Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Under the Ember Star

A week or so back I posted about a couple of scenes that had popped into my head from a new story. Both featured a female character who, at the time, I was thinking of calling “Ember Starr.” The character name didn’t stick, but it remains part of the title, and the character and scenes certainly did stick. I’m looking at this thing as a novella now, and have a potential market in mind. It’s largely a space opera, set on the planet Kelmer, which lies “under the ember star.” The character’s first name now is “Ginn,” and I haven’t decided on a last name. Maybe it’s not needed but I’m keeping my ear open for a good one. I’m leaning toward a short “H” name, like Hollis, so if anyone has a really cool, tough sounding suggestion I’d love to hear it.

Kelmer rotates around a red dwarf sun called Gatari, but which is almost always called the “Ember Star.” Life would not be possible on Kelmer without two huge artifacts in orbit that are called the “Collectors.” These amplify the sun’s low energy output and radiate it onto the planet’s surface. Because of these, the planet is fairly cold and dim, but livable, at least in many areas. There is a native race on the planet, although at a very low technological level because Kelmer largely lacks metals.

Ginn’s father was an astronomer who brought her from Earth to Kelmer so he could study the artifacts, which are alien in construction. He died in his search for the answers when she was 14, leaving her alone on this strange world. Eventually, the story will have Ginn solving the mystery her father couldn’t, though I have no idea what the solution is myself yet. That’s part of the fun of writing. But before Ginn can solve that mystery she has another mystery to deal with, a being who comes to hire her for a job who appears to be someone who could not possibly exist. And, it seems the local war/drug/crime lord wants the being dead. Action and violence ensue. You know I love ‘em.

Probably the closest influence on my story would be the Northwest Smith tales of C. L. Moore, or the novel The Sword of Rhiannon by Leigh Brackett. Both of these women wrote about male blaster-toting characters, so in their honor I’m writing about a female blaster-toting character. The work will be dedicated to them.

I’ll leave you with a brief passage from what I’ve done so far. This is the realization of the scene I described before for you, where Ginn wakes up with an apparently bad hangover. Not long after this a strange visitor arrives. And then all hell breaks loose.
****

Ginn tried to spit. And found she had no saliva. Then she tried opening her eyes. One of them worked. A moment’s rubbing got the other one open too. Her head ached. Even the dim sun coming through the skylight above her was too bright for her eyes, and the fact it was morning told her she’d slept a long time. She’d gone to Red Jac’s almost fifteen standard hours before the Ember Star was due to rise for its fourteen day reign.

Sitting up, she thrust blonde hair back from her face, let her bleary gaze take in her surroundings. She was at home, in her own bed. She’d managed to get off her light-lenses, boots, and blasters, but little else.
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29 comments:

Tom Doolan said...

Oh, man. This is gonna be good. :)

Paul R. McNamee said...

Sounds great, Charles!

Lana Gramlich said...

There's that "one eye" thing again...Strange, man!

Charles Gramlich said...

Tom, thankee, man.

Paul, I appreciate it.

Lana, yes, very weird.

BernardL said...

I think you have a winner, and I like Hollis for the name.

Deka Black said...

Space opera. Good! About the "H" thing...I'm with bernard. Hollis sounds good.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You know I like space operas! Like the working title.

Charles Gramlich said...

Bernardl, I like Hollis. It doesn't seem perfect though. Not like Josh Allen Boone or Ruenn Maclang.

Deka, that's my inside track name so far.

Alex, thankee. I'm a sucker for those old types of titles.

Carole said...

Sounds very good. I do not have a good last name that starts with an H so Hollis seems fine. I do hope you find the perfect name.

Travis Erwin said...

Good stuff. can't wait to read more.

Ron Scheer said...

Single names are good. But if you need a last one, how about Fizz?

David J. West said...

Looking forward to it.

Hanny said...

Hollis sounds really natural--I'd keep it.

Travis Cody said...

Harker.

That just flowed as I read the name Ginn. I pronounced Ginn with a "j" sound, but I think Harker works OK if it's Ginn with a hard "g".

Randy Johnson said...

Looking forward to this one.

Vesper said...

I love it, Charles! Yeah, it does sound great. A cool girl.

...though I have no idea what the solution is myself yet. That’s part of the fun of writing. - I couldn't agree more!

Halley Harley Harper...

Charles Gramlich said...

Carole, I may no even need a last name the way the story is going.

Travis Erwin, I will be posting more about it as I go along.

Ron Scheer, I've never had a Ginn Fizz. :)

David J. West, thankee.

Hanny, It does seem to flow with the first name.

Travis Cody, I like that. Harker. It's got the hard K sound that is good. I am figuring it's Ginn with a "j"

Randy Johnson, I figure you like Moore and Brackett so maybe it'll be something you'll enjoy.

Vesper, harley is nice. I may have to try that one on for size.

Cloudia said...

You have a Verne mind!




Warm Aloha from Waikiki


Comfort Spiral

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laughingwolf said...

go for it, charles... no need for another name for her!

Charles Gramlich said...

Cloudia, that's a pretty good compliment. Thankee.

Laughingwolf, probably not.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Ginn Hollinger popped into my head. Like the repetition of consonants. Sounds terrific.

Charles Gramlich said...

Patty, I like the H and L sounds with that. nice.

Richard Prosch said...

I like Patti's suggestion, or maybe a three word name. Ginn Lynn Hollis or something like that. Sounds like a cool story!

ivan said...

Good plot.

Myself, I plot like I make love-- badly.

My feeling for the heroine's name, is that it should be Amber Starr-- somewhat translucent, permanent,sort of a reflection
of the Big Ember that she is under.

Charles Gramlich said...

Richard, hadn't thought of the three name thing. That actually has a nice flow to it. May be late in the book when she gives the three. Good idea.

Ivan, I toyed with the Amber, but I was afraid the title and the focus on the sun would interfere with the readers' ability to keep the character and the sun separate.

The Golden Eagle said...

I can't really think of any other H names--but I think "Hollis" is good.

I love the excerpt you posted!

Steve Malley said...

Ooh, gotta love that feeling when you're hot on the trail of a good story thread... Jealous! :)

Charles Gramlich said...

Golden Eagle,yeah it sounds pretty good.

Steve Malley, it's good huntin' :)

Kate Sterling said...

Good stuff, Charles! I'm excited to see where this leads.