Newest Book ...

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Coming in 2012

Well, 2011 was important because it was the first time any of my writings were distributed for public consumption ... and I put five out there: the four Lords of Kobol books (available for FREE here) and Displaced, a scifi/action/mystery novel of my own (available for 99¢ here if you use coupon code BY44W).

What's up for 2012?

Well, I'm currently writing my next novel.  I won't say much except that it's titled Diary of a Second Life.  I'll let you figure out what that means.  (It's not about cheating husbands.)

After that, an adult novel.  By "adult," I mean adult.

Maybe between the two or after, I'll get cracking on Lords of Kobol - Book Zero.

(Believe me, I'd love to do nothing but crank out books, BSG-related and otherwise, but I gotta try and pay the bills with a day job.)

There'll be plenty of non-book stuff both here on the blog and on my Twitter, too, of course.

In the meantime, Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

My Dorkmas Tree and the Star Trek Museum

I had some fun last week posting pics of my #Dorkmas tree on the Twitter.  I thought I'd post the pics here, with additions, as well as some pictures of my Dad's "Star Trek Museum."  (Click any of the pics to enlarge.)

First up, here's the JJ Enterprise, Thomas the Tank Engine and one of many Scarletts O'Hara my wife has:

Next, here's Lord Vader mere inches away from Yoda:

Clu's Light Cycle from Tron: Legacy near the USS Defiant:

Harry Potter and Superman:

Batman and Speed Racer:

Scooter (ornament circa 1979) checks out Scarlett's bustle:

Pewter Potter and little Godzilla:

Big Godzilla, with lights and sound:


The Battlestar Galactica (why not the Hallmark Cylon ornament?  Read this):

The One Ring:

And, finally, the whole tree:

I think you can guess which stocking is mine.

More after the JUMP:

Monday, December 19, 2011

Mapping "Displaced" Part II

My scifi-action-mystery novel Displaced is still out there (check it out HERE).  If you've read it, you've no doubt seen the relatively small, black-and-white map and chart at the end of the book.  Both are spoilery, so I'll be posting them after the JUMP.

First, here's the spoiler free, simple map of the Lee's farm you've seen before:

The others you can see after the JUMP.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Mapping "Displaced"

If you've read my blog at all, you know I love mapping things.  As I did with Lords of Kobol, I mapped things out for Displaced, too.

Since the action takes place in and around the Lee family farm, I mapped out a rudimentary version of it and then later endeavored to make a final version.  For that, I turned to Google Earth.  I gathered various farm elements, trees, ponds, etc., and dragged the bits around until they matched my desires.  Here's the result:

From that, I created the final map as seen in the book, along with a font that is supposed to suggest that Wilson made this map himself:

In a week or so, I'll post a more spoilerific version of the final final map, as it appears at the end of the book, along with a size comparison chart.

If you haven't yet, download Displaced right here.  If you follow me on Twitter, you'll find a coupon that will let you download the novel for just 99¢.

Friday, December 2, 2011

"Displaced": DOWNLOAD NOW!

A Baltimore police officer awakens in his car, sitting atop a chunk of road in the middle of a cornfield. For the next several hours, he fights his way through strange creatures, meets up with odd companions, and comes under siege by terrifying beasts. 

Giant spheres of land dot the farm and great scoops of earth have been taken away. Animals that should not exist hunt the officer and his fellow survivors. Where is he? Where did these things come from? How can he get home? One man knows the answers but there's plenty he's not telling.

Displaced is an action-packed, sci-fi mystery that will keep you turning the page until the very end.

