So, let's party.
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Science Fiction
Rating: R (for some sexually explicit talk and scenes, violence, and some swearing
Themes: Reincarnation and spirituality (of the agnostic kind), sexuality, overpopulation, determination, and extreme loyalty
Symbol: Gold butterflies
Premise at start of series: With a core plot that spans over two nearly twenty-five-hundred years, CROSS// (a title that represents "crossing" over into other ventures, ages, and lives), brings both immortals and mortals together in an intergalactic war for the right to exist. With the Void - the source of all spiritual life in the universe - on the verge of collapse, a pair of sorcerers and a group of Earthlings are charged with bringing spiritual balance back to the universe.
There are a total of seven novels planned for this series: five are part of the "main" series, while two are prequel novels, as listed below.
Subtitles - Main Series (modern day Earth)
1. Rebirth (finished, editing final draft, publication in 2013)
2. Revenge (completing first draft)
Subtitles - Prequel Series (extraterrestrial, takes place 2000 and 1000 years before now, respectively)
2. Process (completing first draft)
Chronological order includes the "Pro" novels before "Re" series. Suggested reading is Process between Regress and Repent, and Prophet between Repent and Release. Which leaves the planned publication order of:
Or at least, that's the order I believe they should be read in for the "full experience".
I always write about death, whether or not there is such a thing as a "soul" (I don't believe it in real life so much, but it's something I explore in writing), and making sure either whole planets or entire cosmic entities are in dire peril. Unless the universe is about to implode and only two or three people can save it, I am just not happy. Of course CROSS// represents these themes the best out of all my works thus far. I pretty much take three people and say "here you go" and give them a broken universe to fix. And it's the best fun I've ever had writing.
There are two distinct settings in the series (not counting the prequels), and both are in the present day (Rebirth starts in May, 2007, and Release ends somewhere around autumn 2011/2012, I haven't decided yet.) The main setting is a parallel universe version of San Francisco (where military bases meet queer capitals meets this author's west coast sensibilities). The other is a multi-planet enterprise referred to as simply "The Federation", with a female president and a female military commander. In the Federation, (and likewise on Earth, although of course many Earthlings do not know it) there are "humans" and then there are cousins of human breed...but with extras. The main race are the julah, the oldest living humanoids who live for thousands of years as sorcerers and are the keepers of the status and the secrets of the "Void"...which is where everyone goes when they die (and from whence they originally came.)
The Void is an extra-dimensional...well, void. All spiritual life originates here and manifests in "our" (remember, it's a parralel! :P) dimension as human bodies that are born and die. When not in a body, such as in the Void, souls take on the incarnations of golden, translucent butterflies. There is no "God" known to have created this, and the julah do not believe in or preach of any gods. The Void simply is. However, at the start of the series, there is a julah Head Priestess who now lives in the Void as its caretaker and as the ambassador to the living.
Every living person is under the jurisdiction of one of three "statuses" of their soul. They are:
Normal - The body is the only body the soul has inhabited. These make up almost the entire population of life in the universe.
Reincarnated - During the "first" natural life, the soul went through some severe trauma that was never recovered from or reconciled by the time of death. The soul then rebirths itself into a new body. The person may have similar traits and feelings as they did in their first life, known as "residue", but will retain absolutely no memories of their past life.
Processed - The soul, at the time of death in the first life, enters the "Process", or a cycle of rebirth that only ends when a promised goal is achieved. The person will be almost identical, even genetically (as much as permitted) to their original incarnation. They will retain memories of their first "original" life, as the current life is considered merely an extension of the original life. Souls can only be put into the Process by highly skilled Priests of the Void. Those put into the Process together will always be reborn near one another.
Likewise, planets also have a "soul", but not in the same sense as humans. It's more a failsafe to keep planets afloat. The soul of a planet is broken into five pieces, or "Points", and scattered around a specific area. These Points may take the form of gems, books, jewelry, clothing, or anything deemed "discreet". Points can change their form, although only after certain periods of time to keep up with the ages of the lifeforms inhabiting the planet. If the Points are all brought together and destroyed by a "detonator", then the planet will cease to exist and everyone still on it will perish. Not explode, not deconstruct...just cease. And the universe will correct itself around it. (yay fantasy!)
Before the first novel (Rebirth), two ex-Priests of the Void, Ramaron Marlow and Nerilis Dunsman, argue over whether or not Points actually exist. Next thing Lord Marlow knows, his once best friend and confidant has lead to a planet "ceasing to exist' (guess what, points exist!). This leads Marlow to chase Dunsman around the universe in a quest to stop his terror. Eventually Dunsman targets a planet with life on it, the mercenary colony of Cerilyn. Marlow hires two of the planet's best mercenaries, Sulim di'Graelic and Sonall Gardiah, to collect the planet's Points before Dunsman has the chance to destroy Cerilyn and kill hundreds of thousands of people. They fail and are sent into the Process.
The series begins on Earth, where Sulim and Sonall are reborn into their 98th (yes, you read that right) incarnations.
The three main characters of the main series are Danielle Cromwell (once Sulim), Devon Anderson (once Sonall), and Miranda Hotler. While of course they are approached by various factions to deal with the state of Earth, a majority of the series is about their own personal spiritual issues, their sacrifices, their stubbornness, their romances, and how the three of them are really and truly connected to one another. There is a whole cast of characters including their friends and lovers, and of course, Marlow and Dunsman using them all as pawns in a galactic battle of chess, but in the end the story is really about these three people who were forced into the hero role, like so many other stories. Meanwhile, the reasons behind Dunsman's destruction are explored, because how can I not make some big comment on society with a story this big. =P
It's pretty much no secret that I play the Sims 3, and that I pretty much only play novel characters in Sim form - and out of those, I pretty much only play my CROSS// characters anymore. It's some of the most hilarious fun ever. I've gotten some great new character and plot point ideas just from letting the game play on high AI!
|You'd never guess that Danielle was once a Junior Rodeo Champion|
|...or that "Somebody's" daughter actually had a personality. Huh. I should work on that.|
If nothing else, I'm just glad I now have a post dump to link to in relevant other posts. So ha! (brb, gonna go play some sims instead of editing. Oops.)