David Louis Edelman David Louis Edelman


David Louis Edelman discusses science fiction, writing, politics, technology, web programming, current events, film, and just about anything else that crosses his mind.

On This Page:
“Where the Hell Have You Been, Dave?”
David J. Williams Reading Tonight in DC
The Ending of “Geosynchron”
“Geosynchron” Is Here. Officially.
Library Journal: “Geosynchron” “Takes Cyberpunk to the Next Level”

Best of the Blog
RSS Feed
Atom Feed
Comments RSS Feed

“Where the Hell Have You Been, Dave?”

If anyone’s looking at this blog anymore, you might have noticed that I haven’t updated it in around two years. I haven’t published anything new in all this time, and I haven’t announced any further writing projects after the Jump 225 trilogy — the last installment of which (Geosynchron) came out in February of 2010.

The main answer about where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing can be answered with a single photo:

Abby and Benjamin, September 2011

These are my kids, and basically I’ve been spending all of the spare time I used to spend writing raising these two. Can you blame me?

Have I completely abandoned my writing career? Am I working on anything new? No and yes. I’ve been toying with three or four different projects in the past few years, but have yet to really commit to any one of them. The latest project I’m excited about is a novel with a working title of The Island of Shakespeares. Once the kids are off in school, I intend to jump back in to the writing with more vim and vigor, and at that point I’ll entertain the idea of blogging again.

In the meantime, I do still post updates fairly regularly in three different venues: Google+, Facebook, and Twitter. Follow me there, or friend me, or whatever.

And if you’re starving for some of my fiction, read Jump 225 again. I’d like to think it can withstand the scrutiny of multiple readings. In fact, I think it’ll be better the second or third time around. (Then again, I’m biased.)

David J. Williams Reading Tonight in DC

Allow me to step back onto my blog after a long absence to make a quick pitch for my buddy David J. Williams, whose latest novel, The Machinery of Light, is hitting stores, oh… right… about… NOW.

David J. Williams "The Machinery of Light"I met Dave at Capclave a few years back, shortly before the release of his first book, The Mirrored Heavens. We share in common that our books have both gotten blurbs from Peter Watts. Watts says of Dave Williams’ book that it “explodes out of the gate like a sonic boom and never stops.” If you have any doubts, all you have to do is see Dave read. I went to his first reading not sure what to expect — turns out the dude does a reading kind of like you might expect Denethor from Peter Jackson’s Return of the King to do a reading. Intense. Fast. Loud. Intense. With authority. And did I mention intense?

Here’s the description from the back of the book:

With The Machinery of Light, David J. Williams completes his furiously paced, stunningly imagined trilogy—a work of vision, beauty, and pulse-pounding futuristic action.

September 26, 2110. 10:22 GMT. Following the assassination of the American president, the generals who have seized power initiate World War Three, launching a surprise attack against the Eurasian Coalition’s forces throughout the Earth-Moon system. Across the orbits, tens of thousands of particle beams and lasers blast away at one another. The goal: crush the other side’s weaponry, paving the way for nuclear bombardment of the cities.

As inferno becomes Armageddon, the rogue commando unit Autumn Rain embarks on one last run. Matthew Sinclair, an imprisoned spymaster, plots his escape. And his former protégé Claire Haskell, capable of hacking into both nets and minds, is realizing that all her powers may merely be playing into Sinclair’s plans. For even as Claire evades the soldiers of East and West amid carnage in the lunar tunnels, the surviving members of the Rain converge upon the Moon, one step ahead of the Eurasian fleets but one step behind the mastermind who created Autumn Rain—and his terrible final secret.

Yes, it’s cyberpunkish, and it’s also military fictionish. But don’t be dissuaded into thinking these are dumb shoot-’em-ups with ray guns. This is intelligent stuff, heavily researched, detailed and backgrounded. Mr. Williams even caused a little bit of a stir by getting into a science tiff with Jerry Pournelle a little while back, an incident which sounded like great fun.

And hey, if you’re intrigued, it so happens that Dave’s reading tonight at 7pm at the Borders on 1828 L Street NW, and then there’s going to be an afterparty at the Science Club. If you’re really motivated, you might just have time to read books 1 and 2 of his Autumn Rain trilogy before you go.

I don’t expect Dave to run and jump off a tall balcony covered in flames like Denethor did in Return of the King. But you never know. It would make a good finale to the trilogy, wouldn’t it?