Price: 99¢

Download from Amazon HERE
Download from Smashwords (multiple formats) HERE
Download from iTunes HERE
Download from Barnes & Noble HERE
Download from Kobo HERE
Download from Inktera HERE


4.5 stars out of 5 on Amazon
4.5 stars out of 5 on B&N
4.5 stars out of 5 on Goodreads

5 stars out of 5 on Kobo

"I bought this because I enjoyed the author's Lords of Kobol Battlestar Galactica books and I was surprised at how much I liked this one, too. Sometimes the action gets murky when you're keeping track of the cavemen and dinosaurs, but he makes it work out. And being from Balitmore, it was fun seeing the flashbacks with the main character."
-- MarcusMaximus

"Loved it! Well written and held my interest throughout the book. One of those hard to put down books that you wish would never end!"
-- Bernie

"I really enjoyed this book.  People and strange creatures displaced in time."
-- Doc

"Overall enjoyed reading it and didn't put it down for long. Time travel is always interesting so I enjoyed the author's take on it."
-- Dan C

"This was a very unique story. Read it in a few hours. I loved the mix of characters. Take cavemen, whales, dinosaurs and two men from the future, a few other surprises, drop them into 1940s Georgia get a fun read with a true ending. No hangers, just an entertaining book from start to finish."
-- Jeanine S

"A very quick read. Lots of action with dinosaurs, a robot and other crazy things. I was surprised at how invested I became in the cavemen who have their own language. The ending isn't really a surprise but it was fun to get there anyways."
-- Anonymous


Mapping part 1 and mapping part 2

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Displaced: Chapter One

My new book goes live on Monday, December 5.  Without giving much away, it's science fiction.  Kind of a mystery.  Lots of action.  I'll have more details about it and its making in the coming weeks along with some maps and charts, of course, but for right now, here's the first chapter after the JUMP.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

What's Next for Kobol?

I've published my trilogy.  I've put out the artwork and maps that helped me write it all.  I've posted deleted scenes and even published an entire book made up of the ideas I couldn't quite work out in the first place.

Wither the Lords of Kobol?

Frankly, I don't know.

I started because I wanted these stories published and I've done that.  I've cultivated a small and enthusiastic following.  Next, I'll be publishing some original stories.  Sci-fi, for the most part, natch.  One is done and will be published the first week of December.

But what of the Lords?

I have plenty of ideas.  If I were to continue, I'd probably write Lords of Kobol - Book Zero: Of Gods And Titans.  (Yes, I already have a title.)  As you might be able to figure out, it's a prequel to the trilogy about the creation of Psilons and Cylons on Larsa.
Huh.  Look at that.

Beyond that?  A new series of books titled Colonies of Kobol.  The first would be Book One: Earth, and detail the history of the Thirteenth Tribe after their departure.  Then Book Two: Gemenon because that world was the first of the Twelve Colonies to be settled.  I don't know how many books the series would involve at this point, but I know there would be one called Virgon, because that world was the seat of Colonial power for a thousand years; Tauron, because of the civil wars and the connection to our beloved Adamas; Caprica, of course, perhaps to fill in the blanks before and/or after that oft-missed series ...
Another cover ready to go?

These are ideas and not solid plans.  I'm sorry if this disappoints anyone, but it doesn't feel right to promise that I'll start working on a dozen books just like that <snap> when I have no fleshed-out concepts.  If inspiration hits, I'll start writing.

And then I'll let you know.

In the meantime, I hope you'll give my other work a try, starting next week with the release of Displaced:

And since this begins an era of non-Kobol work, the title of the blog will be changing.  Now it will be called "Writing Kobol and Beyond."  I hope you guys will continue to stick around.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Tell Me What You Think

Well, the trilogy has been done for a while and the "bonus book" has been out for nearly a month.  Before I move on to other things, I'd like to collect some thoughts on the series and reviews from everyone.

So, please, leave your comments in the section below.  Or email me at  Or drop me 140 characters on Twitter at @LordsOKobolBook.  Or 'like' me on Facebook and leave your thoughts on my wall HERE.

Again, thanks for reading these books.  I'll have a post in a few days on what my future plans are ...

Friday, November 18, 2011

Making Rules for Myself

When I was writing the books, there were a few hard and fast rules I wanted to establish for myself.  I'm not talking about the ratio of realistic to the supernatural (that's in a different post); I mean certain things I would and would not do.

Naturally, there are SPOILERS ahead for the Lords of Kobol series, as well as BSG itself.

RULE #1: Preserve the uniquity of Hera.  At no point was there ever going to be a Cylon-human hybrid baby.  Period.  She's the Mitochondrial Eve and I wasn't going to take that away from her or the show.

