Sometime next month, Infinite Space and Infinite God (ISIG) is going to be released as a hardback and a trade paperback. The electronic sales of the book are doing so well, the publisher has already approached editor Karina Fabian for a sequel and Ken Pick and I have been approached to once again write stories for the anthology.
For those of you not in the know, ISIG is an anthology of hard science fiction stories that take place in a Roman Catholic worldview.
Yes, I know. I'm not Catholic, but two of the twelve stories in the anthology have my name on the byline as they were stories I had written that had Roman Catholic characters.
Mask of the Ferret is actually the first chapter of a novel and makes a very nice stand-alone tale about artificially created anthropomorphics in the far future. The tale's genesis is interesting: Ken had a character in search of a story and I had a story in search of a character. The result is a wonderful partnership where I wrote the story and I then gave it to Ken who rewrote it to match his style and make it orthodox to the universe in which his stories take place (WebFed).
Imagine a far future where the universe is populated with many alien races and where humanity is a recent newcomer. Amongst the races that populate WebFed, one of the many technological benchmarks each civilization must make on its own in order to become a WebFed member is the ability to manipulate DNA. The result is a population of Artificials, creatures made from manipulated DNA, but fortunately, these beings are created with full rights and privileges.
Mask of the Ferret is about Jill Noir, an Artificial with the basic DNA template of a ferret, Having escaped her Terran creators, she is fleeing with an alien artifact being pursued by Father Eric Heidler, a Vatican operative whose job is to recover the artifact. The result is an adventure on board the Coventry, a Terran ship trapped enroute in hyperspace with a deadly alien artifact that is reaching out to psychically feed on the crew and the passengers.
I contributed the plot and most of the characters. Ken made magic with the atmosphere of the story and its WebFed milieu with its diverse races.
Hopefully, you will all see The Adventures of Jill Noir, the novel, completed in my lifetime.
The second story is mine alone. First published in PawPrints Fanzine, Canticle of the Wolf is a hard science fiction treatment of the legend of Saint Francis and the wolf of Gubbio, another "furry" story.
I am delighted that in many of the reviews of ISIG, either Mask of the Ferret, Canticle of the Wolf, or both receives a very positive review. This has puzzled me as many of the other contributors are not literary newcomer lightweights, but now having a prepublication copy of ISIG in my hands, though the other stories are wonderfully written, there are two elements of Mask and Canticle that IMHO make them stand apart:
- The stories are easily accessible by those who do not have a Roman Catholic background, and
- They both have very positive themes and endings.