The Cloud Riders: My Eighth Novel

Yesterday was the official book birthday of The Night Girl. Electronic copies officially went live on Amazon Kindle, and paperback copies should be available to better independent bookstores soon. If you want to order a paperback copy, go to your local indie bookstore and tell them to order The Night Girl, by James Bow, with the ISBN of 978-1942111634.

And if you like what you read, please say so. Leave a review on Goodreads or on Amazon, so that others can hear about this book and read it too.

Anyway, since restarting this blog after a long hiatus, it has been nothing but Night Girl, and I thought I'd change things up a bit by talking about other writing things that happened while I was blog-silent. The biggest news is that I have finished a second draft of my eighth novel, The Cloud Riders.

Cloud-riders-Pulp-O-Mizer_Cover_Image.jpgI actually finished a draft of this story back in March and then, after initial feedback, revised it to fine-tune the culture clash and provide a more satisfying resolution. The third draft has been finished (barring tweaking) since July.

The Cloud Riders takes place in the same universe as The Sun Runners where, in the early part of the 24th century, problems with the Earth's ecology from climate change catch up to and overwhelms the technology that has kept Earth amenable to human civilization. The Earth collapses hard, leaving the colonies on the solar system's inner planets basically on their own. Mercury (in The Sun Runners) is nowhere near self-sufficient when it comes to food, so they face starvation. Venus and Mars, which have the benefit of robot shuttles to maintain a modicum of trade, fare slightly better.

The Cloud Riders focuses on Samantha Dekker, a police cadet working to join the Venusian Police and Rescue Forces on one of the Uber-Zeppelins that circle the planet 55 kilometres above the surface. She has to cope with living in the shadow of her famous police commissioner father. Six years before, she'd started a pen-pal correspondence with a young man from Mars named Pandorian Anastas, and they talked throughout their teenage years before Pandorian suddenly went silent. Then, without warning, Samantha and her fellow students are forced to rescue an incoming ship that's fallen into Venus's atmosphere, and inside is none other than Pandorian.

The Cloud Riders is a lot more light-hearted than The Sun Runners, but I think the story tackles some interseting issues about how loyalty complicates family, friendships, and love, and the whole thing is a Country Mouse/City Mouse exploration of life on Mars and Venus when the Earth isn't around to anchor things.

It's also my longest manuscript to date, clocking in at 116,000 words -- longer even than the Sun Runners' 101,000 words, and I hope to chop that back in subsequent drafts.

In the meantime, I am engaged in rewriting The Sun Runners, and am over 45,000 words into the new draft.

By the way, you can create your own pulp cover like I did, thanks to the Pulp-o-mizer. Just click on the picture, or visit this site here...

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