Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Society Chapters 5 & 6 (Re-read)(No Spoilers)

Here are some of my notes from Chapters 5 & 6. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below, but please don’t post any spoilers for someone who might be reading along. I’ll make another post for spoilers.

Back to the present. I wish that I’d played to some kind of regret in having to kill the two enforcers in Piter’s territory and had that been why she didn’t kill the guard in Brennan’s territory. It feels like a missed opportunity.

I love the gleaming wall around Brennan’s territory. It’s meant to be a stark contrast to the rest of the city. Then we almost immediately hear about the cost of all of that progress. People killed, people disfigured– all in what we come to learn are industrial accidents.

It’s really easy for us to forget the costs that went into understanding things like electricity, radiation, and various chemical reactions. At all seems safe to us now because those things are understood, but often people got hurt or killed along the way to understanding those things enough to turn them into tools that we can use so casually.

If some sort of apocalyptic event happened, what technology would you set about trying to re-discover first? I think I’d shoot for electricity, but ideally someone else would still be around who has a much better understanding of stuff like Ohm’s law than I do.

The Society Chapter 4 (Re-read)(No Spoilers)

Here are some of my notes from Chapter 4. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below, but please don’t post any spoilers for someone who might be reading along. I’ll make another post for spoilers.

Skye is so sure of things here, operating on such a small amount of information, and completely mis-interpreting it.

Still, back in the ‘present’ she’s so far managed to avoid getting killed, captured, or otherwise doing something that would blow her mission. Not bad for a brand new spy with so little training.

Given that this is a book, something is going to have to go wrong to add some tension. What do you think is going to go wrong next?

The Society Chapters 2 & 3 (Re-read)(No Spoilers)

Here are some of my notes from Chapters 2 & 3. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below, but please don’t post any spoilers for someone who might be reading along. I’ll make another post for spoilers.

Food. Skye needed to look like she was a little malnourished if she was going to fit in in the city, so I took a few moments to explain why she looked the part. I also took the opportunity to call out more excesses on the part of the Society.

The economist John Maynard Keynes predicted a long time ago that humans by now would only be working 15 hours a week. As I understand it, he figured that given a baseline standard of living, that as people became more and more productive because of machines and technology, that it would take less and less time for people to work enough hours to pay for their cost of living, and then they would have the rest of their time for leisure activities.

He turned out to be way off. I personally suspect that the acceptance of inflation that so many Keynesian economists champion has had some to do with that, but there is also no avoiding the fact that the standard of living in most developed nations has gone way up. Most of us live in air conditioned houses, a lot of children have their own rooms, it’s common to have 2 or more cars, and even a lot of teenagers carry around a computer in their pockets.

The Society was meant to be an example of what might happen hundreds of years in the future if technology continues to increase the productivity of the individual at the same time that standards of living cap out. If you spend most of your life living in a virtual reality, then that might serve to cap your cost of living, so it’s an interesting thought experiment.

Do you think that as we transition to spending more and more of our time into a virtual existence that it will reduce the cost for us to feel like we have a ‘good’ standard of living?

Something else that I really like about these two chapters is that they are sort of Skye’s origin story. At least that is what the reader comes away thinking. It’s not until much later that all of the other wrinkles regarding her true origin story surface.

The Society Chapter 1 (Re-read)(No Spoilers)

I haven’t posted an update for nearly two months, but that was because I was so busy re-reading the books. I’ve got a bit of a lead now, so if I try to release notes from a chapter every week or so, I should be able to stay ahead of things.

Here are some of my notes from Chapter 1. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below, but please don’t post any spoilers for someone who might be reading along. I’ll make another post for spoilers.

I’ve said it before–I try to write the kinds of books that I enjoy reading. Writing a book was part bringing to life an idea and part discovering where an idea was going to go as I wrote it.

I don’t want to toot my own horn, but I really enjoyed reading the bit before the start of Chapter 1, told from the point of view of someone from the Society. I don’t know if it grabbed anyone else, but it has me really excited to re-read this book.

I was also shocked when I saw the copyright date. 2014 seems like so long ago. It looks like I published it in July of 2015, but apparently I did the bulk of the writing roughly 8 years ago. In some ways, it feels like it was just yesterday that I was writing it. In other ways it feels like a lifetime ago. So much has happened since then.

It was fun to contrast the opinions that the ‘grubbers’ and ‘ants’ have of each other. It feels like people in the U.S. have continued to get more and more entrenched in their positions and vilify each other. It was bad enough eight years ago when I wrote this. I feel like it’s only gotten worse since then.

In hindsight, it feels like I went back and forth in this chapter as to how much information the people in the city had about Skye’s people, and what they were up to. That’s unfortunate, but hopefully it’s not too much of a distraction for the reader.

I really like writing super-powered people. Skye’s take down of the two enforcers was quick and brutal, much like you’d expect from someone who received military training, but I love that she hesitated afterwards. It’s one of many little signs that her programming is probably not as complete as her superiors think it is.

If this is your first time through The Society, what aspect of this book are you most looking forward to?

Jun 2022 Update (Back to Writing)

I’ve received some very kind emails and comments lately from some of you, both expressing your love of my books and wondering how things have been going.

I’ve struggled with what to say, so I’m going to keep it brief, and if you want more details, please let me know in the comments. I’m happy to add additional details by way of comments if there is something that you all want to know.

Everyone is healthy. We weathered all of the COVID lockdowns without getting seriously ill or losing our employment, which was a blessing on many levels. I’m very busy with the day job, and things are often stressful, but I don’t seem to be in danger of being fired anytime soon, so I feel more fortunate than many.

I’m going to commit to doing all of the work to get the next A Broken World book off to the editor this year. I haven’t talked to any of my editors–some of them may not even be interested in doing any editing for me at this point–so I can’t promise a specific release date, but I’ll get my part done so that the book can move to the next stage and be one step closer to being released.

I’ll try to check back in here as I complete milestones. It’s been long enough since I touched the series that I’m going to need to re-read it. Maybe I’ll post some thoughts about each book as I go and we can have discussions in the comments. Is that something that you’d all be interested in doing? Please let me know in the comments.

Some of you will be excited to hear that I’m advancing Skye’s story. Others will be most interested in knowing when you’ll get another Reflections book. I’m afraid that I can’t make any promises there at this point. This next release will impact probable timelines. My hope is that it does well, and that will light a fire under me to get more books released around my other commitments.

And with that, I’m headed to bed.

All the best,