Next Novel: Introducing “Pathfinder”

Hello, dreamers.  Though beta reading for Wide Horizon is still in progress, as I’ve said the work of an aspiring novelist is never done. This being said, I am pleased to introduce my next novel: Pathfinder.

Pathfinder is a hard science fiction story set initially in 2094.  The story primarily revolves around the crew of Pathfinder 7: the first manned mission to another Earth-like planet, and focuses on Randall Holmes, a Canadian astronaut.  Unlike Wide Horizon, Pathfinder will be the first novel in a long series, collectively called When We Left Earth or Pale Blue Dot (the name of the series is tentative).  Also unlike Wide Horizon, the novel is intended to be hyper-realistic, and grounded firmly in science.

Pathfinder had its genesis as a fairly small part of my initial concept for the series, which stands as one of my oldest story ideas.  Originally, the first installment of the story was set in the late-23rd century, and indeed the events of Pathfinder, as with most other planned installments, emerged in my extensive background notes.

It is a common fact that all science fiction writers have at least one story that truly represents their vision of our future; how they honestly believe the future will play out.  For Gene Roddenberry, that story became Star Trek.  For Joss Whedon, it was Firefly.  Pathfinder, and its eventual sequels, represents mine.  As such, in planning out the story I was meticulous, ultimately generating countless pages of background notes, several star charts, and a massive (and constantly growing) list of technological concepts that I’ve dubbed the “Dotopoedia”.

Though the story began in the 23rd century, as I fleshed out the background, I began to find the history behind my story far more intriguing, and the first installment was repeatedly pushed back, until I reached the 22nd century.  It was there that I met my protagonist, Randall Holmes.

Randall Holmes is a very dynamic character, and relatably human.  Though he is a good man at heart, and means well, he is flawed, and becomes a polarizing figure in later installments.  By the time I set myself to writing When We Left Earth in earnest four years ago, I had settled on The Colony (since renamed Samarkand) as the first installment.  Set several years after the end of Pathfinder, by the time Samarkand begins Holmes would already be something of a legendary figure, and would have been introduced through historical interviews with fellow colonists.

The events of Pathfinder began as cursory background notes, intended mainly to help frame the character while writing The Colony, and at that point I’d figured this background story would perhaps serve as a prequel down the road, assuming it was ever written at all.  As it happened, The Colony went nowhere, and a year of banging my head off the idea yielded all of two pages.  Frustrated, I began taking a fresh look at my other concepts.  I soon came across the concept for Wide Horizon, and the rest is history.

Now, with Wide Horizon in the books, so to speak, I’ve decided that the time has come to put my most treasured dream on paper, and I’m very excited.

There will be more background on Pathfinder in the coming days, but for now I can only hope that my readers are as excited for this new project as I am.  Until next time, dare to dream.

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