The Ending of “Geosynchron”

Ever since Infoquake hit the stores in 2006, I’ve felt this subconscious urge not to discuss the meaning and symbolism behind my Jump 225 trilogy. Perhaps there’s some Holy Writ which demands that authors remain mysterious about their own work. Certainly keeping mum encourages people to come up with their own interpretations — but why should discussing things discourage people from doing so? Are my readers really so obtuse that they’ll just stop reading if I tell them directly what I intended? Am I afraid that talking about the handwaving behind the curtain will dispel the magic onstage?

Since I’ve received a number of comments and emails asking me about the ending of Geosynchron, I’ve decided to open up about it and discuss it here. Oh yeah, in case you haven’t figured it out, thar be spoilers ahead.

Let me start with a comment by Jason in a previous post:

…[T]urning Natch into a deaf, mute, blind, retarded person did not seem to have a point. The explanation of the role of the autonomous minds felt like half of an explanation because no time was spent explaining how or why they function the way they do. They appeared to be basically, magical, especially in regards to their connection to the Pharisees. I thought the story of the autonomous minds held immense promise and I was hopeful to learn more about their role in the history of the world you have created, so perhaps this is why I feel so let down by the explanation you gave. I feel like I completely missed something either much earlier in the story or even within the last book that would have helped me understand your intent in telling this final part of Natch’s story in the way that you did.

Regarding Natch’s fate: if you think about possible endings for Natch using a(n almost MultiReal-like) process of elimination, you’ll see that there are not many other fates that work for the character. The whole point of the character is for him to go from a state of complete selfishness to a state of complete selflessness. He begins Infoquake callously threatening all of civilization with a fake black code attack; he ends Geosynchron sacrificing everything he knows and loves to prevent an Autonomous Revolt-style catastrophe that threatens humanity.

Natch is presented as a character of limitless drive and desire (see my Big Idea piece on John Scalzi’s Whatever blog for more about that). By the end of MultiReal, he’s achieved everything he ever wanted, or at least everything he always thought he wanted: freedom to explore his programming with virtually unlimited funding, without constraints of government or society. Not only that, but he’s got a program under his command that lets him find the best of all possible worlds with every decision. But he soon sees the emptiness behind these goals, and finds himself in the complete opposite position at the beginning of Geosynchron: trapped in the Patels’ dungeon, unable to move forward, unable to do anything except sit and wait for the world to do what it wants to him. Achieving everything he wanted has led him… nowhere.

Where can Natch go from there?

Read the rest of this entry…

“Geosynchron” Is Here. Officially.

Geosynchron coverFrom my newsletter (because I really don’t have the time or energy these days to write anything original on my blog anymore):

The wait is over. Geosynchron is here! Which means that the trilogy which began as a gleam in my bio/logically-enhanced eye way back in 1997 or 1998 is completely in print, and you can now judge the entire story on its merits. Or you can simply stare at the gorgeous Stephan Martiniere cover for hours on end and try to figure out who the heck that guy is sitting Indian style on the cover, which is what I do. (The answer? I really don’t know. I’m guessing it’s either High Executive Len Borda or it’s Ian Holm fresh off the set of The Fifth Element.)

Anyway… boy, am I gonna need your help on this one. This is the last launch of a Jump 225 book, which means it’s the last best time to spread the word about the trilogy. So please, forward to your friends and family members, post reviews online, write blog posts, tweet, spray paint Geosynchron-related graffiti on the front of government buildings! Just tell them that Neil Gaiman sent you.

Oh yeah, and why don’t you read the book too, and let me know how you liked it?

Read the rest of this entry…

Library Journal: “Geosynchron” “Takes Cyberpunk to the Next Level”

Wahoo! Library Journal has given Geosynchron a fabulous review in their January 15 issue. Here’s what they had to say, minus the synopsis part which essentially just paraphrases the back cover copy:

Taking cyberpunk to the next level, this conclusion to Edelman’s trilogy (InfoquakeMultiReal) presents a drama of future technology that combines action with psychosocial intrigue. Tension comes as much from the clash of ideas as from physical confrontation. Highly recommended.

I suppose after Rob Sawyer had me resuscitating cyberpunk with defibrillator paddles in hand, it only made sense for me to take cyberpunk up to the next level. Perhaps next I’ll get to take cyberpunk to its room and hook it up to an IV.