Author’s Update

Sooooooo, here’s something familiar: Yes, I’m behind on my deadline. No the book won’t be finished by June, and the forecasted December release may be optimistic. Probably not a surprise.
Excuses? None.

The foundation of an author’s life is his work. That follows surely as night the day. Usually, that work is the writing, combined with a more reliable means of income–some other job which keeps the roof up and the lights on. When I moved back to Massachusetts, it was for that day to day job which allowed the writing to continue. Sadly, the company folded, necessitating a complete career change. It takes a while to adapt to something completely different, and the writing has suffered as a result.

Work on the new book has continued, albeit slowly, and I’m very proud to say there are some exciting and unexpected surprises.

Wait, the author is surprised? Um, why? Or more to the point, how?

These characters are beyond my control, telling me exactly what they say, what they do. They tell me when and where it happens. They show me the intimate details of their grueling lives, and like a faithful secretary, I endeavor to capture it accurately. That may sound a tad schizophrenic (if you ask my publishers, they’ll probably confirm it), however that’s how it goes. The trick is finding the time when I’m not too bushed or distracted to listen clearly.

I’m thrilled to see e-book sales of Black Hawks doing well, especially in the U.K and Germany. The e-book version of Angry Ghosts (Wraiths of Earth) is languishing in obscurity, unforunately, which I suspect is the result of a bad match with Eirelander Publishing. No offense to Eirelander, of course, it’s simply that Eirelander is known primarily for racy romance novels. Wraiths is anything but a romance. So Cadre One Publishing will be seeking an end to the licensing contract, after which they’ll release an e-book version to match Black Hawks.

Once Exhausted Dead is released, it will be available both as paperback and e-book. There are loose plans for a hardback consolidation of all three novels into one with appendices (as it is a continuous story), though that is certainly a ways down the road.
The final version is estimated to be between 120,000 and 180,000 words. For comparison, Ghosts is 65,000 words and Black Hawks is 80,000. It took a year each to bring those books to print. If I can finish this one in eighteen months, I’ll consider it a win.

For those of you wanting a taste, new chapters are posted on Authonomy. At the time of this post, there are seventeen chapters, roughly 47,000 words. Not final drafts, mind you, but you can see that progress is being made, however slow.

Once more, I humbly thank you for your patience, for your support, and for your mail. Much love to XOMC for the above photo. I love that stuff. (If only I could get him to do the art for Exhausted Dead…)

Before I go, yes, the post on April 1st was a prank.
And to those of you buying these books, it means everything to me. Eternally grateful.

-Allen Farnham

First Twelve chapters posted at Authonomy

Angry Ghosts comprised parts one and two. Black Hawks From a Blue Sun comprised part three. Now, part four can be seen in its entirety at Authonomy.com. Just click the box below.
Click here to see The Exhausted Dead

For anyone keeping up, you know that the title for our conclusion to the series has been, ah, problematic.

(To say the least.)

We’re proceeding with one of our alternate titles, The Exhausted Dead, because it simply fits better with the overall theme. And because we really want distance from that whole Sarah Palin thing. Here’s an early version of the back cover copy:

For a Cadre Operator, there is no retirement but death.

Savagely wounded, and barely alive, Thompson, Argo, and Beckert return from Earth. With them, they bring shocking news: the colony company Soshiba Varicorp provoked the attack which wiped humanity from Earth and her colonies. And their principle agent was Captain Braemar Keller.

Imminently practical, the Cadre is only interested in tangible facts, data which gives them an advantage in combatting their ancient reptilian enemy. The Colonists, feeling intense rage and betrayal, howl for Keller’s blood. When the two groups most need to cooperate, the issue polarizes them.

Thompson, forever changed by his experiences of breathing free air on Earth, is torn between his duty to the Cadre and his longing for a better life. But in the end, he must choose for them all whether they will live in peace or end their days as the Exhausted Dead.

Happy Frakkin’ Holidays

Hectic.

With madness. Lots of madness.

That’s a pretty fair summary of the last few weeks here at C.O.P. It may have seemed quiet. But, uh, no.

Work goes on with the third and final installment. A little slower than we like, but it goes. We’re anticipating the completed work by May with the editorial knock-arounds and design/formatting done by July. Considering our author has yet to give us a defensible title, well… It’s motivation time!

Sadly, we just can’t decide, so we leave it to you, dear and faithful friends.

Perhaps some new office furniture?

or maybe some inspiration from Holy Mother Church?

Those zany Spaniards!

