PREPARING FOR BATTLE
I didn’t know it until a few months ago, but I’ve been preparing to write The Fountain War novel for most of my life. My training began at the age of eight, when my mom brought home a science fiction book from the public library. The title was The Beyond, and the dust jacket caught my attention instantly: a tri-hulled spaceship tearing across a star-flecked sky above the twisted landscape of an alien planet. The background was dominated by an enormous red-orange moon, pocked with craters and poised like the hammer of God waiting to fall.
It was all I could do not to snatch that book out of my mother’s hands, and the story inside turned out to be even cooler than the cover. Starships, a galactic empire on the verge of civil war, and a secret sub-species of telepathic humans driven into exile on a barren world at the fringes of known space. It was all the action and adventure that any kid could ever ask for.
I burned through the book in about three days, and there was no turning back after that. I was hooked hard. I’ve spent the rest of my life reading sci-fi books, playing sci-fi games, watching sci-fi movies, and searching for ways to recreate that first heart-pounding experience.
By the time adulthood finally caught up with me, there didn’t seem to be a lot of job opportunities for swashbuckling space warriors, so I chose the closest career path I could find. If I couldn’t fly to distant planets, I would sail to faraway countries instead. If I couldn’t probe the vacuum of space for enemy starships, I would scan the depths of the oceans for hostile submarines. The stars might be beyond my grasp, but there was adventure to be had right here on good old Terra.
Somewhere in the middle of all that, I started to get serious about writing. I studied character, theme, plot, description, motivation, pacing, dialogue, narrative, and the other weapons that make up a writer’s arsenal. I began to mentally dissect the styles and techniques of my favorite authors. I wrote, I revised, I learned, and I wrote some more.
My first novel was science fiction. My second was a military techno-thriller, which is my other favorite genre. Since then, I’ve been back and forth between sci-fi and naval warfare thrillers, working on whatever project inspired me most at any particular time.
I’ve never once tried to bring the two genres together. That might seem strange, given that my shelves are loaded with books by David Webber, James Corey, David Drake, and Jack Campbell. I eat this stuff up. As I said on stage at EVE Vegas a few days ago, military sci-fi is the convergence of everything I’m passionate about and everything I’m good at.
All of which raises an obvious question… With my professional background, my knowledge of tactics and doctrine, and my lifelong love of this genre, why the hell has it taken me so long to tackle a space combat novel?
The short answer is that I’ve been getting ready. I’ve been learning, practicing, honing my skills, polishing my craft, and building my reputation as an author. And (most importantly) I’ve been waiting for the right idea.
I’ve always assumed that the idea—when it came—would spring from my own imagination. Turns out I was wrong about that. The idea didn’t come from me. It came from you. It was born from the collective dreams, efforts, and accomplishments of thousands of EVE players. This is your story, in all of its chaotic galaxy-spanning glory.
The Fountain War has got everything an author could possibly want. It’s loaded with action, espionage, greed, badass technology, betrayal, dirty politics, massive battles, acts of extraordinary heroism, and occasional moments of abject failure. It’s got drama, comedy, irony, and all the other ingredients of blockbuster fiction.
As I listen to your individual tales, work through the chat logs, read the killmails, and watch the fight videos, I become increasingly convinced that The Fountain War is the story I’ve been waiting to tell.
It’s a long-standing military axiom that winning a battle is as much about preparation as it is about fighting. I believe that the same holds true for writing a novel. I’ve been preparing for this one since I was eight years old.
Let’s do this thing…
The gate is green.