RULE #2: Preserve the uniquity of Kara Thrace.  I view Starbuck as a resurrected person; something truly unique in the BSG-verse.  I don't believe she's an angel because she had no "powers" and no knowledge beyond anything in her fleshly life before "Maelstrom."  The fact that The One would do something so drastic -- a direct interference in mankind's lives -- points to desperation.  There were only a few thousand people left so maybe The One needed to pull out all of the stops to make sure everything worked out.  At any rate, things in Book Three didn't get that desperate.  I felt no need to try and replicate this.

RULE #3: Preserve the Pythian cycle of time.  All these things have happened before and all these things will happen again.  Pretty simple.  Provides a good story structure.  The basic cycle seems to be this: humans create artificial intelligence, the AI revolts and destroys their makers/civilization, a remnant escapes to land somewhere and the cycle starts anew.  My desire to follow this cycle eventually led me down the wrong path and necessitated the creation of ...

RULE #4: Preserve the uniquity of Earth II.  If you've read the deleted scenes post, you know that I frakked up and had the Olympians fleeing Larsa, a planet on the other side of the galaxy and finding Kobol, a planet where primitive humans already lived.  It wasn't until I reached Zeus' big speech to the Olympians that I realized the error of this ... it showed that there was a "divine" hand involved (much like Baltar said when finding humans on Earth II).  As such, this undermined Zeus' position and boosted Prometheus'.  So Larsa became Kobol's distant past.  My desire to follow Rule #3 so precisely caused me to err.  I never considered that the planet people fled could also be the planet they lighted upon anew.  Long after I corrected this error, I devised the first chapter of Book Two which showed The One placing the seeds of sentient life on Earth II.

RULE #5: Don't be cute.  No "Adama" or "Roslin" forebears.  No big winks at the reader.  I think I accomplished that.  For quite a while, the gunships built and launched with the exodus (such as the Adrestia) in Book Three were called "gunstars," but I thought that was a bit too close to a wink.  (Though I wasn't opposed to it because of The Last Starfighter connection.)  There are a few in-jokes, slightly repurposed lines from Star Trek, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings ... MST3K fans probably had a good laugh when I began a chapter in Book One with, "Watch out for snakes."  But that's about as far as I was willing to go.

RULE #6: Don't explain God.  This one is covered rather thoroughly in my text-dense treatise on Theology in BSG, Caprica and Lords of Kobol.  I never wanted to explain what God was, but after I wrote the first chapter in Book Two (the last thing I wrote for the trilogy), I kinda decided I could bend this rule by writing Book Four.

That's pretty much it.  Other than maintaining these rules, the biggest thing I had to do was connect the dots from the show, and I've already discussed how I've done that in earlier posts.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Theology of BSG, Caprica & Lords of Kobol

(UPDATE: After the release of Book Five, I made another post on BSG Theology which can be found HERE.)

Get ready for a lengthy dissection of faith, angels, The One True God and the Lords of Kobol.

SPOILERS abound for all four books in the Lords of Kobol series.

Download them HERE.

This post is going to be text heavy and philosophical.  Well, not completely.  But still.  I think it would be best to start after a JUMP.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Writing, Part IV B: Answering My Own Questions

This is the Book Four version of a post I made a month ago.  In case you're wondering, the trilogy's sequence of events are the ones I would rather consider canon, but Book Four is an interesting diversion; an alternate take on the history of the show as laid out in the series.

A few months ago, I pasted the first thing I typed up for LoK: a list of events and facts about Kobol we knew from the show.  Here, I will repost it, line by line, and explain how I tackled each tidbit in my head before I sat down to write to Book Four.

If you haven't already, download the entire trilogy (plus two) right HERE for free.

SPOILERS abound.  This post is for Book Four only; the post related to the trilogy (Books One - Three) is HERE.

The issues related to theology, The One, the "angels" and so on will be dealt with in a future post.

Distant past - Flood nearly destroys mankind.

