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Dance of the Rings

Destinycloseup.jpg (26791 bytes) copyright 1999 Luis Royo

DAW Books, Inc.

 

After I'd finished the third Groundties book, I needed a break. Stephen's story is so intense, it was giving me his nightmares! So I thought: How 'bout a book about an adult with his act together! Maybe ... a fantasy! Wow. What a concept. I've been a fan of the Jane Austen/Georgette Heyer school of historical fiction since my high school days, and if I've ever based a character on anyone or anything, Deymio was based on the Corinthian (you should pardon the expression) archetype Heyer portrayed so beautifully. He rapidly took his own form and his own past, and (despite my best efforts) acquired Problems (their names are Nikki and Mikhyel), and my editor talked me into making him under 30 (just), but if you think of him as 35 or more, so much the better.

For the society, I wanted to avoid the medieval paradigm that a handful of authors out there write as if they'd lived back then, and I wanted to do something where the people have done the human thing and taken the "magic" to a practical conclusion (meaning some portion of the population was making a buck off it). The Rhomatum Syndicate of Nodes is probably most similar to the Greco-Roman style of mind-set and social structure, but there is no consciously constructed earthly paradigm.  Such a parallel would be, in my opinion, inherently flawed as the very basis for the technology (a powersource equivalent to electricity that also creates a detritus-free environment---the sewers very literally feed the power-supply) has no earthly equivalent. I took the power-source/magic, and a couple of basic premises, and worked the rest out logically from that point. Technologically, they're right on the brink of the industrial revolution, but the limitations of the powersource, whose effects are highly localized, has created a technological conservatism that has kept them from stepping across that line ... yet.

The "magic" in these books stems from that powersource. There are leylines networking all across the Rhomatum Valley and where these lines cross---the nodes---humans can tap the energy of the ley. They build Towers in which they house the rings that control and direct the energy flow, there are ringmasters to control the rings, and an on-going battle between those who consider the ley a magical gift of the gods and those who consider it a simple fact of nature to be tapped for whatever humankind can get out of it.

And just when they think they've got it figured out ... along comes Mother.

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starbar.jpg (10995 bytes)

Ring of Lightning

June, 1995
ISBN: 0-888677-653-8

Lightning.jpg (44128 bytes) Ring of Lightning copyright John Howe 1996

Anheliaa Rhomandi dunMoren, Ringmaster of Rhomatum is dying. Unless she finds a replacement, when she dies, the rings will spin out of control and the power umbrella that gives light and heat to the people of the city of Rhomatum will collapse, as will the power umbrellas of Rhomatum's satellite cities, the Rhomatum Syndicate of Nodes, and while Rhomatum can exist without her satellites, they cannot maintain control without Rhomatum. Obviously, Anheliaa's impending demise is of some interest to the ringmasters of the satellites. Historically, it has required a Rhomandi to control the Rhomatum rings. Unfortunately, her obvious heirs, her great-nephews, Deymorin, Mikhyel and Nikaenor, have displayed absolutely no Talent for controlling the great leythium rings.

This is not an ideal situation.

Anheliaa, being a rather arrogant sort, and a firm believer in keeping the control of the rings in the Family, so to speak, arranges to have her nephews provide her with an heir. Unfortunately for his well-being, but fortunately for my book, Deymorin takes extreme exception to her methods. Arrogance confronts bull-headed stubbornness and the resultant explosion catapults Deymorin into an adventure filled with lies and innuendo, a bit of politics, a touch of magic ... and a little invention that could blow a city-sized hole in a leythium-based economy: a battery.

Care to read a sample? Take your pick!

Ring of Destiny

December 1999
ISBN 0-88677-870-0

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