Wait, am I using that word correctly? *looks up “apace”* Hmm. “With speed?” “Quickly?” Let me start this over:
My writing on A Dragon at the Gate, the third and final book in The New Aeneid Cycle cyberpunk series, proceeds semi-apace!
I’ve never been what’s called a “fast” writer. Since I began writing ADATG in fall of 2013, I’ve had to battle less-pleasant distractions (a “day” job, moving, and a minor robot uprising that I’m sworn to secrecy about), more-pleasant distractions (Booktrope electing to publish Zeus Is Dead! Addictive computer games! Real human interaction!) plus my own methodical progress.
It’s gratifying when people ask me when book 3 will be out; that’s one of the things that keeps me motivated, in fact. So how far am I?
Well, give or take. I expect that’s about a third of the way through. Possibly two-fifths. This book keeps altering itself and my plans for it as I write it, so while I do have things outlined, it’s difficult to judge a final length just yet. Today, I wanted to share a little of some of the characters you’ll be either reunited with or meet for the first time in A Dragon at the Gate. Be warned, this list will imply some spoilers from earlier books by virtue of being or not being included. Characters do die in this series. Then again, some characters simply leave the narrative, so you can’t really be sure of anything without reading, can you?
Characters Who Will Return:
- Michael Flynn – I suppose this isn’t too much of a surprise. He’s kind of central. Then again, he DID take 11 chapters to show up in A Memory in the Black, didn’t he? And he’s got that little ticking time bomb thing…
- Felix Hiatt – Sure, he was having some, ah, issues at the end of the last book, but you can’t keep Felix down. Ya know, probably.
- Gideon – Such as he is, anyway.
- Marette Clarion – So far she’s got a reduced role, but ADATG has her finding her way into some incredible moments.
- Caitlin Danae – Still putting her sharp-tongued tenacity to good use.
- Fagles – A Raventech executive with plans within plans, he’s got a larger role here, and even gets a first name: Adrian. …Except I just realized that I mentioned his first name at the end of the last book. Okay, so I’ll give him a MIDDLE name! And I’ll throw in free rust-proofing!
Characters Who Might Return:
- Marc Triton – Computer guy. Secret affiliation. Got his ass to the moon. Think he’ll be back?
- Ondrea Noble – Cybernetics engineer, memory manipulator, and Gideon’s sister. Also in a bit of hot water.
- Diomedes – He’s violent, he’s unpredictable, and he’s–well, if you read AMITB, you know.
- Elsa Litzenburg – She’s got cause for some revenge, and you never did see what happened to her, after all…
- Assorted members of the Agents of Aeneas – Well, some of them do show up. Some others of them just might be dead…
- “Holes” – While this artificial intelligence (created by Marc) had a few lines in book two, he plays a much larger role in the final book. What, you thought mention of his creation in book one and the bit part on book two were just establishing character for Marc? Nope.
- Jade – A female freelancer (i.e. one of a caste of often cyber-augmented mercenaries), Jade takes the style of her augmentations almost as seriously as she does her job–which isn’t to say she isn’t above having a sense of humor about it, of course. She’s hired to protect Michael, but hired by whom?
- Additional people/things/beings – Well I can’t give away everything, can I?
So hopefully that’s enough to whet the appetites of those who’ve read the first two books. (And if you haven’t, what are you waiting for?) Booktrope is still planning to release book three this fall, so I’d better get back to writing it.
I’ll leave you with an excerpt and a quote from A Dragon at the Gate. Thanks for reading, and enjoy!
The elevator was out of order. Michael climbed the stairs with Jade at his heels.
“That elevator broken a lot?”
“Not that I’ve ever seen, but I don’t live here.”
As they reached the door to Marc’s unit, Michael noticed she had an auto-pistol in her hand. He knocked on Marc’s door.
There was no answer, but nor had he expected one. He moved to swipe the keycard. Jade grabbed his wrist.
“Hang on.” Without further explanation, she pressed her left palm against the door, fingers splayed. Tiny lights beneath her skin flashed a path from the back of her hand to her fingertips and then back. She withdrew her hand. “No one immediately inside, at least.”
“How’s that work?” he asked.
“Science. Though the lights just make it look good.”
“Ooh, someone’s clever.”
Michael realized the pun. “Er, unintended.”
“Didn’t say it was you.” She smirked. “C’mon. Inside.”
“Someone is sabotaging ESA facilities, destroying two in as many weeks. Both were observation stations capable of monitoring the lunar surface. They do not know who is responsible. Nor do we.”