Circle of the Chosen: notes for a book launch.

These were my speaking notes for the launch of the Circle of the Chosen Nov. 3 at Books on Beechwood in Ottawa.

A stack of Circle of the Chosen being received by Books on Beechwood.

My introduction to science fiction came in 1971 when one of my Canadian Press coworkers I shared a Montreal flat with left a copy of John Wyndham’s The Chrysalids on a coffee table. He had gone to the office while I was transitioning from a morning to an evening shift. It was a soggy fall day and having nothing pressing to do, I started to read the book.

I spent the whole day reading the story and the next day combed local book stores for other of Wyndham’s works, which include The Day of the Triffids and the Midwich Cuckoos. From there it was onto Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert Heinlein and countless other SF writers. Along the way I found copies of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings and was surprised how much I liked Tolkien’s story telling and the world he created. Terry Brooks is another fantasy writer I follow.

While SF remains my favourite genre, I wanted to try writing a fantasy novel. According to Anne Marchand, one of my beta readers, The Circle is also romance novel. I’ll leave it the readers to judge how successful on the romance side.

My first two novels, Humanity’s Saving Grace and A Biot’s Odyssey, were straight sci-fi and I tried to make them as scientifically plausible as I could. I like to think my third book, Ultimate Wizard, is a mostly sci-fi with some magic thrown in to enliven the tale.

The Circle is about the struggle between the Evil and the Spirit. The Evil wants dominion over the Lands of the Great River while the Spirit wants to preserve them for its followers. To stop the Evil, the Spirit must find a champion who can withstand the Evil. What it doesn’t realize is that the champion cannot do it by himself. It requires the love and support of those to him to do that. That’s what our hero must learn. The Circle of the Chosen are those who will give him the power to succeed.

The stories I’m working on now are all sci-fi as well and I hope some of them will make it into print in the coming years. To me, it’s an interesting process combining what-if and what’s plausible in a story that people will hopefully enjoy reading.

Would I write another fantasy? I have to admit that as I worked through the various rounds of editing and revising The Circle, I could envisage a sequel using some of the characters in this book and some new ones.

In the meantime, I make notes about stories that I would also like to write as well as finish the ones I already have in various stages of completion. If I can stay on course, my next book will be Intelligent Design, a post apocalyptic story.

I also would like to write a follow up story to my first two books using the Biots in them and other robots they encountered in the second book to set out exploring the Milky Way and in the process rescue a species from another galaxy.

I’m fortunate in having a good team of writing friends who I can bounce story ideas off and get valuable ideas for developing plot lines.

Now for something different

After three science fiction novels, well the third one, Ultimate Wizard, did have some magic it, I’ll be launching later this year what I thought was a fantasy novel.

Full of swords and magic, I think of the Circle of the Chosen as my ode to a group of authors I admire including JRR Tolkien and Terry Brooks among other great story tellers.

Well, a beta reader told me the Circle of the Chosen is also a love story. A story about the power of love. I hadn’t thought of that but she is correct.

The subtitle of the book tries to convey the two themes– Love could be the ultimate weapon as two great armies square off with their swords, bows and magic. 

The storyline is a simple-sounding request from his brother, the new king of Bernna, sends Dameron on what turns into a dangerous mission in the Lands south of the Great River. He needs his soldier skills to survive encounters with treacherous priests, bandits, thugs and shapeshifters under the control of the Evil.

After gaining important texts for his brother, Dameron heads for home with people he has saved from marauding gangs. Among them is Lady Burska, who is trained to fight with a sword. His group encounters Giants on a mission to warn their clans about the return of the Evil that is once again trying to destroy all who live in the Lands of the Great River.

The Giants’ Elder realizes Dameron is the Champion of the Spirit and starts to prepare him for a battle with the Evil that will appear as a massive black cloud. Collaborating with brother Artorus and his cousin Yukul, Dameron plans to confront the Evil’s hordes who have besieged Compard, a walled city on the shores of the Great and Reddon Rivers. They hope that will draw the Evil into the open where Dameron can confront him using the power of the Spirit.

