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Eight Nation Army

Apparently, my blog is no longer banned in China. I feel hurt. I probably ought to write something to get myself barred again.

Instead I'm continuing with the strange world of time to spend: learning French; being attacked by S├ębastian; trips to Dublin and a very ugly deadline in the day job. I'm starting to faf about with version 4 of the lair, with the design moving on a bit. Digging about in the 7 or so A6 notebooks and the big A5 notebook for Warring States minutae, I did find the deliberations on its title.

Like all my novels, it starts life called The Time is Now. It's a placeholder name but it does reveal a little something about the thinking behind my 'historical SF'. I think it's as possible for a historical novel to be a commentary on contemporary culture as the more obvious utopian/dystopian future SF works are. Although I'm not really sure I write SF at all but that's another thing.

After a while, as I researched the time period and the interplay of the different empires for power, I came across the idea of The Great Game. This is the battle for power over the Himalaya region between the British and Russian empires, which China on the edge. The Legation enclave, the area of Beijing given over to the Legations of the foreign powers was a microcosm of this Great Game.

It still wasn't quite right, and Lawrence, the editor, wanted to have a link to the other Faction Paradox novels (The Town Will Never Let Us Go, Of the City of the Saved, Warlords of Utopia). There's another nice little running gag between the novels, running forward into Erasing Sherlock, which I'm not going to reveal. But it meant my final title should involve a larger political structure than a utopia.

LM would like something involving kingdom or land or country to fit with the town-city...progression. STATE? NATION? EMPIRE.
The Middle Kingdom
State of ? (Play? Mind?)

Seven Nation Army?
Spirit State?
Spirit Nation?
Righteous Harmonious Fists?
Ancestor Worship
Ancestral Something?
Kingdom of the Ancestors
Eternity something?
Eternal Kingdoms? The Eternal Empire
State of Eternity
Spirits of Empire

- decide on title!!

GREAT GAME 08/09/03
- Eight Nation Army
- Mechanisms of State
- The Way of States
- The Warring States
- States of Nations
- States fof Being
- Empire's End
- Dragon States

So there it is, tucked halfway down a list. I still like the idea of Eight Nation Army but I know that's just a half-arsed desire to make a silly music joke.

Posted @ 6:21 pm on Saturday, April 23, 2005
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