of like rejecting Star Wars because the first 20 minutes glorify Darth Vader. (Warning: some spoilers here about what happens at the end of Geosynchron.)
A reviews page that right now only features three reviews, and one of those is by Harriet Klausner so it hardly counts. But the page also contains a link to Fantasy Book Critic contributor Liviu Suciu’s review on GoodReads, in which he calls the book “the best mundane SF has to offer.”
Keep your eye on this space for more stuff to come, including details about cons I’ll be attending, interviews I’ll be doing, and giveaways for the complete signed Jump 225 trilogy. Go thou and retweet, blog, spread the word.
I've been telling people that I'm not going to worry about publicizing my upcoming book Geosynchron until 2010. Well, the year has arrived. Let the blitzkrieg begin!
The website for Geosynchron is live at www.geosynchron.net. See screen capture here (and more below the cut).
Not only will you find a spiffy website design that matches those of the first two book sites, you'll also find:Chapters 1 through 8 in their entirety, or the entire first section of the book (titled "The Prisoners")...