What is Radial Drift?

Radial Drift is a novel that is currently in its third draft of many. The narrative is meant to be a contemplation of our humanity, and at what point that humanity is lost (as well as just catharsis through writing horror.)

It could be described as grimdark or “space noir”. For a short while I called it cyberpunk, but it’s more cyber than punk.

The plot of the story

Mankind has mastered the wormhole, and probes wander the galaxy. Two off-world colonies have been established; one is a subterranean colony on a not-quite-terraformed Mars, and the other is an overworld colony on a planet called Inos.

People have begun to upgrade their bodies in order to surpass the limits of their biology, and this radicalized a group of people known as the Purists. The state conveniently overlooks this radicalization, which caused a large number of people to lash out against the state. These people formed a group which is called (working title) the Red Salutem.

In the midst of colonization, interplanetary traffic and cargo, the Salutem raids cargo vessels in order to get resources and send a message back to the Mars Republic.

Yvonne Leske was one such person; when her vessel was raided, she lost everything. She’s been biding her time and biting the bullet for years, but now, she has set out on a personal vendetta to tear down the Salutem by any means necessary. She doesn’t want to “do the right thing” or to “contribute to the greater good”; she wants revenge, and she will stop at nothing to see the people that ruined her suffer.

This is her story.

Motive behind writing the story

Let’s start at the beginning of the evolution of this story. My first draft was written in a weekend, and was only 18,000 words (for reference, the typical fantasy novel has around 70,000 words — or so I’m told.) I’d been wanting to write the story of Yvonne Leske for a long time, and that story had been attempted in various forms and settings for a long time. The story was burnt into me, I felt it instinctively, on some basic level. Stories connect on a pre-neolithic level; they are the emergent property of our intrinsic fears, desires, motives; they can be complex and convoluted, but ultimately they boil down to a “relexification” of a person’s most basic elements. I felt the story of Yvonne Leske deep down in my soul, and I knew that I had to write it, one way or another.

As the story began to grow and develop, I began to realize that there was so much more to it than I originally intended; the more I wrote, the more it evolved. I had every plot outlined, yet I found that the story evolved organically and did not necessarily conform to my original outlines; constantly shifting, expanding, contracting, shedding old plots like an insect shedding its dead husk. Rewriting and rewriting and rewriting.

Radial Drift was always and is still intended to be the prelude to something much bigger. It’s too early to make any statements yet, but there are many things in my head that are set in the same “universe” as Radial Drift.

This isn’t some grand social allegory, though there are some lesser ones. The primary motive (beside those mentioned) is an attempt to represent the quintessence; deep pre-neolithic instincts, stripping away the husk of a person’s humanity — de-actualized, distilled to their most basic elements. Older than time, older than civilization, deeper than instinct. My intention is to represent this, channel this, connect the reader with this; the reduction of a person to their most basic elements. Strip everything away, what is left? This story is a contemplation of humanity; at what point is it lost? At what point is there nothing left?

When you can expect to see updates?

I do not write at a predictable pace. I can easily write ten or twenty thousand words in a week and then go months upon months without touching the project. I only write when I am “in the zone”, so to speak; if I am out of the zone, my thoughts feel “constipated” and it becomes extremely difficult for me to get words onto the page.

It will be done when it’s done. Unsure about the whole publishing world or how to find a good agent, but I’ll figure it out. Reddit is a good source of advice.

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