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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

GUEST POST: The Sentients of Orion by Marianne de Pierres

The Sentients of Orion series grew largely out of the appearance in my mind of the character Tekton - a self-proclaimed Godhead. The first few pages I wrote sprang straight from his POV and it was a strange experience to be plunged into the skin of an arrogant, intellectual elitist with a rampant libido and grandiose notions. From the outset, I knew he couldn’t be my main character because he was so unlikeable – yet he was too fascinating to banish.

Close on the heels of Tekton, followed the character of Jo-Jo Rasterovich, a perfect rat-bag and self-centred vagabond with a great sense of humour. Jo-Jo was both lovable and frustrating at once, and I felt like I’d known him all my life. I also understood instantly that he’d be there right at the end when the s… hit the fan. Jo-Jo was my anti-hero and I fell for him hard.

Having been introduced to these two challenging men, who’d escaped the dark recesses of my brain and taken over my writing life, I went in search of my true protagonist. After all, neither Tekton nor Jo-Jo were the kind of people you’d invite home to meet the family.

Mira Fedor was a bit hazy at first and it took one full draft of Dark Space to sort out her character. I think that was because I’d come straight from writing a cyberpunk trilogy narrated by a physically powerful woman – ie I still had a Parrish Plessis hangover. It took a full draft to excise Ms Plessis and let Mira find her feet. But when she did I learned she was actually much stronger than Parrish, much more resilient, much more determined.

As I wrote book one, I very much had in mind to start off with a tight focus; one woman, one problem, one planet. My idea was to mirror a ripple effect in the narrative – ie the flutter of a butterfly’s wings eventually causes the destruction of worlds (this is reflected in the book trailer made back in 2004 by Joffre Street Productions).  But of course this is Space Opera, and I had to also give hints in book one that the wider story would be there in time. Tekton and Jo-Jo and the presence of the mysterious ENTITY all contribute to that – but they are only teasers at first.

The wider story unfolds in the subsequent novels; Chaos Space, Mirror Space and Transformation Space. One reviewer described the series in this way:

[The Sentients of Orion is] set across an entire galaxy populated by ‘humanesques’ and other, more alien beings; the action veers from intense family drama to planet-wrecking destruction. It considers genetic engineering, religion, politics, personal responsibility and the different forms love can take. It’s both character and plot-driven, and the conclusion totally astounded me. This is a series that has changed my way of thinking about space opera, and the characters that populate it.

The series is ideas heavy, but those ideas are not spelled out. Look and you will find post-humanism, chaos theory, the nature of God, the relevance and politics of philosophy and Bifurcation theory all disseminated to the reader through the characters. You just have to invest in them before you get the pay off.

**The Sentients of Orion will be available in December 2012 for the first time in the USA in e-book format from E-Reads. The UK and Commonwealth Edition is currently available in paperback and e-book from Amazon UK and good booksellers. Read more about the series at Marianne’s website and the series website.

Read FBC Review of Chaos Space (II)
Read FBC Review of Mirror Space (III)
Read Impressions about Transformation Space (IV)

(Liviu) Overall, The Sentients of Orion is an excellent fast space opera series and hopefully the upcoming US release will raise its profile


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