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Dragonchoice 3: yes, finally, soon

3 May 2012 | No comments | Tagged: , , ,

It’s not the biggest secret, especially if you’re one of my Facebook friends, but Dragonchoice 3 (:no official tagline yet) IS officially coming soon. I’m over 70,000 words in, and since that’s the approximate wordcount of the original Dragonchoice, I think I can safely say that I have a story on my hands. It’s not finished, and it won’t be for a bit, but I’ve been sitting on this news long enough. Mostly out of terror that announcing it will result in monumental writer’s block.

Previously, on Dragonchoice…

So what does the final story of the Dragonchoice trilogy have in store? The short answer is “the biggest ‘what-if?’ I could think of”. I won’t spoil it at this stage. But we pick up not too long after Dragonchoice 2 left off, so all your favourites are back (except for the ones who are, you know, dead) and just as conflicted and dysfunctional as ever. We have weyrlings, and Gathers, and politics, and time-travel…and someone who has never been entirely honest about who he is.

Every picture tells a story, don’t it

But Dragonchoice has never just been about the story or the characters. The illustrations gracing the first and second stories represented a group of exceptionally talented artists, and Dragonchoice 3 would be the poorer if I didn’t aim (/beg and plead) for more like them. I’m not quite ready to start cold-emailing new artists (although I have my eye on several on DeviantArt), or to begin sidling up to old friends who’ve done the honours before (although you know who you are and you know I will be!) But if any of you reading this, old or new, would like to contribute an illustration of any kind – character, dragon, scene, whatever – please drop me a line. I’ll fall over myself with delight.

Social networking, yo

Dragonchoice is also now on Twitter, and you can follow the latest using @dragonchoice (or just click the button in the top-left of the header). I’ll be Tweeting news as I have it, and please feel free to use it to say hi. Microsoft Word is a lonely place and it’s good for me to come up for air sometimes. Eventually there may also be a Facebook page (but that really would jinx my writing momentum…)

I’ll leave you with the opening page from Dragonchoice 3, which gives away absolutely nothing in terms of the plot but, I hope, sets the tone…

Dragonchoice 3: foreword

Who among us can predict the future?

Such is the vanity of man. We grow crops to feed ourselves, so we believe we control the earth; we yoke the beasts of the field to our purpose, so we believe we have dominion over them; we navigate the currents of the ocean, so we believe we are its masters. And so, for a time, it would appear to be true, when Turn after Turn our farmers gather in the richness of the harvest, when our flocks multiply, when the nets return brimming with the bounty of the seas. So quickly we grow complacent, accepting the largesse as the fair outcome of our toil, taking our prosperity for granted, daring to believe ourselves secure.

But more quickly still, all can turn to dust.

A summer of drought to parch the fields. A sickness spreading from herd to herd, dropping beasts in its path. A sudden storm to smash our boats to kindling. The vagaries of fate that bring such disaster cannot be predicted, cannot be avoided, cannot be reasoned with. So a wise farmer sets some by each season of plenty against a lean Turn. A cautious herdsman splits his flocks to graze different pastures. A canny seaman pays close mind to the heavens. In these ways might we turn the full brunt of misfortune.

We would have done well to learn from the folk of the land and the sea.

Sequestered in our Weyrs – not by geography, but by culture – we believed ourselves above the trials of those whose labours supported us. The brave and the true, the defenders of Pern, the chosen of dragons. Down the long Turns of each Interval we isolated ourselves to await our ancient foe. We trained in the skills passed to us by our predecessors, honing tactics we would never need to use, practising techniques whose mastery we must pass on to our own successors, arming them against the menace that defined our very existence. So it had been for centuries and millennia; so it would always be, and so, too, we had come to embody the same constancy, the same rigidity of purpose, the same endlessly repeating cycle that characterised that which we prepared to face. Our battleground would not change; why should we?

Oh, Faranth; we were such fools.

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