Fall & Rising by Sunny Moraine
This title is part of the Songs of Slipstream universe
Published by Riptide Publishing
Cover Art by Kanaxa
I’m Sunny Moraine and Fall and Rising is a story I’ve been trying to make happen for some time. On finishing its predecessor Line and Orbit, I knew Adam and Lochlan’s story couldn’t be over. I knew, in fact, that it was just beginning. In Fall and Rising I wanted to continue to explore their journey, as well as the ways in which their tumultuous meeting and the battle that followed have affected the people they love. In short, this was a world I wanted to return to. I’m very pleased that I was able to do so, and I’m very excited to share the result with you.
On this tour I’ll be talking about the process of writing the book and what it taught me about writing in general, the trials and tribulations of passing through the world of the story, some of the tools I used to put me into a place where I could tell that story, and some of why I wanted to write it at all.
I’ll also be giving away a signed copy of the print edition of the book, along with a set of two hand-made (by me) agate, copper, and glass beaded bracelets inspired by the world of Fall and Rising. Additionally, you’ll have a chance to win one of two e-copies!
Every comment on this blog tour enters you for the giveaway. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on September 5th. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Don’t forget to leave your email so we can contact you if you win!
It’s always interesting to return to a universe you’ve been away from for a while.
I wrote Fall and Rising over a period of months a couple of years ago. It was the second version of the book; I scrapped the first version because I didn’t think it worked and rewrote the thing mostly from scratch. So I wrote it, I was reasonably happy with it after some editing, and then I did two things: I put it away and didn’t look at it again for a bit, and I started sending it to places in the hope that they might offer to pay me money for it.
(It took a while for the latter thing to bear any fruit)
What that meant in practical terms was that I didn’t go back to the universe of Adam and Lochlan and their friends for a few months. I worked on other projects. I focused on other things. The universe was still there, rattling around in my head, and it was still accessible. I just didn’t go there for a while.
Then I (finally) sold Fall and Rising to Riptide – along with its followup and third book in the trilogy, Sword and Star – and I had to dive back in for the editing process to commence.
It felt strange. You know how you might have these places you know inside out, in which you feel very comfortable? But then maybe you leave them for a time. When you return, even if nothing much has changed in your absence, everything looks just a little bit off somehow. Your memory has shifted, and nothing quite matches what’s in your head. It’s almost like a kind of deja vu; you know you know this place, but you’re also not completely sure that you do. It’s familiar, but your feeling of comfort has been lost.
That’s what returning to this universe was like for me. I knew these places, these people, this history and this lore, but I didn’t walk back in with any particular ease. It took me some time to settle and feel comfortable again. I had to get reacquainted with the layout. I had to have conferences with some characters. So what’s up with you right now? What’re you doing? What’s your goal here, what are you hoping to get out of this?
It worked, it was fine, but there was a period of difficulty, and the only thing to do was soldier through.
I think this is something that often keeps writers from finishing long projects. I know it’s gotten in my way more than once. The fear that if you return to something you haven’t touched in a while, not only will it not be as good as you want it to be, but you won’t even recognize it. You’ll try to get back into that universe and you won’t know where anything is. You won’t know anyone. They won’t know you. You’ll get lost and no one will be inclined to help you out, and in the end you’ll just wander away having wasted your time, and feeling uncomfy.
I don’t think that’s an unreasonable fear. But as fears go, I try to remember that it shouldn’t stop you from trying. Because that universe is still inside you, and it is still yours. Your people will know you when you arrive. You’ll gradually remember where things are and how things work. It might not even be nearly as difficult as you imagined.
It might even feel like coming home.
Adam Yuga is on the run. Three months ago, a miracle saved him from the deadly genetic illness that threatens the entire population of his former home, the Protectorate. Now he and his lover Lochlan are searching for a way to heal his people. When they receive a mysterious coded message promising hope, they make a desperate grab for it, and are imprisoned—by the very race they want to save.
On Lochlan’s distant homeship, a young pilot named Nkiruka faces an agonizing choice: stay with her lover Satya and live a life of happy obscurity, or become the spiritual leader—and the last and only hope—for the Bideshi. Nkiruka doesn’t want to lose Satya, but worse, she fears she lacks the strength to carry anyone through the coming storm, let alone her entire people.
Threads of chance and destiny draw the three together. With the fates of civilizations in their hands, they prepare for a final conflict that might be their only chance for survival—or that might destroy them all.
Sunny Moraine’s short fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, Strange Horizons, Nightmare, Lightspeed, Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History, and multiple Year’s Best collections, among other places. They are also responsible for the novels Line and Orbit (cowritten with Lisa Soem), Labyrinthian, and the Casting the Bones trilogy, as well as A Brief History of the Future: collected essays. In addition to authoring, Sunny is a doctoral candidate in sociology and a sometimes college instructor; that last may or may not have been a good move on the part of their department. They unfortunately live just outside Washington DC in a creepy house waith two cats and a very long-suffering husband.
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The future isn’t an easy place to live. Humanity is split into two warring factions: one is determined to bring all of human-explored space under its control, and the other travels the stars in massive homeships, carrying with them the ancient stories and traditions their foes have rejected.
On the sparsely populated frontier, renegades, bounty hunters, and pirates maintain their own rule of law. Government is nonexistent. Ethics are a luxury. Greed is the order of the day.
And on the worlds unexplored by humankind lurk wonders and dangers beyond imagining.
One thing you can say for the galaxy, regardless of which faction you’ve chosen: life there is never boring.