“Letters from the Airy Deep”, my third novel, is now published on Amazon! Click here to purchase the paperback version, or click here to purchase the ebook version. It’s also available to read on Kindle Unlimited!
Having begun this novel about two months ago, it feels great to have completed this project! Although not as rapid or frankly as enjoyable to write as my last novel, “Dear Future Me” was, I had a great time with it. The concepts in it stretched my mind and my writing prowess somewhat, and there is a certain ineffable satisfaction in bringing a world one created to life, as I did with Thalassa in this novel.
Letters from the Airy Deep: A Science Fiction Romance Novel
What is “Letters from the Airy Deep” about? Well, you could get a good idea from my blog post from when I started writing it, but if you’re in a hurry the description on Amazon will suffice:
It is the mid 21st century. In a world where man reached for the stars sooner than our own, a man and a woman enter the atmosphere of Thalassa, an ocean planet lit by the crimson glow of Proxima Centauri. The vanguard of a massive colonization fleet, they are but one of many expeditions exploring the new world. Traveling in their zeppelin through the skies of Thalassa, they become the first man and woman to experience the oxygen-drenched atmosphere, fifty times thicker than Earth’s at the surface, and its rich ecosystem full of birds, bugs, floating “gasbags”, and even floating airborne reefs, all far larger than their terrestrial counterparts. As they see, hear, smell, breathe, and even touch the wonders it harbors from the warm sunlight of the day side to the unearthly bioluminescent ambiance of the night side, their love for each other will blossom into a new ambiance of romantic passion. But even amid all the awesome wonders and new discoveries, the true prize of their quest is what the man has been training for from childhood, the greatest discovery of all time: first contact with alien intelligence. Will he, with his newly beloved woman at his side, meet his destiny? Their tale is told in these, their Letters from the Airy Deep.
If that intrigues you, at the risk of tooting my own horn too much I recommend you go buy it!
Heavy Worldbuilding: slower but worth It!
Although the actual writing took me almost exactly two months, having started on October 18, I first publicized the concept that would later become “Letters from the Airy Deep” in the same blog post in which I announced the release of “The Hunt for Count Gleichen’s Treasure”:
One idea I’ve had recently is to set novels and stories in the colonization of Thalassa around 2060 and later, a setting outlined in this blog post. That would be a fascinating environment to explore, and with a fleet of space habitats filled with thousands upon thousands of colonists there would be any number of stories to tell. A lot more worldbuilding would be required, though, so that might be put on the back-burner.
Well, from September to December I did do “a lot more worldbuilding”, and decided to tell a romantic first contact story. The result is “Letters from the Airy Deep”.
Compared to “Dear Future Me” it felt like I was trying to drive through thick mud sometimes, though the two month time to completion ended up being very similar to “The Hunt for Count Gleichen’s Treasure”. Much like “The Hunt for Count Gleichen’s Treasure”, I had to skip ahead to later parts of the story after I finished the beginning so as to keep moving at an acceptable clip. In both stories the middle was filled in last.
For any aspiring writers who are getting bogged down after the beginning, skipping to the end or to a scene that’s clearer in your mind is good advice. You don’t have to write it all in sequence!
I think the slower pace compared to “Dear Future Me” was due to the more intense worldbuilding that was required. Interestingly, I originally projected it would be 40,000 to 50,000 words, and as I got to around the 20,000 word mark I thought it might be even shorter, but the middle was more voluminous than I thought. The novel ended up weighing in at around 64,000 words, very slightly shorter than “The Hunt for Count Gleichen’s Treasure”, which also weighed in at around 64,000 words. “Dear Future Me”, my shortest novel to date, weighs in at 53,000 words. So what I thought would be my shortest novel ended up almost being the longest! I think it was the greater amount of worldbuilding-related content!
Science Fiction Romances: hitherto my Genre
All three have been love stories or romances, and although I didn’t fancy myself quite that much of a romance author originally, I have found that it suits me very well. At the risk of spoiling too much of the magic, a romance plot makes what would otherwise be a rather dull travelogue filled with nothing but worldbuilding exposition into a real story.
“Dear Future Me” is the closest I’ve come to a pure romance, being first dominated by the personal transformation of the girl protagonist and later on her passionate romance. “The Hunt for Count Gleichen’s Treasure” has much worldbuilding exposition and non-romance characters and in terms of the actual plot is dominated by the treasure hunt, not the romance, so it’s the odd one out of my three novels.
“The Hunt for Count Gleichen’s Treasure”, however, makes up for it with sheer numbers, with no less than four relationships involving seven different people, plus a fifth relationship, raising the count to nine people, if you count a marriage between two of the protagonists.
“Letters from the Airy Deep” is a bit in between these two extremes, being about equally dominated by the worldbuilding exposition and the romance. Non-romance characters don’t factor into it much, since there are really only two characters in the story: a boy, Ilmarinen, and a girl, Ilmatar.
There has been a steady trend of increasing sensuality from my first to my third novel. In part that’s because my last two books have had more a need for a satisfying consummation, but also that’s because I love writing passionate caressing, kissing, and even sex, though in none of those cases, especially sex, is it explicit or detailed. The feeling of making love and becoming one is the point, not the physical mechanics of the act. That will continue in subsequent stories.
One trend that won’t continue is the reduction in the number of characters. “The Hunt for Count Gleichen’s Treasure” featured many characters, and “Dear Future Me” featured fewer, ultimately being pared down to effectively two in “Letters from the Airy Deep”.
The next Installment of Adamas Nemesis Books
My best concept for my next story features a young man who was raised in isolation barring the occasional vacation or visitor making his way out into the wider solar system, joining a performing arts group that tours various space habitats and stations throughout the solar system, enabling him to live in the wider world and become truly educated. He’ll also find love and friendship there, establishing a strong foundation for manhood.
This new girl I’ve decided will have green eyes and long brunette hair, and be more spirited than the rather demure heroines of my last two stories. I’d also like to contrast them with a married couple that has a child with another on the way that are considerably more proper and demure but nevertheless serve as mentors. It’s something of a new combination and concept, one I find intriguing enough to want to try out.
I have one or two other ideas, but I think that’s the one I’ll pursue after my latest story. Much like “Dear Future Me” this story will be more character-driven, but will also provide some insight into the wider world my books take place in, which sounds like it might be fun.
If any of these three books sound like they might be fun for you to read, take a look at “Letters from the Airy Deep”, “Dear Future Me”, “The Hunt for Count Gleichen’s Treasure”, or even all three! A charming and delightful read could be just a few clicks away.