I’m so close to finishing Spanner Book 1 (two half-completed chapters to go — finally!), and already thoughts of how I’m going to edit it during NaNoEdMo have been assaulting me for a week or more. I do need to cram that pesky Inner Editor back into his box for another day or two, but I still intend to work out how I’m going to rework the novel. I’m starting to get the feeling that by the time my multipass edit is done, it’ll be not just bigger (due to vastly improved character development) but different in tone as well.
Remember that Spanner Book 1’s subtitle is “Rock City Blues”. “Rock City” is a recent nickname Seattle got in the 1990s when that grunge thing spiralled out of control; in the context of Spanner’s 2014, it fits the city better than its old nickname, “Jet City”, because Boeing moved its jet factories to Charleston, South Carolina, because the labor is cheap and the politics conservative enough for a military-industrial conglomerate like Boeing to handle. Anyway, since the grunge fad broke, just about every non-ethnic festival in the city has taken on the air of a rock festival. Even The Bite of Seattle has gone full-tilt Bumbershoot. And right now, one thing besides decent character development that Spanner currently lacks is rock ‘n’ roll. I have the rocker characters. I just don’t have the rock. Yet. That’s one of my tasks for EdMo.
I’ve also been collecting source material in thrift stores and digging them out of my jammed bookcases. Here’s just a few of them:
- Virus of the Mind: The New Science of the Meme by Richard Brodie: The obligatory source for a novel whose author claims to have crammed it with live mind viruses and which centers around a “battle for the mind” between a tyrannical Establishment and a rogue mind hacker.
- A Public Betrayed: An Inside Look at Japanese Media Atrocities and Their Warnings to the West by Adam Gamble and Takesato Watanabe: Ostensibly about Japan’s notoriously reactionary mainstream media, it’s really a warning about the rise of its counterpart in the West. If you want to understand Fox News, this is the book to read.
- Darknet: Hollywood’s War Against the Digital Generation by J.D. Lasica: Basically, about how the RIAA’s litigation jihad against file sharers spawned a monster: an invisible internet of encrypted networks that became known as the Darknet. Lasica’s point is that the more the old-fashioned push-media companies such as Fox News owner News Corporation try to lock down the Internet, the stronger and more dangerous the Darknet will be. By Spanner’s day, the World Wide Web no longer exists: there is only the app-based “CorpNet” and the clandestine Darknet.
- Spychips: How Major Corporations and Government Plan to Track Your Every Move with RFID by Katherine Albrecht and Liz McIntyre: The authors expose Corporatism’s push to turn the whole world into a gigantic and inescapable Panopticon using radio frequency identification chips, promising an Orwellian nightmare once the government starts forcibly injecting them into people (which I predict will be a conservative program intended to criminalize dissent as terrorism). But they also point out that hackers and terrorists already have developed ingenious uses for the chips, such as RFID-activated bombs which go off when the target, identified by the ID chip on one of their cards or implanted in their body, gets in range.
I’ve got many more such books on my bookcases, and I’ll find more at bookstores, thrift stores, and my local library. I’ll probably take my time digging them out, since there’s still a month and a half before EdMo, JanNoWriMo is still going on, and FAWM starts in February. There’s also tons of information I can draw from the Web, of which my “Our Cyberpunk World” series of posts is a small and not all that representative slice.
Now back to finishing those final two chapters, since I’m posting them next week…