In the trilogy, an asteroid hit the nearby sea and washed away most of the village, leading to the descent of the gods from the mountain.  In Book Four, I didn't want to go the asteroid route again, so I let the gods flex their muscles and Zeus washed away Prometheus' Thirteenth Tribe in a fit of pride/jealousy/fear.

2,000 years before Exodus - 13th tribe leaves for Earth (Why?); Temple of Hopes built on Algae Planet

If the Thirteenth Tribe was a pill to deal with in the trilogy, it was harder in Book Four.  Once I decided to work the "relation" angle between the Tribe and the gods in the trilogy, it kind of fell in place.  For Book Four, it had to be different, obvs.

With the gods as "angels"/messengers, I decided to work the Prometheus angle and tie him to the Tribe.  It makes sense, if you know the Greek mythology, since Prometheus gave knowledge to the people that Zeus didn't want them to have.  In most interpretations of Greek tales, this knowledge is usually represented as fire.  For the trilogy, Prometheus' conveyed knowledge was about The One and (supposedly) Larsa's true history. In Book Four, it's more explicit as Prometheus directly gives the people he gathered knowledge about life & death (DNA and resurrection, with Asclepius' help), space travel and The One.  All of this pisses Zeus off and makes him feel threatened ... if the Thirteenth Tribe were to mingle among the Twelve, the work the gods had accomplished over the last few centuries would be undone (in Zeus' mind).  So, Flood.

Their later departure is obvious enough, too.  Prometheus wants the Tribe to survive at all costs, so once Zeus cracks down after they get resurrection tech, their ship takes off (with Aurora on board).  Aurora's own "fire" and her prayers with the five people nearest her, later protected by Atlas, protects those six from Zeus' interference.

It's not explicit in the book, but Aurora goes on to be a leader of the Tribe since she is a goddess among the people (as they now believe).  Aurora knows the truth of the situation, but she decided to keep the peace and try to help as much as possible.  The five people who were shielded from Zeus, though, build the Temple of Hopes on the Algae Planet and dedicate it to "The One Whose Name Can Not Be Spoken," all with Aurora's help.  (After all, how will five priests in the service of an unknown god survive in a society that is polytheist toward a specific set?  Now, in the trilogy, these five were priests in those gods' service to begin with.  Not so here.)

1,500-1,600 years before Exodus - Pythia writes her prophecies, etc., for the Sacred Scrolls

In the trilogy, Pythia's interactions with the messenger being (the tender) form bookends.  Book Four, however, shows Pythia in a wholly different light as she has been imbued with the light of Gaia.  (There are some myths that connect Gaia with the oracles at Delphi.)  She is a member of the Thirteenth Tribe and since she has the fire and knowledge of a tender, she knows the whole truth of the situation, The Wager and more.  She also, thanks to her connection with Aurora and others who fled to Earth I, can sense things on that world and foresee moments in Kobol's future, unlike the Pantheon.  This makes her "prophecies" and writings much more important and truthful.

But Pythia knows her place, too.  She knows the truth of Kobol and these "gods," yet she still works to compile the Sacred Scrolls and does nothing to undermine the Lords' authority.  Her place is to write certain things so those thoughts can be preserved and looked to in later times.  She herself says something like her words are for "other worlds besides" Kobol, because she knows humanity will flee and the Sacred Scrolls will also guide people as they flee the Colonies.

1,000 years before Exodus - probe from 13th tribe is left in Lion Head Nebula

As I noted in the previous "Writing, Part IV" post, the timing alluded to in the series regarding the beacon is at odds with the timeline crafted elsewhere on the show.  Again, I stuck with the lineage they already made so the probe was left behind by Thirteenth Tribers coming back to Kobol as it was in the trilogy.  The difference this time relates to the shell that surrounds Kobol, placed there by The One to limit the tenders' powers.  They still have the illness that clung onto the beacon to infect the Cylons thousands of years later.  Books, the illness and other mementos from Earth survive the crash of the returning vessel (including the Arrow of Apollo ... see below).

Time of the Exodus -
Cylon revolt? (Confrontation at the "home of the gods?")

