Earlier this year I conceived a fun idea: an antediluvian post-apocalyptic sci-fi. (That first word, in case you needed to know, means pre-bibical-flood). The idea started forming when I started reading up on things called Ooparts.
What are Ooparts? Out Of Place Artifacts. It means, there’s something that’s been found in an archaeological dig or written down thousands of years ago that does not fit in our concept of history. Gliders found in ancient Egypt and Maya that, when precisely blown up in size, fly by themselves with little to no propelling power. Giant batteries in ancient Iraq. Pyramids that generate power. Depictions of using electricity and mind-control. And much more.
Sure, some of it can be conspiracy theory. Some people take all of these things and say that aliens visited us thousands of years ago. But why does it have to be aliens? Why can’t humanity have been as smart as to create computers and airplanes and batteries thousands of years ago — and then something happened?
And since I write fiction, I don’t have to care if it’s all absolutely true or not. I can run with it… and turn it into something awesome. *cue evil grin*
Further along on the formation of this idea, there is a lot of evidence that suggests a giant catastrophe (as in, a giant flood) swept the entire globe a few millennia ago. A catastrophe big enough to turn the earth slight on it’s axis. A catastrophe big enough to leave giant pockets of vegetation and decaying bodies that are hard to explain in any other way.
This is besides the fact that every culture on the planet has a flood myth.
Now, I’m not a religious person. I don’t want to prove or disprove the idea of a biblical flood sent down by a God of this culture or the next because we were all bad people. But the concept of something like this is awe-some — and I ran with it.
I utilized the favorite tool of the writer: the “What Ifs.”
What if humanity progressed to a technological level we weren’t supposed to go? What if we broke an unspoken rule, a rule we’d forgotten was made, a promise we’d forgot to keep?
Who would be there to put us back in line?
Then it all started coming together. All of the fun Oopart technology and Bibical history and environmentalist themes takes place around this story:
Sofija left home to learn about defense against warfare. Her peace-loving family and village is continually plagued by the Kurgans, the warring civilization to the East. But when she left home, they came…
Stuck on the Green Isles, trapped in a fort seiged by demons every night as it desperately tries to save it’s technology, Sofija just wants to go home. Her family is all probably dead anyway — but she has to see for herself.
Everything changes when she inadvertently kills one of the Princes of the demons, gaining the loyalty of one of their most precious steeds. He’s a black, flesh-eating horse born from the molten core of the planet — and now he’s irrevocably hers. And in doing so, Sofija may have just been handed the only possible chance at understanding why the demons are here, and what they really want.
With the flood still in mind (and I’m definitely not throwing out the idea an actual flood will occur), I titled it “Flood Without Water.” I wrote the beginning of this story for a novella contest I never actually ended up entering, but it’s been in the back of my mind for a while now.
Then, the other day, my publisher asked me about writing a short story for their blog that used five favorite words picked by their head editor. The words given to me were: assemblage, labyrinthine, brood, nemesis, and inure. I had to look that last word up, but almost as soon as I had the words, Sofija and her devil-horse started talking.
So I ran with it.
And I came up with this.
Let me know what you think. I’m pretty excited about this one.
(Also, for fun, I created a Pinterest board where I’ve started collecting concept art for the whole series. Check it out if you’ve got time!)