Ah, torture. Nothing puts us in the seasonal spirit like cruel and unusual punishments. But then, we’re a modern publishing company. That should be taken as given.

C.O.P.- “As for you, Farnham, let’s keep those chapters coming. We’re starting to feel a bit…Inquisitional.”

Farnham- “You don’t scare me. I worked retail…”

C.O.P.- “We all had a job in retail once…”

Farnham- “…for thirteen years.”

(Awkward silence broken by shuffling feet.)

C.O.P.- “We’ll sing Christmas Carols.”

(Air in office occults with tangible fear)

Farnham- “That’s wanton.”

(staring contest ensues)

C.O.P- “I played my drum for Him, pa rum pum pum pum…”

(Maniacal shrieks. A door slams. MacBook start up tone sounds, followed by clacks of key strokes)

And business resumes…

We’ll be sending our notoriously untanned author out into public this month. Keep an eye out for him in Massachusetts area bookstores.

Til then…

C.O.P.

We’re calling it “Book 3″…

Look. If we were great writers, we’d just do everything ourself. So the working title for Mr. Farnham’s new book is Book 3. Catchy in its honesty, neh?

We knew Black Hawks was going to sting a bit with such an abrupt ending. Not to mention the fact that a LOT of you were waiting to catch up with Maiella again. So here’s something to keep you going, at least until Mr. Farnham gives us a better working title.

Book 3 Chap 1

Book 3 Chap 2

Book 3 Chap 3

As always,

-C.O.P.

Author’s update

Howdy from Burlington, NC!

While temps in the upper 90s can be a tad oppressive, the thunderstorms have been worth it. Window rattling thunder, Emergency Alert System Warnings on the radio, golf ball hail, and end-of-the-world-style deluges…the magnificence of nature is well-demonstrated. Just don’t leave your car outside, if you can help it.

Then again, the pool takes the edge off nicely.

But like our president says, “Make no mistake”. This is no vacation time. Work continues as always.

To give an idea of overall progress through the story, here are a couple photos which demonstrate far better than could be explained.

That stack of paper represents the rest of the story in hand-written notes, illustrations, diagrams, and rough drafts. The top page picks up immediately where Black Hawks left off.

Now have a look at this:

Do you see the hand-written page number at the top? That’s right. Both Angry Ghosts AND Black Hawks From a Blue Sun combined were only the first 137 pages. I clearly have work to do.

Is there chaff to cut? Of course. There’s also a lot to develop and explore. Thompson, Maiella, and Argo are like dear friends, whispering their desires, pains, and hopes. They dictate their path through time and space. I faithfully record that journey.

So where are they now?

Coming shortly, the first three chapters will be posted on this blog page. That should keep you going ’til the next book is in your hands.

Loving the comments and feedback, everyone. Keep it coming. You can reach me directly: allen at cadreonepublishing dot com.

Cheers.

-Allen Farnham

The history of Cadre One

A few of our readers explained they had some difficulty accepting various aspects of the Cadre Soldiers’ lifestyle in Angry Ghosts.

“How could the Cadre have forgotten Earth?”

“Why are they so cold and militaristic?”

“Why is emotion such a sin?”

Excellent questions, and we’re glad you asked. To answer them, we’re posting a continuity draft on the forgotten history of Cadre One:

A small, black budget research facility, located in a remote solar system, witnessed the attacks which eradicated humanity from Earth and the colonies. Due to the illegal nature of genetic research occurring there, the facility was a closely guarded military secret, giving it life saving anonymity. Supply trains were designed to be infrequent to protect its secrecy; and because none were coming or going at the time of the attacks, the enclave escaped all notice of the invaders.

The researchers watched terrified, frenzied transmissions from ships trying to escape Earth’s destruction. Once all transmissions ceased, however, the enclave knew their homeworld was annihilated. They turned to one another and to the metallic confines of their outpost, contemplating a dismal and uncertain future. With so few resources, it was clear they could not endure forever. Food, air, water, all the systems which provided for their life support required replenishment periodically. And they required constant maintenance.

Worst of all, the balance of male to female survivors was heavily lopsided toward men. Relationships strained under the wanted and unwanted attentions. Personal assaults escalated in brutality, and it was not long before jealousy became murderous.

The enclave faced an unimaginable possibility: the last survivors of humanity may drive themselves to extinction. The event rattled the enclave to its core. The murderer was held in isolation as a Star Chamber of senior officers decided his fate. In the final moments of the chamber meeting, the enclave’s only law was formed: “Anyone who harms, or allows to be harmed, another human is a threat and must leave.” The murderer was exiled by the other researchers, banished from the outpost in a small, unsteerable capsule to die in deep space.