Again, we've never been told explicitly that Cylons revolted on Kobol, but it plays into the Pythia's cycle of time.  I called them "DoMeks" (dokeo mekanima - Greek for "thinking machines") just to mix it up.  The DoMeks were created by Hephaestus and his people to alleviate the labors of mankind, much like they did in the trilogy.

"Blaze" pursues mankind from the City of the Gods (nuclear?)

In the trilogy, the "Blaze" was nuclear.  In this alternate version, why not something different?  I forget when the idea solidified, but I became fully convinced to do it when I wrote Pythia's death scene.  She is suffering from an intense fever (thanks to the fire of Gaia burning through) and her vision is flashing ahead to the end of days on Kobol and she simply says, "Blaze."  Done.  The "Blaze" is a fever.  Tying it to a life and vanity extending desire of Aphrodite came later.

Again, I wanted to kill as many people as possible to make Kobol uninhabited later, so the Blaze needed to be really effective.  I looked to "Captain Trips" in The Stand which had a 99.4% mortality rate and backed off a little bit on that.  The few remaining Thirteenth Tribers survived and the remaining 1% survived.  Whoever didn't make it onto the ship would be picked off easily by DoMeks.

Human sacrifice (leaders at Tomb of Athena)

A big part of this story was that the gods could inhabit people as they had sex and they could pour out, so to speak, a bit of their "holy fire" into the offspring.  This diminishes the gods and after a few millennia of this, they know they want their "fire" rekindled.  Ares gets involved in sacrifices thanks to his innate desire to feed off rage.  Hecate does at least one sacrifice.  Zeus gets into it because he senses a slight flame of spirit within humanity that he feels warmed by as they die, though it does nothing to stoke their own fire.  At the Tomb of Athena, once The One has made them mortal, he kills all the leaders in a final desperate act to try to reclaim that energy.

It's all spacey/abstract stuff, but I'll delve into more in that future theology post.

Choice between the ship or the high road into the mountains

The ship gets made because Prometheus' designs survived and Apollo asked that a vessel be built.  I liked the hypocrisy of the gods in wanting to keep Prometheus down for giving people too much knowledge, yet over the next couple thousand years, they parcel out pieces of Prometheus' work.  Still, the ship gets filled up and the remainder flee into the mountains up the road toward the Tomb (where Zeus sacrifices the leaders).

Gravestones along the path

Again, easy.  The Blaze fells quite a few as they march into the mountains.

Mankind (12 or 13 tribes?) leaves from the Great Meadow aboard a ship named Galleon

I again preserved the ability for the Thirteenth Tribe to blend into the Twelve, which allows the inconsistency of the show on this issue to continue.  Mithras was mentioned in a season four episode of the show so I made him a leader of the Thirteenth Tribe that boards the ship.

And just one ship.  Not a full "caravan of the heavens" as it was in the trilogy.

Athena's suicide in despair over mankind's departure at Gates of Hera

Again, making Athena love the people so much that she would want to die when it all came crashing down ... that's all I needed to do.

(Who built Athena's Tomb if they all left?)

In the trilogy, the Tomb was built as a memorial to those who died in the Flood and as a shrine to Athena.  For Book Four, I knew I needed the Tomb to exist beforehand, too.  Thanks to the fornicating ways of the gods, there were lots of demigods so why not a Tomb of Heroes?  Isn't it cool to think that those caskets Adama and the others were standing next to contained the bones of Heracles, Atalanta, Theseus and more?

Arrow of Apollo

The Arrow was crafted by Apollo's worshipers on Earth I and the god really appreciated the gesture.  Since he wanted the people of Kobol to see their brothers on Earth again, he "hallowed" the Arrow and the Tomb of Heroes (meaning, did some magic shit) so the people inside could see the stars of Earth I and find their way there.

See the earlier post for details on how the stars of Earth I could have been similar to the stars of Earth II.

Once The One came back, it knew that the Tomb had been "hallowed" with the "wrong stars," so he made Athena go in and adjust it.  Done and done.

"Lower Demon" helped mankind

No fuzziness here.  There was a maintenance DoMek at the Forum that helped Zeus and the others.  Later, he was programmed to deliver a computer virus into the DoMek network that acted like a Blaze, too.

