William C. Tracy is joining us with his novel Facets of the Nether. Here’s the publisher’s description:
The Dissolution approaches.
Sam has saved the Assembly of Species, but at a terrible cost. Locked in his apartment, his memories gone and his best friend abducted, he is once again crippled with anxiety. Meanwhile, Enos struggles to free her brother from imprisonment, alone for the first time in her life. Her true species has been revealed, and there are hints the deadliest of her kind survived an ancient war.
But the Nether contains more secrets. A musical chime disrupts daily life, signaling changes to its very fabric. To solve this mystery, Sam must face his anxiety and confront truths about his memories and unique abilities. Only then can he save his friends from the machinations of the Life Coalition, by understanding the reality behind the Facets of the Nether.
What’s William’s favorite bit?
WILLIAM C. TRACY
Facets of the Nether is my first real “second book.” I’ve written ten or more books in total, but this is the first time I’m directly continuing a story, and developing the same characters on a larger journey. I’ve found one of my favorite bits in writing The Next Part of a story is that I get play with all the myths and legends I set up in the first book. Not only do I get to reveal more, but I also get to turn the expectations the characters have on their heads. In the first book, there is an ancient shapeshifting species that has been extinct for a thousand years after an intergalactic war. Except, maybe they’re not all extinct. But still, no one knows what they look like. In the second book, I get to reveal early on, that not only does the species still exist, but oh yeah, some of them have been held captive for quite a long time. Read on for a few tidbits from the first time everyone sees one of these beings:
They separated, and Enos saw they’d been hiding a small metal cube between them, the outside carved into twisting designs. It only came to their knees, and Sathssn were not a tall species.
“The Aridori, it is in here,” Zsaana said.
A tendril grasped the edge of the box from the inside. The head that rose from the knee-high box was dark and iridescent, but unformed.
One hundred thousand beings inhaled.
The head had form now, shining black, with a pronounced snout. The body was bare, with scales that transmuted in the light from the walls, shifting from green to purple, to green. Long arms grasped the sides of the box and pulled the form up, as if rising from a shaft beneath the box. That tiny volume could never hold the being that came from it, but it rested on the faintly glowing—and impenetrable—floor of the Nether. The body had been compressed into a tiny cube.
“This, it is an Aridori,” Zsaana said. “A form not seen in a thousand cycles.”
If not constrained, would the Aridori have sprung forward and started killing? That’s what the tales from the Aridori war said, when they were supposed to have massacred thousands, maybe millions of beings.
The Aridori made no other move, save to step fully from the box, their iridescent scales vibrating as if in a breeze. Their long fingers, black or deep blue like the snout, were clasped in front of their belly. They looked at peace. Their head swiveled to take in the multitude of people sitting above them, fleshy ears surrounded by curls of hair and twisting and turning like a cat’s. The wide nostrils at the end of their snout flared.
“We have a much larger problem,” Majus Ayama said. “Don’t you see? The Life Coalition has more than one Aridori. Maybe a whole army.”
The story develops even more. Not only are some of the Aridori still around, but maybe the story that everyone knows, about how they started a war and tried to kill everyone, isn’t entirely correct either? Just as in our history, tales passed down from hundreds of years ago get muddled, and can be very misleading when not alongside factual records from the time. Even then, the records may not be all that accurate.
This book isn’t the end of the story. Facets of the Nether will be followed in a few months by Fall of the Imperium, and as you can probably guess from the title, yes…bad things happen, and some of them have to do with this ancient extinct species that isn’t as extinct as everyone thinks.
So why not go on a wild science fantasy space opera ride, with lots of LGBTQ+ friendly species, genders, and sexualities? If you haven’t read the first book, check out the post I wrote for The Seeds of Dissolution on a previous My Favorite Bit and read up on how I starting putting a lot more diverse characters in my writing. Then if you’re ready, jump on in and learn the real meaning behind the Facets of the Nether.
William C. Tracy writes tales of the Dissolutionverse: a science-fantasy series about planets connected by music-based magic instead of spaceflight. He currently has seven books released, including an epic space opera starting with The Seeds of Dissolution, and continuing with Facets of the Nether and Fall of the Imperium (forthcoming August 2020). The trilogy includes many LGBT-friendly elements.
William is a North Carolina native and a lifelong fan of science fiction and fantasy. He has a master’s in mechanical engineering, and has both designed and operated heavy construction machinery. He has also trained in Wado-Ryu karate since 2003, and runs his own dojo. He is an avid video and board gamer and reader.
In his spare time, he cosplays with his wife as Steampunk Agent Carter and Jarvis, Jafar and Maleficent, and Doctor Strange and the Ancient One. They enjoy putting their pets in cute little costumes for the annual Christmas card.
Follow him on Twitter for writing updates, cat pictures, and martial arts.