My most ambitious work. Although close to something like completion, I continue to revise and enrich.
We are uneasy with the giants in our midst, those whom power, wealth or genius have raised above the common herd. They give off a certain aura; personal energy seems to radiate from them. We idolize them and worship them, but we also envy and resent them, and plot to take their place.
In the world of Elder Light, a great race evolved. Most stand over seven feet tall. Their hair has acquired a bioluminescent property and their dark skin can photosynthesize light. Their nervous systems are able to generate a powerful charge of electrical energy which can be shared or abruptly discharged with deadly effect. These beings built a civilization with advanced technology and science, exploring the seas and the skies, while the human-like Pallideen still chipped flint into spears. But their own hubris brought them down, and in grasping for immortality they sealed their own doom. The Pallideen came to plunder their neglected fields and took up residence in their abandoned houses.
Centuries later, the Elders number perilously few, and have become dependent on the labor and goodwill of the Pallideen. They seek to rebuild the glory that was once theirs, and offer to share that with the Pallideen. It is a great dream, and with it are forged bonds of friendship and mutual respect between the races. But the Pallideen live uneasily with these giants in their midst.
This is the premise of the Elder Light series, nine volumes which relate the unfolding history of these two races in volatile coexistence. It is told through the actors who occupy each stage of its development, sometimes on the grand, sweeping scale of the Elders and sometimes on the humble and prosaic scale of the human Pallideen. Themes of religion and spirituality are explored, as are morality and ethics, the dynamics of intimate relationships and social institutions, how sorrow is endured and how meaning is forged.
Elder Light is science fiction with the feel of epic fantasy.
The first book is Tristramacus, (117,500 words). The deadlock of hatred between two ancient rivals is finally broken. Two thousand years of pointless struggle has left them exhausted, their sanity tattered. It is time for a race of children to grow up, time for a civilization fallen into oblivion to twitch towards waking. A young woman named Kel is the catalyst which sets it all in motion. [see excerpts]
The second book is Brinnalamaya (96,000 words). Known to her people at the height of their civilization as the “Thousand Year Prime”, Brinnalamaya must lean how to cope in a primitive world. She finds her greatest friend in the least likely place, shackled in darkness with the howling hunger never satisfied. Tristramacus seeks the peace of the world beyond the Wall of Snow among secret kin possessing ancient wisdom. Their daughter, Galamandria, struggles with the hard lessons of growing up, as do the Freefolk. [see excerpts]
The third book is Mirramarduk (94,000 words). The brave dream of living in peaceful cooperation with the Pallideen is destroyed in a Bloody Revolution, and Galamandria must do battle with the poison of an old and toxic passion to save Mirramarduk and the Subcity. Although hope is salvaged from the shattered remains of the Elder Race, the most enduring legacy of the Revolution will be hostility and mistrust. [see excerpts].
The fourth book is Galamandria (127,000 words). The City Humans learn that throwing off the yoke of Elder authority means they are now free to oppress each other. For the Elders, immortality isn’t forever, and Mirramarduk’s doom comes creeping deadly, wrapped in yellow silk. Galamandria’s best intentions cannot stop Dracomaya’s triumph, and their greatest hope may lie with a quiet human musician named Joh. [see excerpts].
The fifth book is Alexandrik (142,600 words). The biological weapon released by Sansaramia has shattered alliances, left the City in carrion-strewn ruins, and opened a power vacuum in the Subcity quickly filled by Nicodamien, eldest son of Mirramarduk and Galamandria, who preaches a doctrine of thinly disguised hatred and racism. The gentle doctor Alexandrik, shaken by the horrors he has witnessed, seeks the secret wisdom guarded by Tristramacus in the Arctic. His quest forces him to question everything he believes in as he struggles to find a way of reconciling the contradictory truths of different worlds. [see excerpts]
The sixth book is Arikinsa (137,000 words). The Volcano has spoken, and Arikinsa, shaman of the Tribe of Ancients, has returned to the south. But his mission cannot be accomplished until he is able to arrange a number of very unlikely alliances. A vital clue to how he can do this comes from an unexpected source: a young crippled storyteller called Diosadorik, who innocently manages to stir up a nest of hornets among those around him. With the quarreling cities and settlements struggling to achieve unity in the face of escalating hostility, their worst enemy proves to be their best hope. [see excerpts]
The seventh book is Dras the Peddler (96,000 words). Rayn Bishlan is the Prime of Economic Equity in the burgeoning metropolis that now fills the Valley. Disillusioned with what her people have become, she takes to the road with Dras Dramwyn, the last elk train driver, to learn what the world can teach her. In the Subcity, a plot is being hatched by human students to steal the carefully guarded technological secrets of the Elders. When their attempted espionage fails, Dras and Rayn become unwittingly entangled, and the result could shatter the fragile peace between the races. [see excerpts]
The eighth book is Nicodamien (76,400 words). The charismatic Prime Arbitor of the Subcity is wildly popular among the citizens, but disliked and mistrusted by many on the Council and outside. His behavior is often erratic and upredictable; some question his sanity. Still, Nicodamien has kept his word and there is an enduring peace at last. He broods over the stagnation of his people in that peace, and the inexplicable infertility of Subcity citizens which stifles their growth as a race. He sees a solution in the mysterious female Arikinsa has taken as his mate. [see excerpts]
The ninth book is In the Fullness of Time (137,000 words). The rough draft is awaiting revision.