He knows from the ancient Credo of the Champion that he must tap into the power of the Circle of the Chosen to gain the full strength of the Spirit when he faces the Evil. How to do that is a mystery he must solve.

He has enough of the power to save a group of Protectors from the shapeshifters and they help prepare him. Then he employs it to destroy the Evil’s henchmen who control a powerful army sent by Haddonstone and they join his army on the way to Compard. Even with them and the warriors sent by the Giants, the Bernnaveld is badly outnumbered by the Evil’s forces. And Dameron doesn’t know how to combat the Evil.

The cover for the book will be posted once it’s ready and the launch will come in late October or early November.

More about Ultimate Wizard

My first two novels, Humanity’s Saving Grace and its sequel, A Biot’s Odyssey, are science fiction stories. Ultimate Wizard is a blend of science fiction and magic. However they all started with thoughts of what if and were driven by a desire to keep the stories as plausible and scientifically accurate as possible. While the first two have space travel and aliens, climate change and another human-like species is the backdrop to Ultimate Wizard.

Although Tolkien did much to put magic and fantasy on the literary landscape, it was the stories of Terry Brooks and Rick Riordan that led me to want to try combining sci-fi and magic, a small genre sometimes called science fantasy. In it magic is a force that requires special qualities to connect with but it can provide the right people with a tremendous boost to their own talents. But there are limits on how much a person can use and do with it.

While I hope someday to write a sequel to Ultimate Wizard, there are a few other novels I need to finish first.

So what is the Ultimate Wizard? Well without giving any too much of the plot, he or she is a long foretold Wizard who would elevate magic to a new level although the ancient Wizards who knew about the prediction have no idea how or when this could happen. Neither did they know about The Realm, engineers, doctors and other men and women around the world who possess skills well beyond their scientific training and natural abilities. They have no explanation for the range of their talents although one of them deduces magic might be an explanation.

They come to understand that magic is a life force but not any form of life they’ve previously encountered. While it can influence them, in the end it can’t tell them how to act. Their judgement must do that.

They are troubled by the numerous earthquakes, wildfires, volcanoes and other natural disasters that are afflicting all of the planet except Europe. However they can’t find the cause of them despite using their instruments to search deep underground. Then their member Judyth discovers Stuart, an engineer who has similar talents to the members of their group, and she must devise a way to find him and learn the source of his abilities. She’s not the only one searching for him. And he’s just the first surprise they’re in for.

Two weeks to launch! Dec 2nd at Books on Beechwood.

Ultimate Wizard coverYou’re invited to participate in the launch of my new novel, Ultimate Wizard, on Sunday Dec. 2, 2018 from 2 pm to 4pm at Books on Beechwood at 35 Beechwood Ave at the corner of MacKay St across from the Metro.

The story blends science fiction and magic in a story about a group of 20 to 30 year olds around the world who have abilities beyond their scientific training. It takes an encounter with a 300 year old Wizard to convince them they have tapped into magic. Then they have to use their abilities to stop a gang of disgruntled Wizards who are unleashing deadly storms and other calamities on Earth.

The photo of me holding a copy of the book with the cover was created by photographer neighbour Louise Imbeault.

Ultimate Wizard – Launches Dec. 2nd!

 

You’re invited to participate in the launch of my new novel, Ultimate Wizard, on Sunday Dec. 2, 2018 from 2 pm to 4pm at Books on Beechwood at 35 Beechwood Ave at the corner of MacKay St across from the Metro.

Binkley-Wizard FC

It blends science fiction and magic in a story about a group of 20 to 30 year olds around the world who have abilities beyond their scientific training. It takes an encounter with a 300 year old Wizard to convince them they have tapped into magic. Then they have to use their abilities to stop a gang of disgruntled Wizards who are unleashing deadly storms and other calamities on Earth.