I’m about fifty-five thousand words into (The) Hole In The Sky (I’m still undecided about the The), which means I’m probably going to finish it (yay!) and will hope to publish it some time after Man O’War, the publication of which has recently been delayed.
Hole In The Sky – let’s call it HITS, shall we? – concerns a psychitect named Grub Teng, who has been injured in an accident at work, and is subsequently laid off by his corporate employers after his usefulness has run its course. Grub, wanting revenge against his old employer, joins a cyber-hacker-terror group, but things do not go well.
I know that sounds incredibly vague for fifty-five thousand words, but as I’m not finished, and I’m still only in first draft territory, I think I’d better hold off from any further details.
However, it seems to me that there are a few thematic similarities with Man O’War, particularly the ethical arguments concerning increased autonomy in technologies, especially when they concern ‘sentient’ systems. The theme of corporate corruption is also prevalent in both books, as is the idea of corrupt institutions employing good people, forcing them to make difficult choices about the sorts of people they want to be. Other than that, I’ve noticed that on both cases my central character has a very niche, odd sort of job – in Man O’War, Dhiraj is a jellyfisherman; in HITS, the main character Grub is a psychitect, who has the gift of being able to design the blueprints for new lifeforms in his dreams. In both cases, it’s the nature of their very distinctive jobs that get them into trouble. I’m not going to be so pretentious as to begin analysing my own work, but I thought it an interesting observation. I’ve no idea why this should be an ongoing theme in my work.