Last month I got to give a talk in Minneapolis where I was given Conan the Bar-Bear-ian in exchange for speaking. One of the attendees was sci-fi writer Stephanie Zvan, the author of the blog Almost Diamonds here on FtB. I had wanted to meet her for a while and was pleasantly surprised to find she gave amazing hugs.
I had hoped to get more time in the FtB back channel to get to know Stephanie, but alas I’ll not get the chance. Stephanie has just picked up a three-book series deal with Titan Books and decided to leave FtB to focus on her writing career. I think it’s a great opportunity for her. We all begged her to stay and blog, even if her posts were sparse, but she decided there just wasn’t enough time to do both up to the standard she wanted.
As much as we’ll miss Stephanie, she has already hit the ground running on her new series without blogging eating up her time. She’s already got an outline for the series and it looks awesome.
The first book is planned as an allegory to the injection of religion and politics in America. It will take place on a far away planet with an atmosphere that is rapidly crumbling. The crux of the story will be the battle for governmental resources to fix the problem between the planet’s scientists and the dominant religious cult who wants the funding for massive rituals they say will fix the atmosphere.
Book two will be an innovative work that will focus on a reluctant messiah in a pre-modern earth as he walks from place to place trying to convince an often skeptical populace that he’s the son of an ancient god of wrath. In this world there is a place of burning and anguish where the young man’s father sends every person after they die for failing to live up to his impossible standards. This god of vengeance, who possesses both an intellect incomprehensibly superior to the sum of all sentient beings’ and a sense of justice unequaled by humanity’s greatest heroes, repeatedly insists he’s being completely fair by roasting virtually each and ever person to ever live. Rather than turn against his father, the recalcitrant messiah must evade local law enforcement officials who wish to capture and kill him for his insolence as he wends his way throughout the region performing miracles for a select few and then counting on people who live thousands of years after him to differentiate his godhood from countless other tales of magic of the time based on nothing but indoctrination and guesswork, lest they wind up in the god of love/wrath’s everlasting oven.
The penultimate installment will follow a man by the name of Winston, a journalist in a dystopian future where one representative of the twelve “worker” colonies is selected every year to compete in a set of deadly games for a goblet of fire, with only one of them surviving – all for the entertainment of the elite caste of the World State.
And because sex sells, Titan Books has insisted that the fourth and final book must be erotic in nature. Though she is no longer with FtB, Stephanie still wants to help the atheist movement achieve visibility, so she’s elected to write a book about the sex lives of atheists as accurately as possible. The book will follow Jonathan Ersatz, a youth pastor who has recently let go of god. After deciding he supports the rights of gay people to marry, he concludes that there’s logically no reason not to indulge his human urge to dominate chickens, lamps, and pretty much anything else within fucking range without the looming punishment of god to keep him squared away. After gambling all his money away in a drug and alcohol-induced binge at the first casino he could find, Ersatz decides there’s morally nothing wrong with slaughtering his neighbors and stealing all of their pornography. The end will have a twist that could only be born of a mind as brilliant as Zvan’s: Ersatz realizes that he believed in god the entire time but just wanted to indulge his every perverse whim.
Stephanie has told us she’s excited about the potential to have a career in the erotica industry and has already pitched Titan Books on a fifth novel in the series. The opposite of the previous book, it will follow the lascivious escapades of a young, truly faithful couple who follow the bible to the letter. It will be one page long and is expected to set the world record for highest payout per word in literary history.
Head over to Stephanie’s post from today to wish her well and to let her know there are no hard feelings for leaving the network!