Dying leader

Thestor, High Pantheonic Priest.  Not nearly as much characterization as Stephen Acastus or Laura Roslin, but he serves his purpose.

Serpents "numbering two and ten"

There are allusions to snakes throughout, but especially in the scene when Zeus finds Asclepius and the twelve (wink) Thirteenth Tribers.  He sees their connections to resurrection equipment as long, snake-like tendrils that emerge from their heads and trail off toward the south.

God abandons Kobol (why?)

This will be dealt with more extensively in the future theology post, but I think it's pretty plain.  The One "harvests" the "trees" created by thinking beings' choices and free will.  The tenders were supposed to cultivate these trees but instead they were poisoned by the tenders' own fires, knowledge the people weren't ready for and other things, plus the tenders were "pruning" branches of the trees thanks to their own petty desires.  The gods created only a stump and this was something The One couldn't do anything with, so reboot on other worlds.

Zeus warns fleeing humanity not to return; "exact a price in blood"

The One issues the warning through Zeus directly this time.

humanity left Kobol after a "jealous god" tried to take over

Again, this tidbit comes from a deleted scene, wherein Elosha answers Tigh's question about humanity's exodus.  Because it's deleted, I don't think it's necessarily part of canon.

I'll get into more in that future theology post, but I didn't make The One jealous in this version of the tale.  In the trilogy, yes, The One appears to be very jealous.  Not so much here.  I did, however, let Agathe see a quarrel among the gods so if something got written down about a fight between the Lords, it would make sense.

(All BSG pics are from

Thursday, November 3, 2011

OG Cylon Ornament Review

What says "Merry Christmas" better than the instrument of mankind's destruction?

Hallmark stores have Cylon Centurion ornaments on their shelves so you can now have the shiny menace from 1978 aim its rifle at you from the branches of your own tree.

Designed by longtime Hallmark ornament artist Nello Williams, the Centurion is well-sculpted even if it isn't finely detailed.  The appropriate bits are painted to be shiny and chrome-like, while black and gray make up the rest of the color scheme.  The base is a glossy black oval with the original Battlestar Galactica logo on the front.  The button for the sound is by its right foot.

Yes, sound.

It has four phrases: "By your command" (natch), "Colonial Viper squadrons approaching in large numbers," "Our Raiders are still engaged against the Galactica," and "These humanoids are not well constructed; they damage easily."  The sound is very clear and it's awesome to hear that vocoder again.


For me, this was a big "but."  I'm standing in the Hallmark store looking at dozens of ornaments.  There's a Peanuts oranment that makes sound and lights up.  There's the Nautilus from Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and it lights up.  There's a Romulan Bird of Prey from Star Trek that lights up, even though the ship didn't on the show.

Why doesn't the Cylon have a lighted eye?

That eye is what most people remember about those characters.  Instead, there's a little red rectangle painted in the eye slot.  An LED would have done wonders for this figure.  For me, it wouldn't even have to move -- maybe just a slow fade up and fade down.  (Given some of the wizardry I've seen on other ornaments, I'm sure they could come up with a way to make it move ... or appear to.)  They could have also put the droning noise from the show in the sound files.

Don't get me wrong.  It looks nice and sounds great.  And I am grateful that our show was given this honor.  But if it were hanging from my tree, I would only be able to look at it and wish they had gone the extra mile.

It is sold in Hallmark stores only, not online, for $19.99.  (If it had the light, I would have paid $29.99 happily.)

The official Hallmark page for the ornament is HERE.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Mapping Kobol, Part IV

Since the world as depicted in the trilogy is the same as what was depicted on the show:

... I saw no need to alter it for the purposes of this story.  The lands are the same shapes, the mountains and rivers run the same lengths, the nations have the same borders.  Cities are in different places, though.  And there are a few other plot-driven alterations you may notice.

Click on the below pic for a much larger and full-color version of the map you'll find in the beginning of Book Four:

Monday, October 31, 2011

Time to Start Reading Book Four

Well, I didn't see this day coming.  I had a trilogy in mind for Lords of Kobol (once I realized what I was writing was too long for just one book) and once Book Three was done, I was done.  You know?

