Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Night of The Falling Stars - by Steven Savile

It's never easy to talk about the genesis of an idea - especially  
when you are working toward creating something of *scope* that  
resonates with the reader while at the same time entertaining...  
because that is what it is all about, after all. Forget longevity and  
fame and all the rest, your reader chooses to lay down cash they  
could have spent on beer or cigarettes, movies, a nice chair or a  
latte down at the coffee shop, in other words anything that eats  
disposable income. They make that choice, your words over some other  
form of enjoyment, so it strikes me you owe it to them to make those  
words entertaining.
        Okay, rant over.
        So, about eighteen months ago I was on a nine hour drive back 
from a convention knowing I needed to come up with an original back- 
ground for this fantasy novel I wanted to write. I always thought it would  
be interesting to look at fantasy land where the hero hadn't crossed  
over in time to save the day - where he had refused the call to  
action and instead stayed home to grow old. What would have happened  
then to this fabled land of elves and dwarves and pretty maids?  
Nothing good, that's for sure... so that was the starting point, a  
world gone to hell because it's chosen one decided it wasn't worth  
the effort of saving them. Lee and I (my co-editor on Elemental for  
Tor) back and forthed ideas, having a blast simply creating. That's  
one of the drawbacks of doing stuff like Dr Who and Warhammer and all  
these other IPs, you get to exercise your writing muscles but your  
creativity ones begin to fester. The drive disappeared in a flurry of  
world building and by the end of it we'd essentially mapped out an  
entire world, elements of its past and future, and of the fall.
        Then like all good ideas it got to sit on a shelf for the best part  
of a year, building into something more.
        I wrote the first Thera story back in April, for Solaris' Book  
of Fantasy (The Song Her Heart Sang - It's a love story) and then a  
linked one for Meadowhawk Press' Touched By Wonder. When Ed asked 
me to do something for IMGS I knew I wanted to do something in Thera,  
giving one of the legends some life. Most stories tend to be written  
in coffee shops, this one was written on the plane to Croatia, in  
Dubrovnik and on a balcony in Markashka during a hurricane. Little  
bits of Bosnia (Mostar) and Dubrovnik snuck into the story in the  
architecture - which is always something I find difficult to do - I  
tend to just want to say it's a house, it's a place, it's a big shiny  
ball... and leave it at that, but surrounded by so many amazing  
constructs I knew I had to do the visual aspect justice this time.
        Late next year there's a mosaic novel coming out, The Machineries 
of Silence (Bad Moon Books) which will piece together more of the  
legends of Thera while I work on the first novel.
        All that remains is to thank Ed for his work on the piece, and my 
co-pilot on that long drive without whom the world would cease to be.


Alethea said...

Amen for Ed and copilots! :)

"Falling Stars" is such a great story.

Aliette said...

Yep, definitely a great story and I love the premise for the milieu--but I'd like to see what happens next...

Edmund R. Schubert said...

Steve is working on that, Aliette.