There is a link to Amazon for the title book in the line above this. Additional links are provided to original short stories involved in the development of the title book in the description of each story below.
Insecticide is the story of a bipolar planet. Bafwique is shattered into two planets by a meteorite. Civil wars, genocide, deception, exploration, and other struggles on and between the two planets lead to a search for a new home for the Clurn.
INSECTICIDE began as a 4,200-word story. I suspect it was written sometime in the mid-1980s.
Even before I signed the contract to have Traveler’s HOT L published, I’d submitted a manuscript titled RIFTS to two publishers. Neither responded favorably, so the book became my first CreateSpace publication.
The photo below illustrates the similarities between RIFTS and INSECTICIDE. Both are iterations of the same manuscript.
The cover is the work of Alison Long, one of my students at Great Oak High. She is the model for Alis’o of Bafwique, artist spouse of Sar’a, one of Bafwique’s military heroes. In real life, Sarah Victor is Alison’s best friend. She’s also a brilliant researcher at UCSD.
The original INSECTICIDE ended with the main characters—giant insects—leaving a planet they’d hoped to invade after a crushing defeat. I’d considered having the invaders win, so I wrote ending #2, where they defeat the inhabitants by using a chemical to suffocate them. Both those endings are reprised in the novel.
RIFTS became the title after much soul-searching. Ultimately, this was the rationale I used to change the title.
Part 1 begins with the splitting of a bi-lobed planet into two words by a meteorite strike and records the formation of two distinct Clurn cultures. (RIFT #1) The Clurn on the half of the planet now called Narxon, are a militaristic society implement a plan to regain control of what they consider to be “their true home,” the other half of the original planet, still known as Bafwique.
Part 2 chronicles an invasion of Bafwique by the Narxonians. (RIFT #2) A civil war between invaders and the native Bafwiqueians follows the invasion. (RIFT #3) Part 2 ends with the reconciliation of the two Clurn civilizations.
Part 3 records events of the two millennia following the reconciliation. Included in this part are the search for, the location of, and the subsequent invasion of the planet designated as the new home of the Clurn. (RIFT #4)
This unconventional history ends on the bridge of a Clurn Colony Quest class space vessel as it first arrives at The Blue Planet. The Clurn appear to be defeated by dominant life form—bipedal mammals known to the local arthropods as humans. Bowed, but not broken, the Clurn retreat to Bafwique, regroup and return to The Blue Planet with renewed conviction and unique weaponry. Their goal is simple: rid the Blue Sphere chosen as the replacement for Bafwique of its human inhabitants.
The eradication of the humans from The Blue Planet disturbs the indigenous arthropod population, which begins to plan its own resistance movement for the time the Clurn return en masse. (RIFT #5)
It is a clever device. It’s also totally worthless as a sales pitch. I did a search on Amazon after this book had been published for over a year. RIFTS generated over 4000 items. My book appeared on page 100 of the search.
I searched for INSECTICIDE. There were two entries. Both were pest control items.
I switched the title.
In the original short synopsis, from which the blue text above was taken included this, too.
The account of an alien conquest of humans, RIFTS backfills the story of an expedition of the alien race known as Clurn as they search for and “conquer” a new homeworld after it becomes clear that the sun is dying. Researched with the help of the Intergalactic Alliance Archives, RIFTS includes nearly thirty source documents that support the narrative.
It’s still true. When I changed the name, I reorganized the front matter and deemphasized the book as what I’d originally called “an unconventional history of a planet.” The new emphasis is on the story. The source documents are still there—they were too cool to toss.
The next stop on this tour is Part 2 of this description. Details on inspiration and a glimpse at how the story now overlaps a soon to be published short story are the highlights.
My website is: www.crdowning.com
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