Archive | January, 2012

The Hidden World

6 Jan

I’ve just got this very vague concept buzzing around in the back of my mind, based on a throwaway line in a comic book.

What if magic and superheroes existed, but at one remove from the mainstream human population. There are threats that come right out of comic books and bad novels (evil superhuman threats, aliens, ancient conspiracies, demonic terrorists, etc…basically, many conspiracy theories are actually true) but they simply don’t really impinge on most of the world.

For example, we have the public space program. But we also have a shadowy space program that put military bases on the war; hidden aspects of the world wars that never came into the light. We have the public war on terror – and the secret war against genetically-enhanced terrorists, pocket notes…basically, we take a conspiracy theorist’s nightmare and make it real.

You can have viral agents that transform entire populations into mindless monsters intent on slaughtering everyone – and other such threats. Life in this world is a little like Men in Black; aliens exist, there are threats, but the average person is never truly aware of them. Many threats are really nothing more than urban legends.

There are a handful of links between police/military outfits and the Shadows – the people who try to keep the world safe from these threats. Mostly, mundane authorities cover them up and let the Shadows get on with it.

How does that sound?


Space Opera?

2 Jan

I’ve been thinking about a very different kind of Space Opera Project over the last few hours. Basically, it would be something not unlike Harry Turtledove’s mega-works; a series of interconnecting stories that take place in the same universe, rather than a more focused work like On Basilisk Station.

My basic idea was that there would be a trigger event (like the death of Franz Ferdinand) that would lead rapidly to the first major interstellar war (after about 500 years of semi-peaceful expansion into space). The characters would range from senior rulers in space to civilians and military small-fry.

How does that sound?


The Royal Sorceress: The Great Game

1 Jan

When everyone is dead, the Great Game is finished. Not before.

—Rudyard Kipling

Sir Talbot Buxomley, a British adventure hero newly returned from India, has been murdered, seemingly struck down by a man made of shadow. With magic suspected, Lord Mycroft requests that Mistress Gwen, the most powerful magician left in Britain, investigate the case and find the murderer. The timing could not be worse; Sir Talbot was involved in critical negotiations with the Russian Empire and with his death, the Great Game – the contest between Britain and Russia in Central Asia – may enter a deadly new phase.

As Gwen investigates, she finds herself trapped in a maze of deadly intrigue. What role is played by the mysterious and seductive Pauline Buonaparte? Who accompanied the French Ambassador Talleyrand to meet with Sir Talbot, the last person to see him alive? Why was the King so concerned about Sir Talbot’s role in India? What is truly at stake if the killer remains unidentified? How is Sir David Crichton, Gwen’s brother and newly appointed Home Secretary, involved in the case? And is the dashing cavalryman Arthur Connolly, who has followed Sir Talbot back from India, really all that he seems?

And with a murderous magician with a strange and powerful magic on the loose, Gwen soon finds herself fighting for her life – and for the survival of the British Empire itself.