This week I’m reading volumes 1-3 of The Great Iron War, by Dean F. Wilson, a science fantasy steampunk series in which Earth (or someplace like it) is invaded by outsiders, called “demons” (even though I’m pretty sure that’s not what they are) who come in search of iron. Hence the name of the war.
Yet iron is more to the demons than just a metal. When broken down into its basic elements, it provides the key ingredient of the necessary sustenance of the invaders. To some it is a drug. To them, symbolising everything they were promised, and everything they were leaving behind, it is Hope.
Hmm, I’m pretty sure iron is a basic element. So breaking it down into its basic elements would, I guess, mean 26 electrons, 26 protons, and 30 neutrons*. Anyway, given that whatever drug it is that the demons take would also be composed of electrons, protons, and neutrons, I suppose it’s not inaccurate to to say that iron contains the key ingredients. Of course, so would carbon, or your dog, or apple pie. Mmm, pie …
EDITED 8/15/2017: As one of my friends noted on Facebook, the titles of the first three books in the series―Hopebreaker, Lifemaker, and Skyshaker―sound an awful lot like the refrain from a song by the “faymus minstrel” (as Dennis the Vizsla would call her) Pat Benatar. I was so focused on that affront to basic chemistry and physics that I failed to notice that myself, but this observation is completely correct.
Hopebreaker, Lifemaker, Skyshaker, don’t you mess around with me. Good call, Dr. Liz!
Meanwhile, editing continues on Father’s Books, where I’ve made another major
change improvement to the big showdown. There were once three plotlines running concurrently here, one that I always felt was tonally out of sync with the rest of the book and one that was more or less completely detached from the overall story. At this point I think the secondary thread is fitting in much better with what came before it, and I’m busily completely cutting out the tertiary one and moving its characters into the main one.
The brush was too thick along the banks so she ran in the stream bed, splashing through the shallows, small, slick rocks turning under her feet. The stream began to meander as the current slowed and the water deepened, undulating left and right through its sandy wash. Small gnarled branches, swept in during days of high water and then stranded, humped out of the uneven surface, snares waiting to trip her. The main channel had shifted rightward so she moved left, where there was more solid footing of grit and rubble. Her heart hammered rusty nails into the back of her throat. She couldn’t keep up this pace.
Ah, yes, editing and revising―it’s where the magic happens! And by “magic” I mean “fussy hard work” of course.