Sunday, January 17, 2010

Electrons' Breath

I am now firmly into this new novel. Well, one thread of it, anyway.

The setting is late 21st century Earth. Catastrophic climate change has killed off over half the human population either directly, through starvation, or through savage conflicts while people struggled to retain footholds in habitable areas.

Most areas of the planet have turned to desert, or are battered by extreme weather, and tectonic and volcanic activity. Life has stabilised in the latter part of the century, but is now dependent on high technology and advanced computing power to manage life in a dangerous and unpredictable environment.

My protagonist, Charles, is a University professor striving to understand the disasterous choices mankind made earlier in the century that led them into an avoidable crisis. His investigations will lead him to realise that the decisions of governments and populations were being manipulated by an unseen intelligence lurking at the heart of the global computer network. What's more, it is still there, and it is dangerous!

There are a few interwoven threads to the story. Right now, I am working on Charles' path. He is so far oblivious to the hidden danger, but he's just avoided being creamed by a runaway snow plough, and he's close to getting fried in a geothermal power station. I hope I'm making things fast and exciting enough.

I've set myself a target to complete a first draft by the summer. So far, 12,000 words in. But about 1,200 words behind target for this date. That doesn't sound much, but I find this pace hard to sustain so any slippage is difficult to make up.

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