Such passions were an obvious threat not just to harmony but to survival. To minimize future incidents, the researchers worked on a pharmaceutical curbing libidinal instincts. The libidinal inhibitors had an unexpected but welcome side effect of diminishing emotions, as well. Users of the drug felt less bound by depression, loss, anguish, and fear. Without such distracting thoughts, the enclave was able to focus entirely on what was practical. Productivity soared.

For a time, resources held out, yet the limits of the gene pool were clear. Planned pregnancies yielded fewer viable children, the rest terribly defected. With so much health risk to the females, and their inability for strenuous work during pregnancy, it was decided viviparous reproduction was no longer acceptable. The enclave officers discussed and planned a new facility to incubate future generations. To offset the genetic defects, the researchers applied the knowledge gained from their genetic experimentation.

The new breed benefited from enhanced musculature, acute senses, sharp intellects, lightning reflexes. But in their blundering through the genome, the researchers created many who were hopelessly insane, autistic, or sociopathic. These individuals were initially lobotomized to recover, at the least, their labor potential.

With additional experimentation, the enclave learned how to integrate small chipsets into the lobotomized brains which could be programmed with tasks. These “reconstitutes” become the lowest echelon in a newly emerging society.

Free from any kind of oversight or moral restriction, the enclave expanded on the syntheses of man and machine, advancing the combination of human brain and powerful processors. After years of experimentation, they were ready to try integrations with healthy brains.

For centuries, the outpost endured by enhancing their recycling processes and carving resources from the rocky asteroid. Yet it was clear resources would not last forever. Eventually, someone must leave the enclave to collect resources.

But how? From where?

The enclave turned its telescopes to space and searched, receiving occasional broadcasts from enemy ships deep in space. Everywhere they looked, the enemy was nearby, and the frustrated people argued at length over what should be done.

At last, they realized the alien ships were the best targets of all, abundant with machinery, fuel, life support, nutrients. Forced by their desperation, all of the enclave’s production bent to their new goal of capturing and collecting an alien vessel.

Bit by bit, art, music, and literature fell to the pragmatism of daily survival. New machines required new programs to operate, cramping the already stuffed memory banks. Data on life outside the enclave became unaffordable luxury, even data on their home world, Earth. With computer storage space so limited and the scale of their designs so large, all data not immediately required for survival was crowded from the system’s memory. Efforts were made to preserve Earth’s memory by verbal tradition, but each generation inherited a greater workload from the previous. Less class time was devoted to the verbal passage of memory in favor of more practical, useful instruction.

The General of the enclave watched the effect on his people, saw how they were losing themselves in longing for Earth, for their ancestral home and its promise of better life. He decided such distractions were ultimately counter-productive, and he ordered any remaining data on Earth and the colonies destroyed. There is no more Earth, he explained. No reason it should still be getting in our way. As he expected, productivity increased.

The General maintained a basic file for himself and for future Generals, that should the opportunity arise, they might someday return. But over the decades, the file was repeatedly lost to system errors and failures. It had to be rebuilt from human memory. Details became abstracts, definites became approximations. Eventually there was no point to maintaining any file at all, and the knowledge of Earth became a verbal tradition, passed from one General to the next.

Capturing an enemy ship meant risking their life saving secrecy. There was no misunderstanding: discovery meant extinction. Hence, great precautions were taken to conceal their soldiers’ identity during attack. They planned carefully, designing a non-reflective transport, selecting the best soldiers and equipping them with overwhelming firepower, devising tactics, accounting for every contingency they could conceive. For decades they toiled. At long last, a team of three soldiers was ready, and they were dispatched to wait along a deep-space lane of travel.

With utmost solemnity, the soldiers ambushed an enemy freighter, killed all aboard, and returned home with their quarry. Enriched by supplies from the captured ship, the enclave was sated. In time, however, even these resources ran low, and it became necessary to collect again.

The enclave had grown.

A note on progress…

Here at Cadre One Publishing, we noticed our author has been, shall we say, a bit delinquent with his latest chapters. And now we know why. Evidently, Mr. Farnham has been busy writing manifestos out of some shack in the mid-west.

Fear not, dear public, we caught up with him before any letterbombs could be sent. He is now showered, shaven, and seated at his desk, typing away on Black Hawks.
Seems we need a better type of manacle…

For any curious to see his raw manuscript thus far, click here. And do leave a comment, even if only to tell him how crappy his beard looks.