Two years ago when I was trying to pin down the Lords of Kobol in my mind, I had some cool ideas.  Some really good things I would have loved to put into the trilogy, but given the choices I made, they just wouldn't work.  Over the last two years, the really good stuff kept coming to mind and I couldn't shake it.  Once the trilogy was finished, I decided to exorcise those demons and put those thoughts down on paper.

It helped a bit knowing that some people who read Book One didn't care for my decision regarding the Lords' nature.  They wanted their gods to be more godlike and for things to be much more mystical.  You people should be very happy with this.

So what made these thoughts work now in Book Four when they wouldn't work when I started Book One?  Read chapter one of Book Two.  I'll write more about that in a future post on the theology of it all, but suffice it to say, that chapter made me rethink a bunch of things.

Regardless, Book Four is ready to go.  The language of it all is similar to Tolkien's The Silmarillion (and there are some influences, obvs) so you might have to slow down to grasp it all at first.  It creates an interesting flavor.  Makes it feel old and mythical.  Kinda weird when I had to write about DNA, space travel and computer viruses, though.

As for the story, don't worry that I've just fancied up the words and changed the nature of the gods.  Nope.  Except for the specific things mentioned in BSG that transpired on Kobol, all of the situations and circumstances surrounding these characters and events have changed.  Often drastically.  (SPOILER-wise, the only thing to look out for is a Book One spoiler in the Preface.)

It's a totally new story.  An alternate universe companion novel to the trilogy.

It's interesting and it's actually pretty frakking good.  I hope you like it.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Lords of Kobol - An Incomplete Glossary

In the months before publication, I began to think a glossary might be in order, thanks mostly to all the Greek names and places.  Eventually, I let it slide as I realized my work wasn't nearly as dense as Tolkien's Silmarillion (for which you do need that glossary).

So, here are some of the entries I completed, with comments afterward.  There will be some Book One - Three spoilers.

Read on after the JUMP!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Writing, Part IV: Answering My Own Questions

A few months ago, I pasted the first thing I typed up for LoK: a list of events and facts about Kobol we knew from the show.  Here, I will repost it, line by line, and explain how I tackled each tidbit in my head before I sat down to write (if I was able to).

If you haven't already, download the entire trilogy right HERE for free.

SPOILERS abound.  Also, no Book Four info will be present (I may redo this post later on to handle Book Four solutions to these items).

More after the JUMP.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Writing, Part III: Deleted Scenes

SPOILERS galore in this post, natch.

I won't bore you guys with why I chose certain things (yet), but I will pepper you with hints of what may have been.  Stuff that I changed mid-writing.

Now Book Four is a whole book of "what may have been," so that's not covered here.

Book Three had a pretty rigid structure from the start, thanks to all the talk in BSG itself about the end of days on Kobol.  Other than the occasional stylistic choice or character motivation, nothing really changed until I was done.

Books One and Two are different stories, though.

(Full examples will follow after the jump.)

Again, SPOILERS ahead, so if you haven't read the trilogy yet, please do so and then come back.

In Book One, the revelation about the gods came much later in the novel.  Also, there was more focus on the makers of the Thirteenth Tribe (Helena & Thersites).  I came to realize that there should be greater attention paid the Lords.  Seems pretty obvious, right?  Well, part of the reason I didn't want to shine the spotlight on them too much was because doing so meant it would be harder to conceal their secret for as long as I wanted.

I decided that the reveal should come earlier in the book, some of the extraneous stuff about Helena and Thersites would be dropped and more gods stuff can be inserted.  (I no longer have the deleted Helena & Thersites passages.)  So I added more chapters focusing on the Lords, but a new problem arose.

A big theme for the gods in Book One is that they're feeling stagnant after three thousand years of dominion.  It doesn't do much for the mood of your novel/show/movie when characters are standing around lamenting how bored they are.  I dropped the chapters relating to the non-central Lords and moved some of their dialogue into scenes with the more important characters.

