The main storyline of Silent Fury is about an invasion of the Solar System by a pair of alien races. I don’t want to spoil too much, but I’ll just say that it’s not the usual ‘we’ve come to conquer Earth’ invasion story.
Writing a whole story in what amounts to about ten pages that also need to serve as setting up each scenario has been a challenge. Sometimes I worry that I’m trying to do too much, as rather than a novel that can precisely be followed what you get is a series of scenes that I’m hoping I’ve tied together well enough for people to piece the overall picture together. I’m not some great sci-fi author of course, so I know there’s no way it holds up to something Larry Niven or David Brin could scrawl on a napkin while drunk, but I’m hoping it’s fun to read nonetheless.
And hey, if the fiction is just plain bad, then Silent Fury can join the ranks of countless video games with terrible writing and great gameplay. One of the more liberating realizations I’ve had is that I can’t screw up the game system with the fiction, so I’m gonna do the best I can and not sweat it if it’s not going to win any prizes for the writing. So maybe you’ll love it, maybe you’ll hate it, but it’s what I got.
So a little context – Silent Fury has five factions, and I planned to write ten scenarios. When I first outlined each scenario I planned on pitting each faction against every other faction once (which requires exactly ten scenarios, so it fit well), such that when you’d finished the book every faction had fought against another faction one time.
But as the scenario book went on and I was writing this storyline, I realized that towards the end I had characters and events that I couldn’t wrap up or continue with very well if I just continued with my plan to pit every faction against every other faction. I realized that I would have a better story overall if I worked on bringing these characters back together and trying to resolve at least some of the events I’d started instead of just randomly pitting yet another group against someone new, so I changed my plan. For the last few scenarios I dropped the idea that every faction should fight every other faction, and instead tried to write scenarios that more naturally flowed from events that had already happened. Plus I know the publisher wants to develop follow on material – more scenario books, expansions, etc, and I found a neat way to set up for one in the near future.
So it’s been very cool to see the storyline take on a life of its own, and I think the book and probably the whole Silent Universe is better for it.