Plaudite, amici, epicus finitus est

Well, took less time than I'd thought, but I've finished rewriting my SF novel Faith of the Phoenix. It comes out to 336 pages, letter size 11-pt Times New Roman, 1-inch margin, or 571 pages in 9-pt trade-paperback size. Yes, I never do anything small, children. Now to get someone to edit it (probably my mother), and then to figure out how to get the thing published.

Ah, you ask, why that title? It has nothing to do with the Phoenix-as-Christ-image thing—which I hate. It has still less to do with the Order of the Phoenix (though the confusion of the two might sell my book for me, as Belloc hoped his Green Overcoat would with Baring's Green Elephant). Indeed, the Phoenix Society is the name of the bad guys of my book. Though if you ask my little sister, Dumbledore's plenty likely to strap a bomb to a 12-year-old (he gets seventh graders to fight an awful lot of his battles for him, and wizard brats are civilians, not trained black ops soldiers like in Naruto).

Faith of the Phoenix is a rather free and easy translation of the Latin Punica Fides, more literally Carthaginian (=Phoenician) trustworthiness. It's basically the Roman equivalent of "White Man Speak with Forked Tongue," because the Carthaginian honor-code only applied to other Phoenicians, while the Roman one applied to everyone (ideally, anyway; the Carthaginians didn't even try).

Betrayal of "outsiders" is a major theme of the book; too many modern thinkers (Communists, to name an obvious example), say one need only keep one's word, alliances, etc., with people who agree with one ("That which advances the program of Marx is alone good; that which impedes it is alone evil"), and more generally, that only those who serve whatever ideology have any rights.

The story is about a future where the humans have colonized many nearby stars, under the auspices of the UN (it's the same UN, though some of its rules are different), and they've run afoul of an alien race that's rather more of a stickler for the sanctity of promises. They're felinoids whose culture is sorta part Roman, part Medieval, and part Napoleonic. Now imagine if those people had to deal with our politicians...and had more advanced tech than us, and liked to fight as much as the Romans, medievals, and pre-WWI French.

So, after humanity got its nether regions handed to it, a guy starts a sort of "pretend we never lost that war we deserved to lose" movement, on this one planet, and kidnaps some of the aliens' citizens. The aliens dispatch one of their cops to find the victims (and whomp their kidnapper), and the story's about the cop meeting various people, his species, humans, and members of this other species with super psionics and a religion best described as Evangelical Heideggerianism. There's also one of his people who's been kidnapped (a cranky, not to say tsundere, computer technician who loathes humans, though she comes to like a few), a telepathic gunrunner who's been betrayed by the kidnapper-guy, and a girl whose family got killed when the aliens blew up the station they lived on, so she joined the bad guy. There's also an assassin droid and the alien emperor (most easily described as Tamaki from Ouran High Host Club meets Jacuzzi Splot from Baccano); those are the viewpoint characters, anyway—I got a cast of sodding thousands, dude. Major non-POV characters include other androids, the gunrunner's fiancĂ©e, another alien comp-tech (a boy this time), and several members of a revived samurai caste.

The humans've compromised between socialism and capitalism, with a thing called permanent employment (see the economic works of Hilaire Belloc); the aliens' economics is a mix of guilds (be seated—think of them as professionals' co-ops if you must) and Chesterton-style distributist agriculture (peasant proprietorship). Humans' politics are like their politics now, only usually worse (I know, I'm scared too), while the aliens' government's a militarchic democracy with a strong executive, called an Empire for convenience (political power's attained by military service, but anyone can be promoted from the ranks).

I also have dialog in two different, related alien languages, plus a third spoken by the existential evangelist aliens. Also in Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish, Korean, Cantonese, Mandarin, and two dialects of French. And mottoes in Latin! Keep yer shirt on, I translate when it matters.

Yoroshiku o-negai shimasu. Eventually.