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Reflections on 2018, part 1: Writing a book

~5 minutes

So yeah. I’m writing a book. It’s called Zarmina. Pretty huge project I’m working on on and off for the last few years and it went through a bunch of iterations before what it is now… I do believe that if you sit on a project for long enough, it’s going to evolve until it turns out pretty great. It’s still a pretty big undertaking and a very ambitious project, I rewrote the first part I don’t know how many times now under countless concepts and I procrastinated a lot of it, but I do think it’s turning out great.

Think of it as what if Europeans discovered America today, in the 21st century. It’s the story of Earth astronauts on a planet far, far away making first contact with its inhabitants. And they definitely know what this implies and what humanity have done in the past. Oh, and they’re magic furries, because why not. (Actually, there’s a reason for that, and it’s so they’re more adapted for the kind of cold climate they have and so they look more like a weird mix between a human and a cat.)

It’s inspired a lot of Dans une Galaxie près de chez vous, a Canadian comedy/sci-fi show that aired in 1999-2002, with two movies in 2004 and 2008, right during my childhood. It follows Captain Patenaude and his crew trying to find in 2034 a new planet to move humanity on because they completely destroyed their old one beyond repair. Thorough the series, it’s pretty clear that the Captain wants to do good: if humanity is given a new planet, maybe they’ll take care of this one… He also take care to find a planet that isn’t already inhabited by a civilisation, for fear the humans will completely destroy it. And in the last episode, they finally find the perfect planet to move humanity on, but of course the second the first settlers arrive, war is waged over the best grounds available and it’s pretty clear they’re going to destroy this one too. Even though the mission to find a new planet was a success, the Captain and his crew considers their own personal mission a failure.

Last month, I had the pleasure to be part of the team that organized a small convention about this show (think about these brony or trekkie cons, but we were a duggie con). Half of the actors were there, as well as the writers and creators. And what the creators said during their panel or video message stroke me. The message they sent 20 years ago about the fact we only have one planet and we should take care of it, well, it’s still valid today. With the current geopolitical climate we have today and, um, (should I really name him) Trump, among others, it’s more valid than it ever been before. And this is why they want to go back to this universe and write a third movie eventually. And a comic book. It’s planned for 2019, from what I heard. And as a fan, I hope it’s happening.

I think it’s something like this that made this show great. One of a kind, even. It sends a message and it does it well while being funny and captivating people all around French-speaking Canada. It’s kind of our own locally-produced Doctor Who or Star Trek.

So, obviously, if humanity would meet a race of magical cat people, what would they do with that? Who knows? This is an issue neither captain would want to go bad and get in a deadly war about that. This thing is about friendship, really. Friendship between people who are different and could potentially be abused because of said differences. And this is what Zarmina is about, two astronauts stranded on an inhabited planet with quite powerful beings who will need to overcome their differences in order to get back to Earth and hope these people on Earth will think like them when they’ll get back to them.

So this is one of the things I want to do with Zarmina. We don’t have a lot of good sci-fi over here that sends a good message and this is something I’d really like to do. And this is the kind of message I’d like to send with this. The other, it’s kinda because of my experience as a web developer, I want to do something completely original, something that makes good use of the web as a media. Every chapter is going to have music, maybe even animations and other interactivity, if I can and when the story will need it. (Well, I’m not the best at drawing, but eh, gotta do my best…) Maybe also… learning? You’re definitely going to learn something, won’t say more :) Anyway, this is something I learned with the Internet, if you want to be successful, you gotta standout.

I’ve written 3 chapters and a half so far (under its current form, that is, I have a story under a previous form that covers the first 4 chapters or so I’m currently rewriting), the first one is online on the website and the others will be published soon once they’re ready, in French and English. Meanwhile, you can have a sneak peek on Patreon and help me financially while I’m working on this, but yeah, I really like how it’s finally ending up. It’s going to be quite an experience… and I hope to show you all of this real soon.

So this is one of the things I worked on in 2018 that I’m proud of it and will definitely keep doing in 2019. Stay tuned for more of these things… 2018 sure was a weird year.

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