The Shine Cycle is my magnum opus (emphasis on “big”), a planned series of mythopoeic fantasy novels. It is a story that primarily spans two continents of an invented world (though at times stretching to other worlds and even other universes) from their beginning for over two hundred years. And running through it, and occasionally surfacing in the stories I feel called to tell, are the threads of the individual stories of dozens of characters from our world who abruptly find themselves there, and make their mark on the their new world. Most of the actual text—that is, the fiction itself—is posted only in private documents shared with individual readers helping me revise, but much of the background material and some stories will be posted here. A background essay is posted on this blog most Mondays.
In June, 2011, because I hadn’t given a proper introduction when I began this blog, I reintroduced the Shine Cycle (and then, in later posts, the rest of my work). And in November 2012 I looked back over that year’s posts about the Shine Cycle, as I did again a year later.
Because of the scope of the project, for now I’ve been trying to put more effort into the structure and background of the series than into writing any one part of it. I really don’t want to have a character in two places at once (according to the accounts in two different books) or an event to be described by two books as happening entirely differently, and so I’m trying to work my way through the entire series in outline first, and get to the details of each story later. (Though I am working on actually writing, and revising, a few of the individual stories.) And I’m trying to develop a general outline of each major character’s history, so that I never end up needing a character to be where she wouldn’t be. I want everything to make sense, preferably the first time I write it.
For reference, you can read the outline of the planned series, including a high-level summary and précis of individual planned volumes of the saga.
I’ve posted many background essays over the past few years. Those having to do with the culture, government, settings, races, etc. and with technology, “applied metaphysics,” and so on are listed on their own page, as are posts about my projections of our world’s future history for use in the series and profiles of possibly-important characters, each consisting of a one-paragraph “entry,” a description, and an outline of the character’s history in the Shine Cycle universe.
I posted a political map of the two continents on which most of the story is set.
And I’ve posted some of my prose here:
- My longest completed work that I think is presentable, the short story “A Murder, A Mystery, and A Marriage” (which, after revision, I called “The Adventure of the Royal Wedding”): parts one, two, three, four, five, and six.
- Another short story, “A Backwater Rebellion”: parts one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, and fourteen.
- A short story, “Ithaca” which I’ve also adopted as the first chapter of my novel Sunshine Civil War.
- Several excerpts from An Internal Conflict, including the prologue that introduces Persephone, the introduction of Elaine and Persephone’s first Academy chapel service.
Progress on development has been slowed by difficulties, now apparently eased, with revising the timeline.