Shine Cycle Précis: The Longest War: Introduction

The Longest War is the planned eleventh book in the “main line” of the Shine Cycle, following Universe in chronology. Today’s post is the first part of a brief introduction to it.

The Longest War, more than any of the other stories in the “main line” of the Shine Cycle, is a massive and sprawling narrative. In the current plan, for example, there are not one but three sets of “battles” that it only touches on that are to be described in much greater detail in their own books (more on those early next year).

It’s the story of a war that’s mostly “cold,” waged in any number of “theaters” as the Dragon Empire either invades a neutral or allied party directly or by creating proxies. It’s also, I think, the first war in which Gondolor, Tashere’s protégé, a human mage who defected to the Dragon Empire perhaps a decade earlier (of whom I hope to give you a “character profile” soon), takes a central role—the “coldest” periods of the war are the times when he is in one way or another temporarily removed from the picture.

I’ll summarize (as briefly as I can) my current view of the story’s plot as I have it from the Outline of History in later parts of this précis. But I’ve found that my strongest story concepts have come when I take those events and make them the framework on which a perhaps somewhat different story is built, so The Longest War might even turn into a collection of short stories set during this period, or something like that. (Short stories don’t seem very likely at present because I’ve never been able to produce something that short that really works, but anything could happen.) And future parts will also include mentions of principal characters and their roles, perhaps some themes that I hope to bring out, and (as always) where this story fits into the larger whole. So more in coming months … but if you have any comments or questions on this so far, I’d be glad to see and perhaps answer them if I can.


2 thoughts on “Shine Cycle Précis: The Longest War: Introduction

  1. Another person who can’t write short stories well? I’m glad to know I’m not the only one. ;) This sounds like an interesting story. Good luck with it, Jonthan!

    • Actually, the one piece of any length that I’m even remotely satisfied with that I’ve actually finished could at ~6300 words be described as a short story, though to me it’s more like a short-short-novel (and really needs to be expanded). So perhaps my apparent bent toward more expansive stories is merely a symptom of inexperience in the craft in general.

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