There's a scene with Hecate that gives some more background for her (wait 'til you see who she was shacked up with), one focused on Aphrodite and her feelings of being "just a pretty face" in the experiment, another with her and her son, Eros and, lastly, a different version of the Pegasus' return to Kobol with Athena and Apollo in attendance (and not Zeus - I later realized Zeus needed to be there).  Full chapters are posted after the jump.

Another big thing with Book One.  Once the revelation about the gods came, the focus shifted exclusively to the gods with the occasional Thirteenth Tribe tidbit thrown in.  Yes, there was Aurora and the Iole Cylon, but not much else.

That's right: the second Iole Cylon, Tydea, was not in the first pass.  Nor was her realization about the Lords or the Cylon beach massacre.  The Thirteenth Tribe was, as a whole, pissed at the gods and the Draco were bombing stuff, too.  Very disjointed.  I had to reread it a few times to pinpoint the problems and add in the intrigue with Tydea.  Looking back, it's hard to fathom why I didn't do this from the start.  I mean, one of Zeus' greatest fears was that the Olympians would be found out so why wouldn't I have one of his "cousins" figure it out?  Stupid author.  Hey, at least I recognized the problem and fixed it.

On to Book Two.  Posted below you'll find a one-off chapter with Hermes walking on another planet in the last gasp of Kobol's space program.  I dropped it because it just felt like a bit of unneeded fluff.

Now here's the big thing with Book Two.  This is one of those where I got pretty far along in the writing before I realized the error of my ways.  Originally, Larsa was going to be a planet on the far side of the galaxy, and Kobol was a planet they knew about that they would be jumping to.  So, I typed and typed.  It wasn't until I got to Zeus' big speech (outlining the "Experiment") that I realized why this wouldn't work.

I'll get into the rules I set for myself in a later post, but here's a preview.  I wanted to preserve the uniquity of much of what we knew from BSG.  It was almost too late before I realized that I had violated this rule.

Baltar says in "Daybreak" while viewing the early humans on the plains of Africa that these people, on a world so far from Kobol, indicates a divine hand.  OK, fine.  In my first pass, I would have had humans on Larsa, Kobol and then Earth II.  The absurdity of this crept up on me while Zeus is in that meeting and Prometheus is trying to tell him about God.  Having humans on this planet, too, should confound Zeus and it would have given more credence to Prometheus' position (convincing more than just a few to go along with him).

Why didn't I see this before?  Frankly, I was obsessed with maintaining Pythia's cycle.  Humans make Cylons; Cylons and humans war; survivors flee the planet and start over somewhere else.  It didn't occur to me at the start that the planet they flee and start over upon could be one and the same.

There's a sample passage from the old way posted below after the jump (no need to post full chapters, since most of the rest is the same as the published version):

Another Book Two bit.  I really liked this one, but I got rid of it because it was too long and at the very end of the novel.  Once Ares finishes off the Draco and we see Zeus slump in his chair as he can't shake Hades and Leto from his thoughts, we need to tie the bow with Kaladen and the Draco's revenge and get the other side of the bookend with Apollo and Acastus.  The Zeus chapter you'll find after the jump was interesting and includes lots of cool tidbits, but it just wasn't necessary.

So.  If you want more Lords of Kobol, click the JUMP and start reading.  Thanks again.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Coming Soon - The Fourth Book in the Trilogy

Wait, what?


Don't get me wrong: the story I wanted to tell in Books One, Two & Three is wrapped up in those three books. However, years ago as I pondered the Lords, I had several unused thoughts and concepts.  Once I went with the Lords being (REDACTED), there was no way those unused concepts could be adapted.

So, for two-plus years, I've had some good ideas banging around in my brain trying to be used.  Even as I edited and made ready to publish the trilogy, those concepts were screaming inside and became nagging doubts.  I thought the best way to exorcise those thoughts would be to put them down on the page.

Thus, Lords of Kobol - Book Four.  It does not supplant the trilogy in any way.  It acts as an alternate universe version of the story.  A sort of "road not taken."

I'll get into the style of the book later on, but suffice it to say: this one is very different.