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a very long tale by Ellen Larson

Dru Halley was accustomed to death, and did not fear its touch.

So it begins, this science fiction...future fiction..futuristic...speculative - I don't know - thing. It's a story, that's all. It takes place in the future - 20,000 years in the future. A thousand years have passed since the two planets in binary star system were colonized by Earth. A catastrophic solar event cut communications between the two planets within a hundred years of that colonization, devastating both worlds. The people trapped on Ensor were almost wiped out, but were able to survive because their technology was underground and intact. The people on Amara were never in danger of being wiped out, but they lost almost all their technology, and slid backward down the ladder of civilization.

At last, the Ensori make it back to Amara, but are dismayed by the patchwork civilization they find. They know they must somehow help their own people to regain the knowledge and order they have lost -- but how?

Click here for the first few pages of Book I.

Status Report

Update 15 Feb. 2003 - 306,000 words and counting
Nabu and the Chancy Way, a story that Jak tells Halley in Book II, was published by Dark Moon Rising last month. The story of what happened to the original settlers of Amara one thousand years ago continues to percolate.
Book I - The Garden of Hestia
• 95,000 words (1/02)
• "Done" (except for revising names and historical details as later writing dictates)
Book II - The Forge of Narkis
• 86,000 words (1/02)
• I finished the second draft sometime in late 2000 and immediately began worrying about the story. In mid-2001 I realized I had to scrap most of the first half of Book II and rewrite from scratch. The story had grown so much since my original concept for this part of the story that it was no longer appropriate. Bigger fish to fry. This is why I am not letting people read Book II - why read something that is going to be totally revamped and redirected?
Book III - The Hand of Amma
• 57,000 words (1/02)
• After "finishing" the rough draft of Book II, I turned to Book III, figuring I could work through it from front to back, as I had a lot written (including the ending), and had the plot and characters clear in my head. I struggled to work on it all summer and gave up in October, 2001 with only the first 30 pages done (the rest is stuff I had written earlier. Just not sparking. But the story itself was growing all the time, filling out as the backstory became clearer and clearer. Eventually, I became obsessed with later events -- and moved to the (at that time) previously unanticipated Book V.
Book IV - The Key of Endre
• 6,000 words (1/02)
• Actually, those 6,000 words represent a few scenes that I've written while "working" on other books. According to the plot line, they go here. But the book itself -- beginning, ending, plot elements, theme - is not even a gleam in the author's eye.
Book V - The Book of Nabu
• 47,000 words (1/02)
• Here I am! This is where I'm working, and if anybody ever needed proof that building a story is a non-linear process, this is it. The Book begins with Halley recovering from a serious injury - although what it is and how she got it I have no idea. This is the Naddiri book -- one long arcing story that harks back to the primitivism of Book I. I'm working straight through it. I'm on page 101 as of this writing (although I have another 50 pages written from the latter half of the book). I plan on carrying on until this book is done -- hopefully by March 2002.
Book VI - The Song of Namid
• 15,000 words (1/02)
• I've never "sat down to write" this book, but nonetheless have accumulated quite a bit of material, including my all-time favorite scene, and a rough draft of the ending.