So, Elizabeth Brooks, who is one of my best friends, and she's also my primary beta reader, one of my editors, and you know all around can't live without her girl... has made a book trailer for "He Loves me for My Brainsss" (which as a side note, I've been spelling wrong for months now... since I like to stress it the other way. Braaaaaains. Braaaaaaaaaaaaaaains.) Wait. I lost track of what I was saying...
So, there's that. Pretty awesome, yes? That last story, Two Guys Walk Into an Apocalypse by V.L. Locey, sounds amazing... can't wait to see the finished collection.
I'm going to take a minute to talk about W.O.L., which is my story from the antho, mostly because I like to talk, and I have to write a blog entry every day this month...
W.O.L. takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where genetic engineering and nanobot technology got out of hand. I first invented and visited (as a metaphor!) this world when I wrote about four chapters of a novel called Rains in Eden that I never finished, which was sort of a Handmaiden't Tale knock off, except at that time I'd never heard of Handmaiden's Tale and was being all clever. In Rains in Eden, the main character is an Eve, a surrogate womb. Her job is to basically to have baby after baby, none of which are hers, for the various citizens in floating cities. At the start of a new job, she's raped before the embryo can be inserted and gets pregnant in the very basic way - after all, she's on tailored hormones to be a receptive mother.
Part of the idea was something out of a class discussion in college. In a Jane Austen seminar, we were talking about the relative value of Mr. Darcy's "Ten thousand a year!" It was difficult to calculate what that would mean in today's society, since in the 1820's, you couldn't really buy a lot of the stuff we spend money on these days, new televisions and laptops, private planes and yachts. I mean, a wealthy family would have a carriage, or two, and certainly the tailor bills could get excessive for a dandy. But one of the things that's difficult to calculate is the power of purchasing people. Butler. Valet. Housekeepers and maids, cooks and grooms and footmen. Those people were often considered part of the family - and were often inherited along with the house. "I worked for the Darcys for forty years, and my mother before me." Their room and board, and often their clothing, were considered part of their employers' responsibility. They worked for very little spending money - it might take a groom a dozen years or more to buy a ticket to the Americas to make a new life there.
So, with that in mind, I made up the world that W.O.L. occupies, with Pure Humans - who have not been genetically modified and don't have any nanobots - and a lesser class of Altered Humans. Cities are walled off, or sealed, or on gyros and they hover above the ground, since some of the altered humans have grown wild. The Lazarus virus - which is actually a nanobot technology gone amok - creates a zombie-like horde in the unprotected spaces between cities.
Rains in Eden took place in one of the huge, mega cities that float above the ground. (There were originally seven, but now only three remain functional. Eden, Valhalla, and Mt. Meru.) W.O.L. on the other hand, takes place in the western part of what was once the United States, somewhere around where Sacramento used to be. It is entirely surrounded by a spherical shield wall, basically the post-modern version of a fort town.
I also worked the idea a bit from the fact that the Red Cross keeps calling me. I've given blood a few times. I don't usually like to do it, and sometimes it makes me ill - I have come pretty close to fainting - but I've also had a transfusion, so I like to pay it back. And just recently they've been pretty desperate. Supplies are at an all time low, and they call me about once a week. I'm scheduled to go in on the 19th, so maybe they'll stop calling me for a while - more persistent than a siding salesman, they are. I was thinking... what might happen to an organization like the Red Cross, when the whole world is mostly destroyed. Where moving between one town and another is likely to get you killed?
Thus, Korin, Knight of the Red Cross, came to mind. (Ok, I confess, I was also re-reading David Eddings for the nine millionth time, and church knights figure prominently...)
W.O.L. is one of my favorite stories - well, of the ones I've written. It was a decided stretch for me, and I admit, I'm still a bit surprised at the way it ended.
So, while I'm at it, here's your reminder to go see what FixSation is up to at the Smutter's Advent Calendar.
And, while you're at it, go to the Red Cross and give some blood.