Normally, I am not the kind of writer who shows favoritism towards his books. It is like choosing which of your children you love more. If I was forced to choose, I would say that my favorite of my books so far would be Numen the Slayer. Out of all the books I have written, none of my other books had as many moving parts, actual world building, and characters I really like. Also, none of my other books have been edited as often as Numen the Slayer, which further refined and perfected it in ways my other books never were. Finally, it has more reviews than any of my other books and 80% of my readers enjoy it according to GoodReads. It would be fair to say that Numen the Slayer is the crown jewel of my writing career so far.
After the trailer for Rise of Skywalker, we received confirmation that Emperor Palpatine AKA Darth Sidious will return from the dead after Return of the Jedi. I did a lot of brainstorming on how this is possible and I think I may have reached a conclusion. There are a number of ways that the Dark Lord of the Sith can return. In the Dark Empire comics, Palpatine was able to cheat death by transferring his essence into a clone body. I think Disney has been drawing inspiration from this for the sequel trilogy. What if Supreme Leader Snoke was not an original character at all? What if he was Palpatine’s essence inside of a failed clone body? After Kylo Ren killed Snoke in The Last Jedi, what if Palpatine’s essence transferred itself to another body whose whereabouts are unknown? Also, after his death, Palpatine sent a number of messenger droids to specially selected Imperial officers with posthumous orders in case he died prematurely. By the end of the Galactic Civil War, the Empire was in the process of mass producing these messenger droids. Instead of a recording, what if one of those droids actually became Palpatine’s host? Even though Palpatine may not be able to call on the Force with a droid body, he would still have his devious and cunning intellect that would allow him to manipulate events from behind the scenes. Finally, Palpatine’s Master was Darth Plagueis the Wise, who was a Sith Lord who mastered ways to cheat death. Even though Plagueis failed to save himself from death, Palpatine must have perfected his Master’s research and found the secret. Hopefully, we will find out soon.
We often think of the infinite possibilities of alternate timelines. With each new possibility, the multiverse grows. What if there was an alternate timeline where superhumans exist? For my new superhero series, I am thinking of creating an alternate reality. In our timeline, the first true superhero, Mandrake the Magician, was created in 1934. With this in mind, what if in this alternate reality, the first superhuman appeared in 1934? If such a thing happened, a lot of historical events would have turned out differently. First, the concept of the superhero wouldn’t be invented yet. Second, World War II, Cold War, Vietnam War, Korean War, and the Iraq War would have all turned out differently. Different regimes would rise to power, other regimes would become stronger, and other regimes would crumble into nothing with the rise of superhumans. With superhumans being the ultimate modern weapon, American imperialism will increase to a degree that hasn’t happened in our timeline. This will result in a completely different 2019, where the United States becomes the dominant superpower in the world with a dozen lesser regimes scattered across the globe. This will be similar to Watchmen in two aspects: First, the story will take place in an alternate timeline. Second, America will rely on superhumans to make their nation the most powerful on the planet just as America did with Doctor Manhattan in Watchmen. This provides me with lots of historical and political inspiration to work with and it makes me so giddy!
As superhumans rise, a new ability to wage war is brought into the world. With each new innovation, the rules of warfare change. When guns and cannons were invented, they made swords and plate armor obsolete. When the atomic bomb was invented, it introduced the ability to destroy entire cities and wipe entire countries off the face of the Earth. If superhumans become real, a new commodity would be introduced to battlefields and arms dealers across the planet: living weapons of mass destruction and super soldiers! Such an arsenal would make a nuclear warhead look like a firecracker and an army of human soldiers look like toy soldiers. Also, a new form of human trafficking, slavery, and kidnapping would be introduced to the streets and arms dealers and corporations grow fatter and richer off the suffering of their superhuman victims. That will be one of the main themes my new superhero series will revolve around.
I am a rather dark idea for my new superhero series. What if the rise of superhumans was the result of a global epidemic? Where would such a virus come from? How many normal humans would die to give rise to superhumans? I am thinking of drawing inspiration from the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic, which resulted in the deaths of five percent of the world’s population.
I went through two potential drafts of my third fantasy book, but none of them were satisfactory. Tonight, I started the third (and hopefully last) draft of my third fantasy book. I finished the prologue and started the first chapter. I am relieved by this because for terribly mysterious reasons I lost my drive to write squat for several weeks. I had the entire story all planned out, but I temporarily lacked the drive to write so what I was experiencing was not writer’s block; it was something else. I look forward to continuing the writing process and hopefully get a decent amount of work done before the summer is over. Wish me luck!
In The Grand Tour, the boys try to break a water speed record by building a fast amphibious car that they called the Pond Bug. James May and Richard Hammond were in charge of building the car while Jeremy Clarkson was the driver. However, James and Hammond ended up making the car’s controls mind-bogglingly complicated. Later, it was revealed that James and Hammond purposely made the Pond Bug a death trap and it failed to kill Jeremy. The boys get a lot of things wrong and they can’t even get a death trap right.
A couple days ago, I discovered something interesting about 15th Century Italy. The various cities of Italy from Florence to Rome were governed by a special class of noble families. These noble families ran the wealthiest banks in all of Europe and the wealthiest and most powerful of these families was the House of Medici. The Medicis started out as a family of humble bankers, but with each generation their wealth grew along with their power. After spending several generations as bankers, the Medicis swiftly rose through the medieval pecking order and became the undisputed rulers of Florence as Dukes of Florence. Their influence was so great that a few of their family members became Popes and Queens of France. At the zenith of their power, the Medicis ran the mightiest bank in all of Europe. With their wealth, the Medicis possessed the resources to influence events throughout Europe. However, the more their wealth and power grew, the more enemies they made, which included the Borgias of Rome. The Medicis are a prime example of how wealth can give you all the power and influence in the world if it is used and managed wisely.
It has come to my attention that the original setting for my new superhero series was way too extreme and impractical. I am thinking of redoing the setting so that it is more down to Earth and realistic. This will require some extensive planning, but I am up for the challenge. Instead of it being a space opera that takes place in a space station orbiting the Earth, I am thinking of making the setting an alternate version of the United States. In this alternate reality, the United States will be turned from a democracy to a fascist monarchy. At some point in the future, a President changed the law so that there would be no elections and that the President serves for life before being replaced by one of his relatives. I have plenty of inspiration for such a setting because I have a strong feeling that such a thing could happen if the occupant of the Oval Office is not held accountable. Essentially, this new superhero series will be less like Star Wars and more like V for Vendetta.
One of my favorite episodes of Season 3 of The Grand Tour is when the boys drive from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea. Along the way, they visited the birth place of Joseph Stalin, Gori in Georgia. In the town was a Stalin museum, which included Stalin’s childhood house. While looking through the house, James May (the slowest man in the world) accidentally broke Stalin’s house and thought he was going to the Gulag.