No Marigolds Update

surface of mars

It’s weird. I just sent out Episode 1 in the newsletter with 2 due up this weekend and 1 to make a temporary appearance here on the site, yet I’m working on Episode 6.

No Marigolds in the Promised LandAnd 6 has brought us to Infodump Land. For some reason, John Farno has decided to explain warp drive vs. wormhole travel to whatever intelligence discovers his body in the distant future. This does nothing to forward the plot. It only explains how the hyperdrone Farno needs to access works. Or it’s supposed to, but Farno gets sidetracked talking about how humanity was on the verge of perfecting warp drive four hundred years ago when someone else found the first stable wormhole in existence. Interesting stuff. Great backstory. Doesn’t do much for my tale of interstellar woe.

Sometimes you have to write scenes you know will be cut, and by the time you read this, the infodump will have been cut.

What I did do was move this story ahead a few days. If I’d have kept up the pace of the first five installments, this would become a minute-by-minute account of this tale. And frankly, there are only so many times I can describe Farno taking a sponge bath and musing on dying in the low-pressure frozen hell that is Barsoom. And every two days, it’s the same thing. Travel the sensor road, find a flattened dome, contemplate mortality and survival, move on while listening to audio versions of the John Carter series. (Hey, the planet’s called Barsoom, so why not?)

The Martian, which was one inspiration for this book, quit doing that after a few chapters. Unlike The Martian, I will need to decide if I want the folks back home to discover this sooner rather than later. If later, it needs to be in one of the Compact Universe novellas that take place between Amargosa Trilogy volumes. I’ll probably go that route.

For now, I need to get Farno to a dome that did not vanish in a fusion blast. Either it will vanish another way or will be intact. And won’t that move things along nicely?

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