This weekend I will begin my second draft of Hard as Roxx. That it is only the second draft is astounding to me, as in Discovery and Awakening (The Stream) I went through six or seven drafts before I was satisfied. I liked this book even as I wrote it. There are secondary plot elements that I will weave into this draft, however, I don’t believe the story will change much except for deleting adverbs and replacing them with descriptors. (I use adverbs as placeholders, so that I know later what emotion or action will shape the scene I’m writing.
Roxx is a simple story on one level and complex on another. It is a dystopian Sci Fi novel, which takes place in the first half of the twenty-second century. Twenty-first century Earth has been ravaged by a flu pandemic, with tens of millions dead. In addition, advances in computer networking, which has advanced much faster than data security, has had the unfortunate effect of eliminating the profit incentive from a number of industries. One of those industries happened to be the pharmaceutical industry. The world is out of oil, and the free-market economies and the centrally based governments that support them have crumbled.
I, however, am not a pessimist. Surely the world would survive even such a series of events. And it does. However, towards the end of the twenty-first century, there is another pandemic. This one is called the World Killer. Without strong governments, without central organizations, and with pharma in the hands of pockets of locally organized authorities, the world seems doomed. However, there is a breakthrough – genetic engineering. Humans, being the resolute creatures we are, take the problem at its root, and change the nature of human immunity, increasing life expectancies two-fold, perhaps more. There is but one small problem.
No one can have more than one child. Those who try, die. Soon, the One Child limitation, which stemmed from genetic terrorism, is considered more than a limitation. Is the law, and the very fabric of society has changed – adapted to the reality of that law. Such is the nature of the world for 50 years.
Until, that is, enters one Roxanne Grail, a 6’3″ martial arts instructor with a penchant for twentieth-century tech, including her 1940 Indian motorcycle. Roxx has two problems. One is her precocious daughter, Jazz. The other, her strictly illegal, supposedly impossible baby Jessica James Grail.
The penalty for breaking the One Child Law is death – for the child, for the parents. It is how it has always been. It is the law.
Roxx, however, never studied law. Now, she, Jazz, and the Outlaw Jessi James have to make it to the frozen north to safety. It is a trip she is determined to make.
Even if it means killing anyone in her way.
What is fun (for me) about this book is that I have written a year-by-year history of the world from 2012 – 2137, when this book starts. The history I have noted above is derived from this. However it only serves as a backstory to Roxx’s book. I’m considering including it as an appendix in the softcover version of the book, but other than that, details will only come out in the story as they are relevant. (I don’t do much “narrator explains the history.” It takes away the fun of discovery, I think.
More about Roxx in the weeks to come … I hope you fall in love with Roxx (and Trint, her BFF) as much as I have.